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This past week, Racked had a chance to sit down with Christos Garkinos, co-founder of Decadestwo.1 and pick his brain about life, fashion, and his unreproducible talent for sourcing treasures from closets around the world. Christos was in town dropping off just a few pairs of shoes, select gowns, and powerful accessories to illustrate the selection his Chicago pop-up will have and promote his multi-platform shopping experience in LA, Decadestwo.1.
After we saw the De La Rentas, the Nina Riccis and the limited edition Pradas, we asked him about himself.
(More about what the April pop-up has to offer after the interview.)
Racked: Do you love Chicago?
Christos: Yes, we have a loyal base of clients here in Chicago who always come to visit us in LA or who are now still shopping with us online. You know, I grew up in Ann Arbor, and coming from Michigan, we'd always go to Chicago. It was my first big city I'd ever been to in my entire life until I went to New York when I was 18. Just like Madonna. Really though, Detroit had some interesting retail, but we'd come here and think its such a great city.
Chicago does have a lot of interesting retail- actually, the last time I was in Chicago for a really big retail event I was working for Rachard Branson and launching the Virgin Megastore on Michigan Avenue. Long time ago, back in the 90's and do you remember who opened it up?
Racked: (Shakes head)
Christos: Cher opened it up.
(find one more fabulous photo linked at bottom) Racked: (expletive) that sounds amazing!
Christos: Amazing- well, here's what happened:
Each time Virgin does an opening they have to do a stunt so this time we had Cher and Richard Branson in a guitar-shaped sleigh being pulled around Michigan Avenue by reindeer dressed in drag. Richard was to be in a red leather suit and we named the stunt "Rock and Roll Santa". And SO, the night before the event he calls and says he can't come because He's going up in a hot air balloon out of Morocco and I'm like oh, (expletive).
Racked: Ah, damn.
Christos: Yeah, well, basically my Christmas card was born because it was me and Cher. I took the red leather suit with the crazy glasses and was Rock and Roll Santa. We were going up and down Michigan Avenue waving at people- the whole thing was so surreal.
So I always have a very warm feeling in my heart for Chicago because of that stuff plus there are so many Greeks here.
Racked: Will the owner of Decades, Cameron Silver be in Chicago for the opening of the pop-up?
Christos: Yup, he'll be here on April first because its his Jean Line. (Decades Denim)
Racked: Can you describe Space519?
Christos: I think its about passion and they find these things that they really like and that's what its about for me. For me the curation is amazing.
Racked: Can you describe your personal aesthetic?
Christos: I like to mix it up, my partner, casting director, Brett Greenstein and I live in a 1920's house built by an opera singer so its got really high ceilings so she could sing but the whole home inside is very modern in terms of the furniture so its this dichotomy of Spanish and Modern.
Growing up in Detroit, I've always had this love of jolie laide and I think that's whats going to happen there and I remember it, and I've got all the books about it, so I find beauty in ugliness. I always love to go to the barney's sales to see the last thing that has not been taken and I take it home with me.
Racked: That's a romantic way of shopping at Barneys and looking at Detroit.
What would one wear to a job interview at Decadestwo.1?
Christos: Well, I make my mind up in twenty-two millimeters of a second. Its not really about labels, but how you're putting it together. From my standpoint, just wear what feels good but I like when someone mixes high to low.
Racked: So who are you wearing today?
Christos: YSL sneakers, Givenchy sweater, and Levi's. Oh, and I have a Men's Chanel pea coat.
Racked: Can we ask you about skincare or beauty?
Christos: Sure- I'm Greek and I don't need to do anything for my skin. My dad was a movie actor in Greece and I'm so lucky because I got his skin.
Racked: Love TopShop or Hate TopShop?
Christos: Love, but here's the thing when I go in it can be a little geniure but I always thought the Kate Moss Stuff was amazing. We sell Kate Moss at Decadestwo.1 because we think its collectible. Here's the thing: designers come buy from us for inspiration, they go make the clothes for the masses, and the masses buy them and then I go back and re-sell it. Its kind of strange.
Racked: You're providing the missing link in the circle of fashion.
We were forwarded a video. Kathy Lee Gifford said th?
Christos: Oh my god! Myself and Hoda. Yeah, so one of my tips for shopping was like "Never go shopping while you're hungry'. So I was like "Yeah, because you'll make mistakes" and then one of them says "Well, were you hungry when you bought those shoes?" and I'm like, "Uh, ladies, this is Christian Louboutin, and you're never hungry when you get a pair of Christian Louboutin's Shoes." I knew they were going to call me out on the shoes too.
Racked: We loved the shoes and we don't trust Kathy Lee's style anyway, apparently we weren't the only ones that caught that. So this is a big food town- where in Chicago, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Los Angeles or New York, anywhere you've lived, would you go to eat before shopping?
Christos: I'm a huge tennis player so in LA we go to this club from the 1920s in Hancock Park and they have a really good breakfast so I always go there before we start the weekend off. I also like CommeCa on Melrose. In Chicago, I really don't eat red meat anymore, but whenever I'm here I'll go to Greektown. In New York I always go to Balthazar or Pastis or The Standard Grill at The Standard Hotel.
Racked: Richard Branson is building a spaceship in the Arizona desert and when it goes into space will you be on it? And if so, what would you wear?
Christos with excitement and almost no hesitation says,: I would totally want to be on it! but I don't know if I could- I'm afraid of heights so I don't if I would but if I were on it I'd wear a grey Margiela jumpsuit for men- if he made one for men. I would totally rock it with an easy pair of sneakers. It'd have to be cotton so it would be comfortable because if it were denim-y it would be too hard. Oh! Not sneakers- I'd wear my Rick Owens boots with the jumpsuit...and then I'd take off.
Racked: If there one designer shop that should be open in Chicago right now?
Christos: For women: Stella McCartney, I love her, I think that Celine is THE designer. For men: Rick Owens or APC.
So there you have it, folks, the most fun guy in the world.
Oh, and what if you want to see Christos Garkinos' luxury for less and Cameron Silver's denim line? Well, you could shop the discounted vintage collection at Space519 on Saturday April 2nd and Sunday April 3rd from 10-7 and noon-6 respectively. You'll find us ogling Charlize Theron's persimmon dress from the $250 Dress Selection, or slipping into a pair of India Ink Decades Denim... right next to Christos' harems of Greek girls quibbling over the only surviving Louis Vuitton sequined frock.
· Decadestwo.1 [Official Site]
· Decades Denim [Official Site]