Cameron Silver is the Founder and Co-Owner of Decades vintage store in Los Angeles. Cameron has won many awards such as “Retailer of the Year” and “Fashion for Life. Since opening in 1997, Decades is renowned for being a leader in the vintage arena and its red carpet dressing of celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez and Renee Zellweger. With his debonair style, Cameron, himself, is frequently photographed on the red carpet.
What did you do before your were a vintage expert and purveyor?
I sang Weimar Cabaret sounds from the 20s and 30s in a show I created called “Berlin to Babylon.”
Were does your passion from vintage come from?
I love history and I love clothes – a match made in heaven.
You are a pioneer in the vintage world. How has the business changed since Decades opened?
The period when something becomes vintage is rapidly changing. It used to be 30 years, then 20 years, then 15 years, but in the 21st century, the fashion business changes so fast that iconic designers are often retired or fired and even their most recent work is collectible. Others switch houses, so previous employment and the creations during a past tenure become revered. Certainly with the tragic suicide of Alexander McQueen, his entire oeuvre became so desired and valuable although most designs are from the last decade.
How did your collaboration with Miriam Haskell this fall come about? Will it continue next season?
I love costume jewelry and Miriam Haskell is the only surviving American luxury costume jewelry brand that still makes the pieces by hand in America, the same way Miriam did nearly 100 years ago. When I met the owners of Haskell and went through their archives, it just clicked. We used the brand’s historic DNA in a fresh and relevant way and the response was uniformly positive. We are currently in discussions to continue the capsule collections.
Do you have other collaborations in the works?
Our shoe collection with Modern Vintage comes out in March!
What are your top 3 favorite vintage discoveries for the store? For your own wardrobe?
For myself it is quite easy: The men’s collection from the historic Ebony Fashion Fair collection. I bought all the Vivienne Westwood, Brioni, Mugler, Missoni, beyond. For the store, two answers: a collection of Christian Dior and Jean Desses Haute Couture from the 50s that was previously owned by the wife of a Wells Fargo executive, and buying a Yves Saint Laurent African collection dress from the original owner.
You have great style. Where do you shop for yourself?
Ah thanks, I buy from friends so I have pieces ranging from ethnic inspired Haider Ackermann’s single men’s collection, to pieces custom made for me by emerging designers like Jakarta’s Andrea Sutisno, plus I do some damage at Barneys and I live for INA in NYC.
With the awards season coming up, are there any trends you anticipate? Any special gowns in the store you hope to see on the red carpet?
Everything is special at Decades, but I am really excited about a few 30s bias cut gowns we just received, and I would love to see someone do some high-Parisian Haute Couture 80s Lacroix!
Who are the most sought after designers? Do you get a lot of customers who are in the hunt for something special – for example, a Birkin in a certain color or an Alaia dress?
Alaia, Halston, and Yves Saint Laurent pay the rent. As for special pieces, who doesn’t pine for a fab Birkin? But a lot of our clients are getting much more exited for more unusual and out of production Hermès bags like those in our Lyn Revson collection..
What about men’s vintage? Do you ever carry it? Do you shop for it for your own closet?
We do very little men’s vintage — and anything vintage and designer that fits me goes in my closet!
What are the particular items that you always know will sell immediately? Chanel jackets, Birkin bags?
Birkins, Chanel, costume jewelry, and jersey gowns in amazing colors.
What are the most sought after labels in vintage fashion?
There is a major Jean-Paul Gaultier moment brewing!
Do customers usually seek vintage pieces from designers that are popular now?
Yes and no. If a brand is having a renaissance certain fashion followers want to seek out the original designs; however, fashion dictators want to discover a “lost” brand before some conglomerate buys the old house and revamps it.