By Claudie Benjamin

Vintage is embraced with joie de vivre by Nichole Sesti and Nick Sparacio, owners of The Niche Shop. The secondhand clothing shop opened its Upper West Side location at 2206 Broadway on September 8. The couple’s first The Niche Shop opened in April 2022 on the Upper East Side, and continues to thrive at 331 East 81st Street. Customers for women’s and unisex vintage secondhand and selected housewares have been coming there “from all over but especially from the West Side.” So, they’ve exuberantly pursued opening the Broadway spot.

The business grew out of Nichole’s love of vintage and secondhand clothing shopping for herself. When her typically small “New York closet” became overstuffed, she started selling at street fairs. She brought that business online and then embarked on the brick-and-mortar challenge. Nick has a full-time job in finance and handles the business’ administrative work.

What makes The Niche Shop distinctive is the personal curation of garments by Nichole. “We carry a large range of sizing, and I buy items according to if I think they are cute and would wear them, regardless of size. The shop is kind of an extension of my closet.” She enjoys combining vintage finds from different eras and styles, wearing, for example, casual brightly flowered 70s slacks with a glamorous ivory sequined cardigan sweater.

The West Side store (as on the East Side) is decorated with personal, whimsical decorative elements, including “lots of touches of pink.” Decorative curiosities that are for sale include prints and photos framed minimally in white or more intricately in gold. The effect encourages customers not only to locate wearable vintage with special cachet but also to take home for their walls a bit of an artistic treasure that speaks to them.

Clothes tend to fly out of the store, and new items replace them every single day. Buying clothes at this time of the year comes along with a bit of a question. That’s because customers interested both in unique finds and sustainability are trying to figure out what can make the transition into fall and then work in various layering combinations as the weather gets cooler.

What styles are attracting customers? Leather jackets are a good bet to be ready for fall, and “we always have a lot of bright colors and patterns,” said Nichole. Coach and Dooney & Bourke are timeless and always in demand. Being surprised and finding something at a good price is always part of the passion for thrifting, as well as feeling very good about reusing something that still offers a lot of life.

A small staff is always on hand to give advice and make suggestions. Nichole has curated many pop-up events around the city and the Upper East Side The Niche Shop has hosted local designers and also partnered with a coffee shop to serve customers coffee, and hosted a skilled embroiderer available to personalize a purchase with a customer’s initials.

“We’re so excited to be on the Upper West Side and to be part of the community,” said Nichole.

A small part of the collection is posted for purchase online and may be shipped anywhere in the United States.

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