WINCHESTER — Not too way back, Alexandra Archibald was rooting round in a field at a warehouse sale in Pennsylvania when she unearthed a 1960s Lanvin shirt-costume on the backside.
The high-fashion “tremendous uncommon” classic outfit — with tie belt connected — was in mint situation.
Figuring out that Lanvin sells its apparel for as much as hundreds of , Archibald couldn’t assist however be ecstatic.
‘‘I felt like my coronary heart stopped when I discovered it,” mentioned the 2001 Handley Excessive Faculty grad.
The outfit then adopted the identical trajectory as so many others that Archibald finds — from dingy field to scrub, mended and displayed in Archibald’s on-line classic retailer, petite tenue.
“It’s kinda like treasure looking for me,” she mentioned of her course of.
After graduating from Handley, Archibald, 33, attended Graham Webb Academy in Arlington to check hair. She moved to New York Metropolis upon ending, the place she performed in a band and did hair and fashion gigs.
The on-line classic retailer petite tenue —which in French means “small outfit” — started as a weblog the place Archibald featured 35mm self-portraits of herself sporting classic clothes she’d discovered. However it wasn’t lengthy earlier than she constructed up a following of ladies who had been in discovering out about her found fashions and whether or not they had been on the market.
So Archibald took it upon herself to go digging round at property gross sales and in warehouses throughout the nation for classic clothes of all shapes and sizes. She discovered gross sales via Craigslist, native newspapers and phrase of mouth, and after discovering the garments, she’d mend and clear them to promote on her web site.
“I grew to become a specialist at cleansing delicate outdated materials,” she mentioned. “I mend and repair all the things up.”
She at the moment sells clothes from the ‘20s to the ‘80s however sticks largely to the mod-’60s and the Jane Birkin section of the ‘70s. Her company’s tagline is “classic for babes.”
“As a result of anybody is usually a babe,” she mentioned.
Archibald now takes her act on the street in the type of a 25-foot-Airstream trailer, which serves as each a pop-up store and a everlasting residence.
She has traveled in all places from Texas to Minnesota, pulling over in campgrounds and cities to promote her wares. She stimulates gross sales via social media and goes the place the climate appeals to her or the place she may like to go to subsequent. She lately stopped at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.
On the finish of the day, it’s commonplace for Archibald to arrange her trailer at a campground, take heed to a report and have a glass of wine.
The new gig additionally permits her to work together along with her prospects face-to-face.
“It’s a very cool expertise,” she mentioned. “Individuals get excited at a retailer inside a trailer.”
It additionally appeals to the dreamer in her. Rising up, Archibald at all times discovered herself dwelling outdoors the everyday teenage field, listening to outdated data of her father’s and watching outdated films, like these of Alfred Hitchcock.
“I like freedom and independence,” she mentioned. “The brick-and-mortar retailer was by no means going to be a match for me. I by no means wished to do a 9-5 job. I wished to see the world, meet folks and do new issues.”
In July, she is going to set out along with her boyfriend in the Airstream on a gross sales journey throughout the nation and down the Pacific Coast Freeway. Each have bought their flats in Brooklyn, with the notion that in the event that they like a spot, they may contemplate settling there.
“I discovered that I really like being on the street,” Archibald mentioned. “I really like loopy and spontaneous issues coming at me.”
Archibald’s mom and step-father are Blair and Larry Belkin, of Winchester, and her father is George Archibald, of Berryville.