Elizabeth Lavin

Vintage Things

Vintage L.A. Meets Lower Greenville at Jack Retro

We asked co-owner Jack Perez to give us an introduction to his straight-outta-Hollywood designer resale shop.

From left: Angel Semeco, Jack Perez, and Scott Kramer. Perez is the former creative director for thrift stores in L.A. known for getting incredible art and clothing donations from local elites.

The partners in the business are Scott Kramer, Angel Semeco, and myself. We moved here two and a half years ago from Los Angeles. Scott owns a software company and left the entertainment business. We all decided to pick up and move to Dallas, because we didn’t need to be in L.A. anymore. We live in a 1937 Howard Meyer home in Highland Park. It has a very California feel.

I used to be the creative director for all of the National Council of Jewish Women thrift shops and donation centers in Los Angeles, and then I was also a curator of vintage clothing—an appraiser for estate sales. I have been collecting vintage and designer clothing for over 15 years. I became obsessed. We had all these storage units and a two-car garage full and decided it was time to open a store.

We were very picky about the location, though. It had to be just right. We were having an amazing burger at The Grape for Sunday brunch when we walked by the space, looked through the paper in the window and fell in love. It was pretty raw and in bad shape, so we spent a few months redoing it. We tore out the walls and ceilings and put in new ones. Everything that’s in the store, all of the fixtures and display cases, was locally sourced, except for the starburst chandelier from Restoration Hardware.

Finds in Jack Retro include a 1950s Emilio Pucci blouse ($228), a four-piece Bill Blass velour outfit from the 1970s ($850), and this Isaac Mizrahi dress from 1995 ($650).

The whole store is my collection. We’re not consignment. I also have a network of people across the country that look for certain things. I look for pieces that are unique, not the usual. Definitely designer, of course. I know a lot about tags, so I can tell you which decade a Todd Oldham dress might come from. The clothes need to be in perfect condition, or as near perfect as possible. The one thing in my personal collection I would never give up is a wire horse sculpture that I got at an estate sale many, many years ago in Los Angeles. I have a funny feeling it might be an Alexander Calder.

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