A few years ago, I had the exciting and extremely fun opportunity to model the lookbook for Gidgette Bardot, an online vintage shopping site set up and co-founded and run by the delightful and lively Osiris Navarro.
Talented in numerous ways and busy, busy, busy- I finally had a chance to get inside the mind of one of Seattle’s favorite vintage connoisseurs, Osiris- the great.
What was the moment you realized you had a serious passion for vintage?
I got really into thrifting at the age of 12. My older sister (the one I run GB with) was the one who taught me the ropes. We both got into after looking through our mom’s old photos from the 60s and 70s. We loved her style and outfits so much and wished she kept all those pieces.
How did you learn the ins and outs of different pieces, where they came from, and which era?
I’ve been collecting for over 10 years and you get used to styles, the fabrics, the shapes, the silhouettes. I’m also a classic movie junkie (30s-80s) so that has helped me a lot in dating. I also have a great network of other vintage sellers that help me out when I need a second opinion.
What are your favorite things about selling vintage?
I love the freedom and that i’m able to do this full time on my clock. I’m able to work anywhere with internet, go on road trips to buy pieces for the shop, and sometimes I get to wear clothes from my shop before I decide to sell it!
What is the most difficult aspect of being in the vintage market?
The most difficult part is the competition. Thrift shopping and treasure hunting has become more competitive in the last 5-6 years. I used to go to my usual spots and know everyone there and we’d all help one another find things, but now anyone and everyone is hunting and looking for the same thing. With sites like E-bay and Etsy there’s a lot more awareness of how much something is worth.
What is your favorite era?
My favorite era is the 1970s. It was such a hodgepodge of fashion from eras prior. And it was also the era where people would start wearing second hand clothing. So you had all these hippies in the early 70s wearing items from the 30s and 40s.
What prompted you to start Gidgette Bardot?
I’ve always worked in fashion. I had a desk job at a wholesale clothing company doing operations. It was fun and I learned a lot but it was not very creative. On my free time I was a freelance stylist. As a stylist I wanted to source unique one of a kind pieces for certain shoots. From there my collection grew. My sister and I both were vintage clothing collectors and we knew we would end up on Hoarders if we didn’t do something about our closets.
How would you describe a “Gidgette Bardot” woman?
She’s creative, quirky, and unconventional. She’s a maker, a muse. I have a #mondaymuse on my Instagram (@gidgettebardot) every week and each woman I know personally. Having these women in mind helps a lot when I’m out shopping.
Do you ever find it difficult seeing other sellers hawking items that aren’t really vintage but claim it to be so?
It’s annoying to see so many people who are uneducated about vintage do this. Even Free People and Anthropologie do this. I don’t mind if something is from the 90s or early 00s, just as long as it’s cute and the titles are honest and the price reasonable.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style varies. Sometimes if you see me out at the grocery store, grabbing coffee, or running errands you wouldn’t think twice that someone like me has over 1,000 dresses. I’m on the road a lot these days so I have to be comfortable before stylish. But when I do go out, I like to wear black leggings, a loose fitting vintage top, a leather motorcycle jacket, Doc Martens, with a black Stetson hat.
Do you have a favorite piece you’ve ever sold or just won’t sell because you love it so much?
I have way too many favorites. Right now my most coveted piece is a 1970′s fitted leather motorcycle jacket that just fits me perfectly!
What is your least favorite current trend?
“Gothic” street wear. Upside crosses, pentagrams, etc. The dark side with heavy symbolism. I’m also not a huge fan of girl power clothing lines with bad attitude phrases on them- haha.
What are your interests outside of vintage and Gidgette Bardot?
Oh god, my first love before fashion is food! My partner and I are always cooking something up in the kitchen. I usually come up with the ideas and meal plans, he will cook and execute. I also love camping, the outdoors, road trips. I have a background in web design so when I’m behind the computer it’s doing design for the shop or for clients. I’m also very family oriented, so if I’m not on the road, working, or with my man, I want to be with my sisters, their kids, and my parents.
Who are some of your fashion inspirations?
Salvador Dali is one of my biggest inspirations right now. He was an all around artist from painting, photography, and fashion design. He loved collaborations and working with others and that’s something I want to eventually do. I want GB to evolve into more than just a vintage shop.
If you have advice for anyone starting their own small business, what would it be?
Sell what you love and have fun with it. I started doing this as a hobby and have been lucky enough to do this full time. It’s good to try different things to see what works and what doesn’t.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
I get to do everything I love all in one job. Graphic design, curating, shopping, and networking. I love the freedom and feel incredibly blessed!
Seems to me Osiris herself encompasses just what a Gidgette Bardot gal is- check out her site and follow her instagram for some delightful pieces, further insight into her passions, and continuous WANT for pretty things of the yesteryear.