Shoppers at Resurrection, Katy Rodriguez and Mark Haddawy’s vintage store on Mott Street, are usually in the market for something along the lines of a boxy Azzedine Alaïa jacket or a flowered Thea Porter dress, circa 1964. But for the next three weeks, their faithful clientele will be able to feed another side of their vintage obsession — rare and out-of-print fashion books.
“I had always collected books,” explains Rodriguez, whose personal collection numbers around 100 volumes. “When we opened our rental studio in L.A., I had all my fashion books there. People would come in and say, ‘Oh my god. This is amazing. Can I buy this?’” And so hatched the idea for Eye Read, an offering of around 150 rare and hard-to-find fashion-centric books.
This story first appeared in the December 9, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
While Rodriguez didn’t dip into her own stash for the sale, she began amassing books for it over a year ago, hunting them down in stores and through private dealers in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York, as well as in Europe. “It was literally a book at a time,” she says of the long search.
The books range in price from $35 for “Impresario: Malcolm McLaren and the British New Wave,” an in-print book from 1990, up to several hundred dollars for favorites in high demand, such as “Cowboy Kate” by Sam Haskins (1965) or Jean Clemmer’s collaboration with Paco Rabanne, “Canned Candies” (1969). Much like Resurrection’s stock, the books focus primarily on the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. While most titles will be familiar to the well-read fashion lover, there are a few quirky finds on some of Rodriguez’s favorite subjects, like the British Youthquake.
But like the store’s clothing, most of the books are a one-shot deal. In fact, on the first day of the sale, Rodriguez managed to sell her sole copy of Eve Babitz’s “Fiorucci: The Store,” a book that she herself doesn’t own. “It’s one of my favorites, but the woman who bought it was so excited,” she says. “I just have to know that I’ll find it again.”