What comes to mind when you think of Vintage Taos style?
by Jocelyne Kizziar
If your answer is that it’s more of a feeling and an ode to an older way of life, then you are on the right track.
Southwest style is as unique as the area and as unique as the person styling it. It takes its cue from the many cultures and traditions that have survived for hundreds of years in Northern New Mexico.
And while there are many great places to find unique vintage and contemporary designs in the area, here are four stores to visit this summer to help you add a little Southwest Vintage flair to your outfit or home.
A true “Southwest Vintage” store, People of the Valley has a beautifully curated space in Cabot Plaza off of Kit Carson Road. Their selection of vintage southwest clothing includes offerings for both men and women from the past century. An outstanding collection of vintage cowboy boots and hats are worth the trip alone, but you’ll also want to look at their jewelry case, with both vintage and newer silver and turquoise accessories. They also have contemporary lifestyle lines which include candles and skincare, if you are looking for hip gifts for yourself or a loved one.
Just across the street, and next to World Cup Coffee, is the newly opened vintage store, Steel Magnolias. Just a few steps into the door and you are met with a rack of great condition pearl snap western shirts alongside vintage leather jackets and vests. Along the back wall, you’ll find shelves of “brand new, lightly worn, and aged” cowboy boots of every style. They also offer contemporary jewelry, scarves and carvings made by area locals and “cowgirls from the southwest.” You’ll also want to walk around and check out the self-described “American Pickers” style antiques and oddities.
Heading north onto Highway 150, no visit to Arroyo Secco is complete without popping into Arroyo Secco Mercantile. The building that houses the mercantile was originally built in the late 1800s as a General Store, and entering this shop feels a little bit like stepping back in time. They have newer gift and clothing items, most sourced from local suppliers, but you’ll want to keep an eye out for their vintage cookware, Navajo serapes and jewelry. Also, be sure to head upstairs to look over a room full of antique furniture if you want a truly unique piece from the area.
And last but not least, to get an authentic taste of vintage southwest, visit Chimayo Trading Del Norte in the Ranchos Plaza next to St. Francis de Asis church. This fine art gallery offers authentic Navajo, Hopi and Zuni pottery, weavings and painting that call back to the historic nature of the over 250-year-old plaza building. While you are there, check out the cases and cases of vintage turquoise and silver jewelry mixed with more contemporary pieces as well. The gallery and trading post takes up two large areas of the plaza and houses an impressively large inventory of fine art, both historic and new.