Anna Corinna, one half of womenswear design duo Foley + Corinna (foleyandcorinna.com), knew she was destined to buy and sell clothing and collectibles since she made her first vintage jewelry sale at ten years old while growing up in the Catskills. Her closet in the master bedroom of the tri-level Williamsburg house she shares with her artist husband, Peter Langway, and two sons, Decker (pictured) and Wolfie, evokes that spirit of collecting with a mishmash of mostly vintage jewelry, clothes and accessories. An alcove in the couple’s sleeping quarters proved to be the perfect place for a makeshift wardrobe after her husband claimed the only proper closet as his own. “Believe it or not, he has more clothes than me!” she swears.
“It’s literally the first thing I see when I wake up,” says Corinna of her walk-in wardrobe, which she admits is more aesthetically driven than functional. “I love setting things up. Half of it I might never wear, but it’s beautiful just to look at.” The space started with the vintage dresser from a now-closed Williamsburg shop, and is a constant work-in-progress. “It’s really fun to work on,” she says. “The things I buy look pretty together.” She keeps out-of-season clothing in bins in her basement.
A garment rack holds everyday threads, including Corinna’s collection of embroidered jean jackets—most of which hail from the now-defunct Annex Antiques Fair & Flea Market. “I like anything that has been touched or messed with—it adds character,” she notes, citing a 1950s Wrangler topper stitched with the California flag as “a favorite since it has the best fit.”
“My aunt was a sales rep [for William Ware Theiss] in the ’70s and my mom used to wear his stuff all the time,” says Corinna, referring to this colorful caftan by the late costume designer. She surmises that it probably came from a vintage shopping trip to L.A. with codesigner Dana Foley.
This Foley + Corinna sheer top is a special piece for the designer. “This is one of the first things I made [in 2003],” she notes. “We took Indian saris and scarves and made gorgeous silk tops.”
“Sometimes we make things and they become so popular, we never actually get to keep one,” jokes Corinna. Luckily, she was able to secure this beaded Foley + Corinna tank.
Corinna snagged this Asian-inspired room divider for a steal at the Annex Antiques Fair & Flea Market. She uses it to drape shawls picked up at flea markets, vintage stores and a recent trip to Hong Kong. “They make the best presents because one size fits all,” she explains. The screen rests behind a brocade pouf from Moroccan home-decor store Sheherazade(121 Orchard St between Delancey and Rivington Sts; 212-539-1771, sheherazadehome.com), which is covered with an ornate belt from the Pier Antiques Show (stellashows.com).
“My husband hates this box,” declares Corinna of the delicate Brimfield Antique Show find that serves purely decorative purposes. “I’m always yelling at people, ‘Don’t stand on the box!’ And they spill things on it and it wipes the finish away.” A no-name vintage bag, also from Brimfield, that Corinna jokes is “in admiration of Gucci” rests atop the beaten-up container.
These cross-body bags are samples from the Foley + Corinna Resort 2012 collection, and haven’t been released yet. “They wind up all over the house,” she admits, noting that she keeps them around because “I just like looking at them.”
Clutches sourced from places as varied as Chinatown and Corinna’s own line are scattered across another antique box from Brimfield. “I’m a sucker for beautiful, sparkly things,” she says.
“I’ve seen people put their shoes in boxes with a [Polaroid] picture on the outside—in my mind, that’s what I’m going to do some day,” says Corinna. “Right now, they just sit on the floor and get dusty. My sons like to wear them—these boys have great taste in shoes.” For the time being, the mostly vintage footwear is lined up on an antique bench that Corinna found at a yard sale in the Catskills.
Corinna scored these Bellini faux-snakeskin booties for $4 per pair when Foley + Corinna was selling its wares on HSN (hsn.com) with Lucky magazine. “HSN has this emporium where all the employees get to shop the leftover stuff at 80 percent off,” she explains.
Corinna nabbed these Susan Bennis beaded slingbacks during a Brimfield shopping weekend. “[The brand] made the most beautiful, exotic pieces,” she enthuses.
“These are the perfect pumps, but I hadn’t been able to wear them since my foot slips out,” says Corinna of these Proenza Schouler heels from high-end Los Angeles vintage boutique Decades (decadesinc.com). “Dana [Foley] had the idea of putting a ribbon [on the back] to tie them around my foot. Now they work.” She wore them to this year’s CFDA Awards with Foley + Corinna skinny cropped pants, a tiger-print dress coat from the forthcoming Holiday collection and lots of baubles.
“The Catskills is a great place to buy really country, pretty things,” says Corinna, motioning toward the cabinet she found while visiting family upstate. She repurposed the curio as an oversize jewelry box and keeps necklaces tangle-free by hanging them on its windows. A Native American headdress from the Brimfield Antique Show sits atop one of the Italian papier-mâché busts she salvaged from Foley + Corinna’s now-closed Lower East Side shop. “I like unusual, striking pieces,” she explains. “I love things that look handmade.”
“I collect jewelry boxes and they tend to be hand-painted or carved,” says Corinna, who uses them to store small rings and earrings. The painting is a DIY project. “I always wished I could paint, so this was my way of being an artist,” she explains. “I found prints I loved and painted over them to make them a little sparkly and sassier.”
Last summer, Corinna bought 25 pairs of 1970s deadstock sunglasses from friend Mago Watanabe, who co-owns Williamsburg boutique 10 Ft. Single by Stella Dallas(285 North 6th St between Havemeyer St and Meeker Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-486-9482). “My husband and I have fights over which ones are his and which ones are mine,” she jokes. They hang on a mirror along with a 1920s beaded garter from a now-closed vintage shop.
These Noir (noirjewelry.com) cocktail rings are a rare nonvintage purchase. “I love huge rings and even though these are new, I adore their Art Deco [style],” she says.
“Sometimes it’s hard to get dressed in the morning, but you can always put on some bracelets [to feel pulled together],” says Corinna. When she needs a jolt of color, she throws on these African wire bracelets from the Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show (manhattanvintage.com).
In 2010, local jewelry brand Fenton/Fallon (fallonjewelry.com) partnered with J.Crew (jcrew.com) on a line of edgy baubles. Corinna is a big fan of designer Dana Lorenz’s creations. “This is one of those pieces that makes you feel dressed up and kind of tough at the same time,” she explains. “You feel cool.”
“I love big pendants and I love butterflies,” enthuses Corinna of this whimsical necklace from her mother’s antique store, Andrea’s Antiques, in upstate New York. “It’s not just an accessory—it’s decorative.”
Corinna nabbed this no-label lace jacket at a flea market in Paris. “It’s equally as fabulous with slip dresses as it is with jeans,” she enthuses.
Her favorite NYC stores
Rainbowlocations throughout the city; visit rainbowshops.com
“Spending an amount of money involving a comma or just $9.99 makes me equally happy,” says Corinna, who satisfies her thrifty side with affordable footwear from this bargain chain.
Shareen Vintage13 W 17th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, second floor (212-206-1644, shareenvintage.com)
“[Owner Shareen Mitchell] has on-the-money fashion forecasting at totally doable prices,” gushes Corinna of this hidden boutique.
Showplace Antique and Design Center40 W 25th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-633-6063, nyshowplace.com)
Corinna scores art, home furnishings, jewelry and vintage threads at this massive flea market.