The Vintage Hunt: Unis
Unis Lee has been a fixture in New York’s Nolita neighborhood since she first opened her eponymous clothing line, Unis, over 10 years ago on the famous corner of Prince and Elizabeth street. She designs for men, and she knows them well, with her classic Gio chinos that has followers addicted to her cuts. GQ named her one of the Top 5 Menswear Designers in 2010 with the likes of Billy Reid and… [MORE] Richard Chai. Recently, she opened her second store on South La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles, thus creating a second hangout with benches for the neighborhood’s hippest. Her guilty pleasure? Vintage. Unis is a master at second-hand finds. We asked her a few questions about her eBay finds, and the growing business including a fresh e-commerce site.
Jauretsi: How would you describe your menswear line and the type of man who wears UNIS?
Unis: I think the line is very similar to the man who wears it: it’s tasteful, modern and functional. All of our pieces are tailored and fitted, yet comfortable and easy to move around in. They’re also built to last a lifetime. These are big draws to our customers.
Q: After having a store in Nolita for a decade, you finally opened last year in LA and developed an e-commerce site. Now that UNIS is expanding, Do you find the online aspect of your store a major focus of the business?
A: Yes, definitely. I’ve always joked that www should stand for “Wild, Wild West”. But, in the last year, I feel like I’ve really gotten a handle on the online side of things. And I’m happy about that. I appreciate the immediacy of the web.
Q: What are your favorite basic mens pieces that are worth searching in vintage?
Q: Any good finds from eBay?
(Photo Credit: Jake Davis. Follow Unis on Tumblr)