Maria Barraco would be the first to tell you that she loves animals -- but her business, Animal Vintage, has nothing to do with the furry or feathered kind.
Instead, she said, the name came from her passion for fashion, and evolved from a nickname a friend had given her – Shopping Animal, because she shopped non-stop – when she took on buying and selling vintage clothing and accessories as a career.
“I’ve been doing this for 27 years, since I was a teenager,” said the Plantation native, who lived in New York and worked as a fashion stylist before moving back to South Florida in 2015. Now, with the opening of the Animal Vintage showroom at 2140 Tyler Street, she’s taking it full time. With her life and business partner, muralist Jon Olson, she’s expanding the brand from an Etsy shop to a full website and a physical showroom, right here in Downtown Hollywood.
“We really love Downtown Hollywood,” she enthused. “It's so charming and it definitely has vintage vibes. It’s also the perfect location between Fort Lauderdale and Miami.”
The covered windows of the new showroom belie the excitement inside, where vintage fashion lovers can come to buy or sell treasures from the Animal Vintage finely-curated selection of apparel and accessories, almost all of them from the 1940s to the 1980s.
Barraco and Olsen frequently travel the country, to fashion and trade shows and on shopping trips, to add to their unique collection. In addition, they’re always interested in seeing items available for sale privately.
Some of the items recently available in the Animal Vintage Etsy shop included a ‘70s knit and fringe sweater vest from Miss Joann California for $96, a Gucci monogram leather handbag from the ‘80s for $244, and a Betsey Johnson floral mini dress from the ‘90s for $146.
Visits to the Animal Vintage showroom are by appointment only; contact Barraco at 917-684-8873 or via email at email@example.com. Free parking is available at the showroom.
To see what’s currently in stock, visit their Etsy shop at AnimalVintageMiami. You can also check out some of the new styles on Instagram at AnimalVintage.