Meet the Model Turned Fashion Entrepreneur Who Just Opened Her Dream Vintage Shop in L.A.
Aralda Vintage wasn’t built on wheels. The shop’s founder, former model Brynn Jones, always imagined she’d be able to drive around the country selling her collection of long-forgotten ’90s Prada and ’70s Givenchy out of a refurbished food truck. Then in September of last year, reality hit. She realized she didn’t want to be away from home, from her boyfriend and her dog, traveling like a nomad with a car full of clothes. So, she partnered with her friend Lily Kaizer and started planning to open a proper brick-and-mortar vintage store in L.A. Kaizer found a space next to her bridal salon inside the famous 1930s-era shopping center Crossroads of the World in Hollywood. “A few months later, I got the keys to the space,” Jones explains. And just like that, Aralda found a permanent home.
The whole concept actually began a few years back. “I really honed my thrifting skills when I was living in Hawaii as a penny-pinching college drop-out,” Jones says. “But Aralda started about two and a half years ago—after booking a couple of high-paying commercial jobs while modeling, I decided that I was going to use the money I made and put it toward this back-burner idea I’d toyed with since high school.” She started collecting vintage pieces and having them photographed on her peers; then she’d sell them out of the back room of her house. In April, Jones opened the official Aralda space and appointed her friend Lauren Hanawalt as CFO.
Aside from the dreamy stock, which currently includes pieces like a No Doubt band tee, a red Bill Blass suit, magenta Prada slides, and a silk Halston blouse decorated with a telephone print, the space itself is something special too. “Lauren would meet me at the shop and we’d spend our weekends drinking beers and painting the walls,” Jones remembers. “I wanted it to be welcoming and beautiful, but not too serious—to be visually stimulating with a lot of gold!” Locally produced artwork hangs on the walls, and most of it is for sale. There are old Penthouse and I-D magazines on the shelves; vintage jewelry dotting the counters and inside the bathroom; “an all-purple ode to Princess Diana, stocked with tampons, floss, mints, hair ties, ring pops, and perfume).”
As for the name of Jones’s passion project, “I thought of myself driving around the country solo in my vintage truck, and then I thought of my grandpa Aralda Jones.” She adds, “He lives in a trailer in the middle of a ghost town in Eureka, Utah. Every day he wears railroad stripe overalls, a polo shirt, and a navy blue bucket hat with slip-on sneakers. He’s the most interesting man I know, and I decided that Aralda Vintage was the perfect ode to the man who marches to the beat of his own drum.”
VOGUE.COM July 17, 2017 11:47 AM by , Photos: Emily Knecht