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Stylist Subrina Heyink Takes Us to Vintage School

Subrina Heyink, who grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, moved to the U.S. to live with her mother and go to college for chemistry. Heyink says she always felt pressure from her family to enter the sciences, but eventually dropped out to pursue her passion—fashion. “In my culture, fashion isn’t prestigious enough,” Heyink explained.

Heyink, 25, is now a successful fashion stylist, vintage shop owner, and mother of a toddler. She starting styling in 2014 and opened her own eponymous vintage store in early 2017. We spoke with the female powerhouse about her unique career path and her advice for the vintage-loving man.

 

Tell us about your journey to become a stylist. It’s not a career that happens overnight. 

I was working for this boutique. I started doing things like ordering clothing that we didn’t have for clients. Most of the things that we had in our store wouldn’t look good on their figure. I didn’t even know what the job title entailed. After doing that for six months, it wasn’t fulfilling enough. I started doing styling on the side for pregnant moms and post-partum ladies. It was kind of on and off. And then, that’s when I transitioned into vintage.

How did your passion for vintage clothing develop? 

I had this weird period where I decided to have a child and I was wearing men’s clothing. I just didn’t know what to wear most of the time. My body just completely changed and I didn’t know how to dress it for a long time. Then I signed up for Instagram, where I found this vintage shop, and I would just buy and buy and buy. It was a way of trying things out, but not having such high costs.

What’s your favorite aspect of vintage clothing? 

I personally don’t care for my items to be in top shape, I love a story. The price is not a factor. To me, it’s the story. There’s always something in there. For clothes, I love the stitching. I love the structure. I love the tags of vintage clothing. You can kind of see the history of the designer, how the tags have changed.

What is your experience with selling or styling clients in menswear?

I haven’t had the chance to style men. That’s kind of what I’m working right now. I always style women in men’s clothes. My go-to things in menswear are button-down shirts.

What’s a quintessential vintage staple that every man should own?

A really good vintage suit. I get very emotional when I think of men’s suits. If every man could walk around in a suit, the world would be much better. With men, I love a really good Gucci suit, and Calvin Klein and YSL.

 

Can you provide some tips for men who want to incorporate vintage pieces into their spring wardrobes?

  • The first thing would be just keeping your mind open because with vintage while you have to keep your mind open, you also have to be intentional. Be intentional with what you want.
  • Learn to layer your clothing.
  • Tailoring. “If you find a big and amazing trouser but they don’t fit you, take them to a tailor. I think some of my favorite men’s style icons that I love are the one’s that tailor garments to their bodies.
  • Do some research. If you have the budget for it, don’t get swallowed up by the pricing of things. I went to this trade show and I found this amazing Jean Paul Gaultier suit. When you find that thing, don’t walk away from it.

 

What are some of your favorite vintage destinations? 

I don’t go to vintage stores anymore. I haven’t been to one since last year. I mostly buy vintage from the underground places that vintage sellers know. I could share where I buy vintage, but I’d have to close down my shop.


You can visit Subrina’s curated vintage collection here.

Words by: Hayley Lind


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