A Vintage Feel with Natasha Zoë Garrett
For so long, the clothing of eras past has been a part of the inspiration for our collections, its timeless appeal forever guiding our designs. This holds true not only visually, but ethically and conceptually - as often as we look to Victorian nightgowns or 70s frocks for design inspiration, we also look to vintage for a certain ageless quality, that special something that makes a piece one to wear again and again, to repair it as it slowly ages, and to eventually pass down lovingly - imbued with meaning and a story. When we search for vintage treasures, this is the feeling we seek out - the feeling that an item was cherished and adored, that it was worn again and again out of utility - and out of love.
Natasha Zoë Garrett is a purveyor of exactly this kind of vintage - vintage with a story, vintage with heart (in fact, some of the best pieces on her site once belonged to her mom!). Her online shop, Roam, has become a beloved staple for so many vintage-lovers, with its abundance of soft cotton blouses, French chore coats, overdyed military liners (the list goes on!). Each piece is thoughtfully chosen for its effortless charm and gently worn-in quality. With a background in styling, Natasha brings a sharp, creative eye to her love of vintage, operating with a deep understanding of what wears well, which pieces are forever sought after (the perfect pair of 501s, a cropped Edwardian blouse), and a distinct vision of how a piece might function within any given wardrobe.
Though her love of vintage is longstanding and even generational - her mom and grandma were both vintage sellers, and introduced her at childhood to the joys of treasure-hunting in the depths of an antique shop or a small-town thrift store - Natasha's path to starting Roam was long and winding. See below to read a bit more about Natasha's journey with Roam - from the inspiration and motivation behind founding her own shop to the experience of being a Black woman in the world of vintage to her aims and intentions for the future!
"Roam Vintage began as a creative outlet. I was feeling disillusioned by the fashion industry, which I had been working in for the past ten years. I was starting to see the cracks in an industry that lacked diversity and continuously prioritized profit over people. I was tired of working on jobs that maybe had Black models but no Black hairstylists. No Black art directors. Hardly any Black voices making critical creative decisions.
Visibility is important. Seeing others who look like us, talk like us, move through the world in the ways we do, allows us to feel seen. It allows us to develop confidence and to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves.This is also true for opportunity. If opportunity isn’t available for some in the ways it is for others, how are those without it able to forge ahead?
Truth be told, when I started Roam Vintage, I didn’t yet know that I could make it into a career, but I knew it was a way for me to reclaim my creativity in a world that didn’t make space for it. As my business grew, I realized that I had the ability and the responsibility as a Black woman in business, to celebrate other people who looked like me in ways I hadn’t seen while working in the mainstream fashion world.
One of my intentions with Roam is to celebrate Black and brown voices and experiences. I hope to offer up space for others to feel seen and supported in ways that I felt were lacking for me as a child and early on in my career. The world is not lacking in talented Black creatives but it is lacking in exposure and in opportunity. I'm one of the many people that you will continue to see working to change that."