Tucked into a 5th Avenue storefront is the upscale secondhand clothing shop Two Lovers, where women’s apparel is lovingly and beautifully presented at 40-90% of the original price. Shop owner Lynette Kirchner had always wanted to have a secondhand store. She finally realized her dream two years ago when she opened Two Lovers. Recently, she showed the Stoop around her charming boutique.
I personally have been a secondhand shopper since I was old enough to shop. There’s the hunter-gatherer aspect to it. Finding a treasure in, it could be a warehouse, it could be a thrift shop, it could be a stoop sale, it could be a garage sale. I drive my husband crazy. When I see anything like that when we’re together I make him stop and take a quick look. That’s first and foremost, finding a good bargain.
Secondly, it is great for everyone involved. Buying it is a win-win for everyone, for the earth as well. We’re up-cycling, but we’re not changing the clothing. We launder it, we clean it. We treat it in a respectful manner. And put it in a beautiful airy boutique rather than a crammed thrift shop.
I love the idea of going to garage sales on a professional basis.
I see them and I just have to stop. It’s in my blood. And there are so many stoop sales in Park Slope. On a Saturday you can find 10 of them.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever found at a stoop sale?
Let me think. Maybe a Gucci silk blouse for 10 bucks. It was in perfect condition.
It’s so exciting when that happens.
It is. It’s a thrill, a rush. Definitely. When you’re in that zone you don’t need to eat, you don’t want to go to use the ladies room. It’s all great. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time for stoop sales because I have two stores. I opened up another store about a year and a half ago called Pony. Same idea: as-is, laundered secondhand clothes. It’s seven blocks north of here.
How do you determine what goes to what store?
Pony is definitely funkier. I would say slightly younger. Definitely edgier. And more true vintage pieces there. It’s a great mix of current and vintage pieces there. A lot of ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and sometimes ’40s and ’50s pieces. Mixed in with great current items. Here we do mostly current secondhand.
Where do you find stuff?
Mostly from women that come into the shop. I’m buy-sell-trade. I would say 90% of my merchandise comes from there. I work with a couple of vintage dealers. Of course, if I’m on my day off and I happen to be near any kind of secondhand place where I can go digging and find some great treasure, I’ll do it.
What are some of your favorite things in the shop right now?
I love this piece [black, pictured above]. It’s from the late ’50s, early ’60s. I love this detail at the top. I love how it scrolls around.
I also love this dress [pictured to the right]. I love the ruffle sleeve. I think it’s beautiful. And I love the self-beading. Just a hint of it on the sleeve.
Two Lovers is located at 227 5th Avenue, between President and Carroll Streets. They’re open Monday-Thursday, 11:30am-7:30pm and Sundays, 11:30am-6:30pm.