Hi! My name is Laura, and I am the founder of Desert Belle Vintage, located in sunny Arizona. Originally from the Southeastern United States, I moved to Arizona in 2013 and enthusiastically went from Southern Belle to Desert Belle!
With a Fine Arts and Film background and degree with honors from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, I am passionate about design, fashion, art and cinema. I have always been drawn to art direction and costuming in stage and film and love how the proper sets and outfits truly transport film-goers into other places and time periods. I not only appreciate the arts but also take part in the creative process as I am a self-taught artist that paints and draws in my spare time.
I became enthralled with vintage clothing over 20 years ago while searching for a 1960’s mod dress for an Austin Powers themed party. My hunt for a 60’s mod dress led me to finding a gorgeous 1950’s floral sundress. It was fate that my search led me to that special dress because my admiration for vintage clothing was born that day! While I source, collect and preserve top-quality vintage clothing and accessories from all decades, I have a particular fondness for 1950’s dresses due to their whimsical and feminine prints, flattering silhouettes and impeccable quality and construction. Whether it be a 1950’s or 1990’s dress, I meticulously care for each and every one of my vintage garments and ardently work to preserve my rare fashion treasures so future generations can appreciate and enjoy the styles of our past. I have spent countless hours on education devoted to fashion history, differences in fabrics and their required care, fashion designers, garment construction and the differences in vintage ready-to-wear, demi-couture and couture clothing. Every day to me is a new vintage adventure, and I love continually learning about vintage and finding those rare, elusive pieces to share.
I founded Desert Belle Vintage in 2018 out of a desire to share my love of fashion and vintage with others and to inspire fashionistas of all ages to embrace your own singular look and live and dress boldly with vintage. The majority of my personal closet includes vintage clothing and accessories. I love my style “with a twist” in that I aim to mix contemporary, modern fashion with vintage in a way that is fresh yet timeless. The Desert Belle Vintage Blog is a celebration of my personal style and showcases outfit inspirations, collaborations, noteworthy designers (both vintage and non) and ideas for mixing vintage with new. My personal style mantra: Add at least one piece of vintage to every outfit!
Varying arguments are made by vintage aficionados and collectors as to how old something has to be to be considered vintage. The general consensus is that something has to be at least 20 years old to be considered vintage. Throughout my fashion-loving life and hours of education on clothing, I have found that every historical decade from the 1800s to the 1990s and into the 21st Century has offered fashionistas gorgeous, well-made and timeless pieces. For modern 21st Century goods that I believe are constructed just as well as their vintage counterparts, I write a blog series called “The Future Vintage.” In this series I pay tribute to the brilliant designers of today that are offering these collectible worthy, quality goods, and I feature one or more examples of the clothing or accessories I am honoring with “The Future Vintage” title.
I take great pride in the Desert Belle Vintage online Shop being a white-glove vintage boutique offering a discerningly edited, exclusive selection of crème de la crème vintage fashion. “Crème de la crème vintage” to me does not only mean top-name vintage designer garments, although Desert Belle Vintage definitely has those, but it also includes and applies to rare fabrics, fabric patterns, novelty prints and motifs. In today’s vintage fashion market, an extraordinary vintage ready-to-wear novelty print dress is just as rare and difficult to come by as many preeminent vintage designer ensembles.
You will find that the Desert Belle Vintage Shop is not about quantity of vintage clothing but quality. Over 20+ years of collecting, research and study have gone into the Desert Belle Vintage Collection offered for sale in the Shop. All garments offered for sale at Desert Belle Vintage are original vintage garments that were sewn and constructed in their noted decades. Every single garment is thoroughly scrutinized, examined and authenticated before sale. Items are listed one-at-a-time and offered for sale on a first come, first served basis. New vintage items when available are added to the shop on Thursdays.
I have personally sourced and purchased each and every item that you see in the Desert Belle Vintage Shop. I curate the shop with the same fastidious attention to detail that I bestow upon my own closet, ensuring all items sold are exceptional and rare wearable vintage treasures. I meticulously care for all pieces and give careful attention to the preservation of each item. Vintage clothing is special and unique and should be regarded and most importantly respected as such. All items sold through Desert Belle Vintage are professionally, speciality dry cleaned or cleaned by hand with the exception of certain unworn, deadstock pieces and pieces that are very delicate or very old. Spot cleaning is completed on a case-by-case basis for delicate items. Each garment is thoroughly examined before sale to make sure it is wearable for its new owner. Buttons, seams, hems, zippers and embellishments are checked. I am picky, and if an item does not make the cut, then it is not offered for sale. Every item’s listing includes a detailed condition report. On the rare occasion that an item is listed in “Good” or “Fair” condition, it is being listed because it is a remarkably rare piece with a collectible value and perfect for possible study and/or display.
The Desert Belle Vintage Boutique Collection includes quality clothing from the 1940s through 1990s, with a rare selection of spectacular 1950’s dresses. In the Desert Belle Vintage Collection, you will find garments from notable designers such as Adele Simpson, Don Loper, Emma Domb, Geoffrey Beene, Harvey Berin, Peggy Hunt, Suzy Perette and Teal Traina, just to name a few. Items are being listed gradually as they are photographed and made ready for the shop, so please look out for new additions.
Since many hours of care, examination and preservation have gone into and are continually invested in the Desert Belle Vintage Collection, items are packaged elegantly and carefully in shipping boxes (no flimsy shipping envelopes!) and expertly shipped to their new homes. Like a fine garment being sewn by hand piece by piece, Desert Belle Vintage stays with and monitors an item’s “adoption” from start to finish, conscientiously ensuring all steps of the order process are completed successfully and to a level of detail only Desert Belle Vintage can provide.
Because I personally source each and every shop item, I handpick vintage garments that I would personally wear due to their rare collectibility, femininity, chicness and exemplary designs. Finding rare vintage clothing for the shop is fun and challenging, but nothing brings me more pleasure than matching those marvelous garments with new fashionable owners. A personalized vintage shopping experience is just one of the many features that sets Desert Belle Vintage apart from other online vintage sellers. I view myself not only as a vintage fashion purveyor but also as a vintage + modern fashion stylist. I love to answer questions about my vintage treasures and help clients find that perfect outfit. Unsure about which shoe or purse to wear with a Desert Belle Vintage purchase? I happily assist customers in completing their “look” by suggesting modern separates or accessories that coordinate beautifully with their vintage purchases.
Wearing vintage is a magical experience, and I am thrilled to share that journey with you! Please reach out to ask any questions, share comments or to simply say hello. I look forward to hearing from you!