It wasn’t too long ago that Garrett Bauman was entrenched in real estate, married, constantly thinking up entrepreneurial ideas, but “too busy” to make them happen.
In the late ‘90s his wife died. A friend, Annie, tried to get him to start dating again and frequently fixed him up with women, including her sister.
But Annie began to get jealous. As Garrett tells it, “the next thing I knew, she moved in and took over my closets. I always knew she had style; she never wore the same thing twice.”
Annie is now Garrett’s fiancé and business partner. The stylish couple co-own and manage the newly opened high-end vintage boutique Annie Creamcheese, located in the Palazzo Shoppes (across from Sushisamba and Victoria’s Secret).
Before the shop, the Prada, the location in the stylish new resort, the couple lived in Virginia, where they both hated their jobs. Both harbored a deep love for fashion - Garrett was a child model and sometime fashion designer - and liked to watch the red carpets at the Oscars and Emmys. They noticed that many celebrities favored vintage, and one in particular sparked an epiphany: Julia Roberts in vintage Valentino.
It was the 2001 Academy Awards and Roberts was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Erin Brockovich. She walked the red carpet in a stunning black vintage gown. The dress, and her award win, were the talk of the fashion and film industry.
But the D.C. area lacked vintage boutiques. Annie had to fly to New York or Miami to get her couture. So together Annie and Garrett decided to buy “the best of the best” from Sotheby’s and William Doyle and sell their finds on eBay. The high demand led to living room shows and then to flea market booths.
"We were pulling in $3000-$5000 every Sunday afternoon. The demand was incredible,” Garrett recounts.
- Beyond the Weekly
- Annie Creamcheese
So they opened a tiny 400 square foot shop in North Virginia. One day, designer Nanette Lepore came in. “I knew then I could take it to the next level.”
The next level was a 3000 square foot store on M Street in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C. Rob Goldstein, the president of the Venetian, had a son enrolled at Georgetown University and a daughter at George Washington. His daughter shopped at Garrett and Annie’s boutique and told her parents about it. Soon the couple was invited to Vegas to set up a new shop inside the recently opened Palazzo - home to revered names like Fendi, Dior, Chloe and Barney’s.
Since then its been a whirlwind of publicity. An episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was filmed in their Vegas location, which opened in April, and Nicky Hilton has visited several times. Their flea market aesthetic continues, albeit improved: Every square inch, including the walls, ceiling and floor, covered in bright colors with whimsical accents. Currently, the couple is working on another shop in Beverly Hills and on developing online shopping function for their website.
“It’s hard to put new designers and no-name labels in here and mark them at $500 when you can get Michael Kors for the same price,” Garrett explains. “But people trust us because we stay ahead of the trend. A year and a half ago we stopped selling skulls, and we won’t be carrying peace signs much longer. People who shop us create the trends. You are not going to find Ed Hardy here. We look for unbelievable quality in both design and fabric. Vintage clothing is made so well.”
Via Garrett’s cell phone, I got the “what’s hot for fall” from Annie, who is across the country at the D.C. store.
Vinyl/leather leggings. Annie Creamcheese will soon stock two lines: 6126 by Lindsay Lohan and Factory Girl, a punk-rock line from L.A. Most are black and have details like patches and stickers.
Metallic chains. Silver is making a comeback while gold is on the way out. Metallic chains can be worn as necklaces or belts.
Feathers. At the end of September, the store will be full of feathered 1920s-style hats, headpieces and headbands. Feathered barrettes and feather dress accents are subtler options. Look for goose and ostrich.
Floral dresses. Big, beautiful, structured floral dresses are in fashion. However, they should be in dark colors like black, brown, dark purple and navy blue--not in pastels.
Leopard print. Annie: “Leopard print is so hot this season. Do it in unpredictable ways: shoes, a clutch, or a great leopard-print coat. Anything leopard print is a really good pick for fall.”