It's always a beautiful thing when you find that special person that will not only put up with you but truly share in your passion and interest Kenyan Lewis was a visual merchandiser for Earnest Sewn and avid vintage collector Grace Kelsey are that very pair. The two met five years ago and it was a wrap, drawn to each other by a shared love of all things old, weathered, and storied.
After living the storage confines of New York's Lower East Side 3 years ago Kenyan and Grace made the move to Accord, N.Y., about two and a half hours north of Manhattan.
Their home filled with incredible vintage finds that would make the most jaded collector scream with excitement: suitcases, blankets, Popular Mechanics magazines and Montgomery Ward catalogs, radios, speakers, electric fans, clocks — and, of course, clothes.
Their collection of early fashion and accessories stretches from the late 1800s to the early 1900s fills five closets. Each month, the pair take road trips hunting for props, vintage clothing, and furniture. Their joint business, By Kenyan, provides merchandise from the late 1800s to the forties to retail stores and restaurants embracing the throwback Americana trend. Though they’ve worked with retailers and designers like Polo Ralph Lauren, Wool & the Gang, Alice Roi, Save Khaki, House of Waris and the Gap. For the first time they’re making their rare finds available to individual enthusiasts online with a partnership with Lower East Side boutique Gargyle featuring small selection of vintage housewares and décor.
By Kenyan are launching their own e-commerce site this summer, featuring a rotating cache of 50-odd items. We caught up with the vintage mavens to discuss their favorite vintage sources and "lived-in" style.
Services provided By Kenyan: prop styling, visual merchandising, interior design, prop rentals, personal furniture shopping, home merchandising service, vintage sign painting and more.