The '90s are alive and well in Brian Procell's New York City vintage store...
BRIAN PROCELL looks a bit like a hunter-gatherer with his full beard and backpack covered in Turkish kilim (a special-edition Purple label North Face)—it’s fitting, considering the day’s plans include hitting up New York’s best flea markets to replenish Procell, his popular Lower East Side vintage shop. “Looking at me, you’d never guess I was obsessed with DKNY bicycle shorts,” he jokes, walking up to the West 25th Street Market, where two old friends recognize him and promptly stroll over. They embrace and share memories of a long-ago party. “I remember getting really high with Dizzee Rascal,” says Procell, laughing. “I slept in a Bronco!” Sniffing around for sartorial relics—like the bright blue cap with a rainbow Apple logo that he recently posted to his Instagram (which prompted an “oh i love that” from Cara Delevingne)—is a seven-days-a-week operation for Procell. “People put their best shit out on Saturday,” he explains, surveying a table of sun-dappled curios. He’ll usually pull about four pieces per trip. “If what I carry existed in abundance, I wouldn’t be who I am.” In addition to running the shop, Procell has consulted for Marc Jacobs, curated for Opening Ceremony, and styled Rihanna. At the moment, the street aesthetic he’s most excited about embraces saturated colors, clean lines, logos, and numbers, but his bread and butter is cult classics. His secret: filling his 200-square-foot shop with time-tested pieces, like old-school rock and hip-hop shirts, “items that have already done all the legwork,” he explains. “They sell themselves.” Procell pulls a Harley-Davidson mock turtleneck from a rack and twists the hem of its neckline. “These are coming back,” he says. “It’s too progressive for Harley to make something like this now.” He flips past a stack of green jerseys in an open suitcase to find a blue basketball jersey. “Oh, this is dope,” he says. “Yeah, I’ll definitely grab this.” He’ll take it to his tailor, who will crop it—Miley Cyrus wore one of his Chicago Bulls jerseys with the same update. “When something like that happens, I know I have to start stocking up on them,” he says. The next market we hit is the Antiques Garage, located, appropriately, in a parking garage. He makes a beeline to one of his favorite vendors, Ziegfried, where he spots a Mary Quant denim jacket. “Super rare,” he says. “Look at this detail. It’s a work of art.” The designer is a mod-era legend, but Procell doubts anyone under 20 would be familiar with her work. “I don’t think anyone under 40 years old knows who that is,” concurs Ziegfried. Procell has a cool-hunter’s instinct, but his taste took years to cultivate. When he was younger, he’d take the train into New York on the weekends from Elizabeth, New Jersey, and run with a graffiti crew. Back at home, he’d study the fashion in magazines, catalogs, and films. His entire personal history informs his impeccably curated, shoppable museum. “As a kid growing up with nothing, I became obsessed with everything,” he says. Speaking of obsessed, what ever happened to the blue cap with the Apple logo? “Of course that didn’t last,” he says with a laugh. He paid $3 for it and sold it for $68. But good luck finding another one, warns Procell. “If you want it, you’ll have to come see me every day.” -words by Ashley Hoffman -photos by Brad Ogbonna