Physically located in St. Louis, enokiworld launched in 1998 in a virtual abyss of online shops that were new, inexperienced and sort of scared to try something bold. While there were certainly important vintage shops in NY and LA, nobody wanted to stick their neck out on the web with designer vintage and its pricing. It was risky. And it worked. Having a web presence back then was not the standard it is now. We've been vast, we've been small, we've been out of commission, we've been in every magazine every month at times and by now, we know what works. enokiworld's mission was, and still is, to make available the type of iconic vintage that some people would like you to think is their exclusive domain. You should only be limited by what fits and what you can afford. You should not be penalized because you live in like, uhhh, St. Louis. enokiworld has long had a sister site, enokiland. It was the Walt Disney of vintage and the two were our theme parks. The pair are now merged in one digiboutique because we don't only wear vintage and we know you don't either.
enokiworld is my baby. Madeline's baby. You may have heard this story before so please skip ahead if I'm boring you. I grew up in New York City, which led me to explore all sorts of neighborhoods and stores on my own. I developed a very honed sense of style at a young age under the tutelage of my flamboyant older brother, who would send me to school with Vogue on the bus when I was 11 or 12. I attended the School of Visual Arts as an Illustration major, dove right in to the Danceteria and Roxy nightclub scenes and worked in places like Dean and Deluca to pay my rent. I moved to North Carolina in my early 20s to pursue professional cooking and worked in some of the area's best kitchens but I would still wear chiffon palazzo pants with my chef jacket during dinner service. Then I met a boy and moved to St. Louis, where there was no good food scene at the time so I returned to clothing. Originally, I was hoarding vintage dinnerware at estate sales but kept buying clothes. I just could not see a Rudi Gernreich gown hanging in a closet and leave it behind. And so, enokiworld was born. I wanted to level the playing field and have anyone be able to buy an Yves Saint Laurent couture gown. I wanted to spread the Bonnie Cashin experience farther than it was going back in the late 1990s. And I did that, I paved the way for people to open their own little vintage shops, selling the things they loved. Some people have copied me along the way, some have challenged me and some have done me one better. It is now a community and not a vacuum. I love good design. I love clothes. It made perfect sense to take my circumstances and turn them into, well, lemonade. All of a sudden, I had amazing shopping ripped out from under me. I had to create an alternative. And some women have never had amazing shopping. I cannot bear to think of what everyone's closet would be without online shopping. It doesn't matter where I live, I can walk into Target with a Martin Margiela bag I had sent to me from Brown's in London, a Kenzo dress I found in a resale shop and my vintage Lanvin watch that I bought on eBay. That is completely awesome. How else would I get a Rick Owens fix where I live? I'm not going without and neither should you.
Small. Intimate. And it has always been that way. So get to know me, I'll get to know you and you can have a friend that knows her fashion history and is tactfully honest with you. I'm a pretty crappy salesperson that way. I would rather not make the sale than send you something I know is not meant to be. I do marketing, PR, buying, joke-cracking, artwork, inventory, shipping, html, billing, writing, packing, steaming, printing and wicked phone schmoozing. I am the three-ring circus you have always known as enokiworld. I happen to be really great at what I do.
I do. If you've got something you think is really great, I'd
love to see pictures. I specialize in designer clothing from the 1940s through
the 1970s (I'll go to the 80s for certain pieces) and condition is crucial to me. I try to limit consignment arrangements to really special pieces. Everything else is a flat buy.
You are never stuck with something that doesn't work for you. Without the opportunity to try something on before you buy, you run the risk of a match not quite made in heaven. enokiworld's return policy is outlined in detail on the order form.
I believe in preservation as much as possible. While I encourage the adjustment of a hem or changing out shoulder pads, I try to stay away from rebuilding vintage clothing. Eventually, if enough women have a vintage garment altered, it will end up being nothing more than a vehicle for the label and will have little to do with the original designer's creation. I find "upcycled" or "redesigned" vintage unappealing. I found repro, plagiarism. There is a little piece of history in the clothing and I'd hate to see it die.
All the time. enokiworld girls are all across the globe - from Copenhagen
to Tokyo. Shipping fees are determined by weight and value of item so if you'd like an overseas quote, let me know which item you're dying to have and I'll tell you how much it will cost to get it in your hands. Duty and other third party fees may apply. This is totally out of my control.
If it is not wearable in broad daylight, I'm not selling it. I have zero tolerance for an armpit stain unless it happens to have Jackie O's DNA. I don't do moth damage, shattered silk, grotesque alterations, missing labels, stinky stuff, mold, mildew, bad pilling, and all the other unforgivable imperfections that send you out in the world looking like a slob. Do not believe any vintage dealer that says, "good for its age". Experience tells me that lots of vintage is in gorgeous condition. I'm not damaged in my 40s, why should the same age of a dress be? And can you tell I am not short on strong opinions?
In the days prior to the early 80s, fashion was more of an art form.
From the signature hook and eyelets on a Claire McCardell dress to the way the house of Lesage embroidered a lapel, the people who crafted the clothing you
see here were inspired in ways we don't see much in modern fashion. A designer label alone doesn't cut it, so you can count on an exhaustive knowledge of fashion history to give me a solid backbone in selecting pieces that are quintessential representations of each designer enokiworld offers in its collection. Feel free to have a dictionary of fashion designers close by when you shop enokiworld because I try to carry something from all designers - well-known and obscure. While I, of course, wear modern clothing as well (I have a sweet spot for Rick Owens), it is the vintage in my closet
that adds the twist to my basics and are the things most treasured for
their form and beauty. To me, good fashion design is an art form and gifted fashion designers are the like sculptors and painters in that medium. I am duly admirous of creative genius in everything from Van Gogh's "Starry Night" to a really talented pastry chef's ability to spin sugar. While we may have different taste, our philosophy of wanting to create a unique look by mixing pieces from every era makes us the same. I can completely relate to your not wanting to look like every other woman out there. Oh, and I don't like cover bands either.
I do everything by hand, by choice, and enokiworld doesn't share, archive, store or sell info to anyone and never has. I don't want to spend my time maintaining lists, automated shopping carts and juggling marketing scams. I want to run my quaint little business, get to know other women who dig it too and send you something honest you'll wear forever. Period. I'm not into the ten cents someone pays me for your name. I don't let people advertise on enokiworld for the same reason. And the one thing I REALLY don't do is put you on some irritating email list just because you placed one order. I hate when it's done to me - I will not do it to you. Fair?
Tons! Some of the best enokiworld girls have been with me from the very beginning in 1998. You'll find that after you've bought a few things from the site, I'll have a better understanding of what you like and what sizes worked for you. This enables me to say, down the road, "That dress would be huge on you! Try this instead." and if you ask one of old-timers, she'll tell you I'm usually right. If you want to know if your size 8 body is going to squeeze into a Pucci 4, I won't lie. I want you to trust me and misguiding you won't do a darn thing to help earn it. I'm not looking for one shot orders, I want to build a relationship with you.
After "Where do you get your stuff?", the next question I get all the time is "How much is this worth?". I do not do appraisals online. It is impossible to put an accurate value on something I have not had the chance to touch, smell and see in person. There are so many things that determine the value of a piece, including timing, that it's not something I feel can be done with any reliability from a distance. If you are in the St. Louis area, I would be glad to schedule a time to meet with you to discuss valuation of your wardrobe.