What's another vintage haunt in a city populated by them? Manhattan's latest addition, the mysteriously named The New World Order, however, is well worth a look. Located on Avenue B and 2nd Street, the store is the brainchild of former stylist Renee Bejil, who spent the past eight years based in Paris. Before that, the Texan lived in New York, not far from his current East Village retail digs. It was the prospect of opening up his own place that brought Bejil back. "I had collected racks and racks of clothes—the smart thing to do was open a store," he says. "I remember thinking, Ok, I'm tired of taking them to different consignment stores, because the stuff I have is pretty unique." Indeed, the goods range from mint-condition Yves Saint Laurent coats and Twenties sequin dresses to a Thierry Mugler bustier top à la Grace Jones. There's terrific footwear, accessories and sunglasses, too.
But the store's charm lies in more than a great selection of top-notch merch. Bejil's proven he has an eye for decor to boot. "Visually, I wanted it to be strong," he says, "because when you think vintage store, most are not very interesting." So Bejil lined his ceiling with fabulously retro vintage wallpaper from Germany and designed the mirrored fixtures himself. And his windows are simply wickedly spectacular. On a recent trip, he had four smock-frocked mannequins in Dorothy Hamill hairdos, each in dramatic body contortions—all inspired by a dream. (If you can, take a peek behind the caps covering their faces; that impeccable makeup job comes courtesy of Bejil, who graduated from Vogue Beauty College in Texas.) Next, he plans to showcase one huge gown, pieced together from 100 garments.
If that's not all worth a visit, then consider this: Bejil's also launched his own line of yak-fur coats and Victorian-inspired blouses, named Raymonda Magdalena after his Spanish grandmother. And the only place you'll get it? At The New World Order.
13 Avenue B, New York
Photo: Talaya Centeno