Its location is “top secret”, but that shouldn’t stop you from finding the hippest store in town. Marika Szymanek, co-founder of Mulholland Drive, gives us a taste of what we can find in the recently opened, first ever vintage store in Krakow. But don’t take her word for it. Go find out for yourself what all the fuss is about and you may just walk out a happy customer.
Krakow Post: What inspired you to create the store? When did you open?
Marika Szymanek: Both Peter [Słysz, co-founder] and I have been collecting vintage clothes for a long time with no real goal in mind. When we met in April 2009, it all kind of fell into place. We decided to organize a two-day vintage fashion event that same month which was very successful; another one followed in June 2009 and was also very well received. That’s kind of when the idea for the vintage store was born. The ideal location was key; we were looking for something with personality, something unique. When we saw this apartment [ul. Św. Katarzyny 4/9, Kazimierz] we knew it would be the perfect place. It needed a lot of work, which we mostly did ourselves, but that also meant that we had total freedom to experiment. The end result speaks for itself: I don’t think you’ll find another shop with TVs hanging from a silver wall. 4 December was our grand opening, it was a fun night.
KP: Is this type of vintage store a fairly new concept in Poland? If yes, why do you think so?
MS: It’s not completely new but it’s a very young idea. There’s a bunch of online vintage stores but not a lot of actual shops. What makes Mulholland Drive unique is our “special order” service: it consists of looking for specific vintage items that our clients desire. We also wanted to create an area where anyone who loves vintage clothing could simply come in and browse. Coffee is provided to make your retro fashion experience relaxing.
KP: Your store is located on the second floor of an apartment building. No signs, no advertising. Why did you decide to make the store’s location so secretive?
MS: We wanted the store to be somewhere where no one would expect it to be, a hidden place one had to discover. People love to find little shops in cities that they can tell their friends about. Word of mouth is the best advertisement.
KP: How did you come up with the name Mulholland Drive?
MS: We were looking for a name connected with pop culture. One day we had a small brainstorm session with our friends and Mulholland Drive came out of it. Mulholland Dr. is the name of a movie by David Lynch, and although Peter and I aren’t huge fans of his work, it somewhat inspired the décor of our store. There’s also a Mulholland Drive [in LA], which is a pretty famous road because of its unobtrusive view of the Hollywood sign.
KP: So the name is not synonymous with fashion…
MS: We didn’t want to put ourselves into just one category because we hope to expand to other fields in the future. Mulholland Drive works because it’s original and tied to pop culture, which is exactly what our store stands for.
KP: Who shops at your store? How would you describe your clients?
MS: We don’t have just one specific kind of client. Of course, mostly young people show up, but we hope that everyone can find their own treasure in our store. We have something for everyone: funky, chic, and classy.
KP: What types of items do you sell? Where do you get them?
MS: We sell clothing and accessories from the 20s,40-60s, 80-90s and everything that’s funky and unique. We have some crazy stuff from the communist era like a jacket and brooches which were given to the best workers in Czechoslovakia [present day Czech Republic and Slovakia], or even a T-Shirt with the Pope on it. We buy clothes from private collectors, in second-hand stores and abroad.
KP: What is your favourite item in the store?
MS: Right now, I think a white handbag from the 60s, but my favourites change with every new delivery.
KP: What one item would you like to have at your store?
MS: I would love to have things that belonged to someone famous, or something with a story behind it. Those are the things that I find most interesting. Peter would probably be thrilled if we got a pair of shorts from Bjorn Borg, specifically the ones he wore at Wimbledon in 1981.
KP: Any special events happening in the upcoming months?
MS: We have a lot of ideas but we just opened so it’s all in the works. I think Mulholland Drive is the perfect place for any kind of event, not only events connected with fashion. Prior to the store’s opening we co-ordinated photo exhibits that were a lot of fun and we hope to host those at our store from time to time.
Mulholland Drive – ul.Sw. Katarzyny 4/9