Lowcountry Living: Red Rose Vintage Clothing
CHARLESTON, SC (LEYLA GULEN, WTAT-TV) — With just 6 miles to the gallon, this vintage clothing store on wheels doesn’t venture too far outside Charleston city limits.
“It became the only option for someone like me to have a retail store in Charleston which was a dream of mine for a long time.”
You could call Amy Rose Walter a fashion Viking.
Unable to pay Charleston’s exorbitant rents, she and her dad transformed this 1976 airstream argosy she found on Craigslist into her own mobile boutique, Red Rose Vintage.
“It was infested with cockroaches, there were tobacco and mold stains all over the walls,” said Walter.
A dream of hers for the last five years, it took a few backflips to get there.
“Growing up I was a competitive gymnast, so I never really developed a personal sense of style. I came to be 20-years-old and I was still wearing spandex shorts and competition shirts. So when I got this awesome job in San Diego a s a karaoke host I thought it was time for me to find myself,” said Walter. “I never really liked having what everyone else had. So when I discovered vintage clothing that is mainly the reason why I liked it.”
“I love the 80’s. I just think it’s an era where designers were just trying the craziest things, you know, the shapes, the over-sizes, the prints… I love 80’s graphic design.”
It was a bit a bit uphill trying to translate her style here in the south.
“Because I was wearing this crazy 80’s sequence stuff not really knowing that Charleston was very traditional, very southern, and people would be like ‘who is that girl walking down the street?’ I’d have a crazy asymmetric haircut and people would think ‘what the heck is she doing?’”
Once Walter saw this as an opportunity, she began to coast. Today you can find Red Rose Vintage popping up at festivals and other events for a clientele looking to stand-out from the crowd.
“Vintage clothing is made so much better than the clothing made today.”
A cultivated team of buyers gives Amy Rose Walter first dibs on the crème of vintage crop.
When the pieces come to me I try them on, I turn them inside out, I inspect them 100% and then my buyer inspects them… all the zippers work and if there is something really cool but the button is off then we’ll sew the buttons back on. We’ll tug on the fabric and make sure it’s a good quality product.”
“I like to have a variety. I like to have something that you can wear to a very formal event and then something you can wear every day. And we’ve got to talk about the shoulder pads and the acid wash!”