Animals Ask People: Amy Yee of Maeven

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If you love vintage clothing and accessories as much as I do, you know that it can be really difficult to find a store or seller that matches your taste. Maeven is like the rare vintage unicorn I’ve been seeking all my life – the selection is big, but not overwhelmingly so and everything is so well-chosen, so well-organized and so, dareisay, “on trend” that sometimes I forget it’s even vintage! For this installment of Animals Ask People, I talked to the awesome and talented maven of Maeven – Amy Yee!

Tell us about Maeven and why it rules.
After buying & selling vintage and designer clothes for 15 years as a hobby, I took the plunge and launched Maeven (shopmaeven.com) in 2012. I’m thankful everyday that I get to fill my days doing what I love. As a shopper, I know how great it is to find special things and hopefully I can help my customers do just that. Sourcing vintage and coming across all different materials, textures, cuts and colors is infinitely inspiring especially when you can start to see the connections in trends and current designs. I spend a lot of time in my studio prepping pieces for sale, doing everything from styling and photographing each piece to sewing – both in restoring and reworking pieces so that they are ready to wear.

What do you like most about your neighborhood?
I’m in love with my neighborhood, Williamsburg, but also Brooklyn as a whole. I’ve been here so long it just feels like home. Brooklyn is an amazing place and in a state of constant change. There are things going on all the time, with the most talented people across all walks of life residing here. It’s colorful, it’s rich and there’s history here.

What’s your favorite spot to eat in your neighborhood?
This is complicated as I’ve recently discovered many food allergies and can’t eat most things. So, pretending I wasn’t, a perfect day of eating would include Saltie’s Ship’s Biscuit for breakfast (eggs and ricotta on salted focaccia, yum), La Superior’s assortment of tacos for lunch, everything on the menu at Fatty Cue for dinner, and lastly, Van Leeuwen’s earl grey ice cream for dessert.

What’s your favorite accessory?
Hands down my engagement ring, which most days I wear instead of my wedding band. To be fair, my husband designed it.

What’s the current banger that you can’t stop listening to?
I’m going to unironically admit that I listen to a lot of Hot 97 and Power 105. I may not know who I’m listening to, but if it’s a mid tempo beat, I’m happy. To choose one thing though, the new Kanye West is incredible, especially when played very loud.

Read anything good lately?
Most of my “reading” comes from audio books. There is a lot of busy work involved in my business, which means I’m always listening to something while I work. I’m close to being finished with Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom”, and I’m pretty obsessed with Alec Baldwin’s “Here’s the Thing” podcast from WNYC.

Do you have an artist that you love that you want to tell the world about?
Before Maeven, I spent many years in the art world. I worked at Lennon, Weinberg, a gallery in Chelsea for 5 years and was fortunate enough to meet and work with one of my now favorite artists, Harriet Korman. Her pure abstract paintings are minimal, but bold, stunning in person and if given some time, they reveal themselves in the best ways.

One designer to rule them all?
That is an impossible question to answer, but one of the reasons I love my job so much is that I get to pick the best pieces from almost any designer, regardless of their notoriety or fame. One of my favorite moments is when I discover a new-to-me designer and then get to go and learn all about him or her, and seriously wormhole their history and pieces.

Speaking of wormholes, you are guaranteed to enter one at shopmaeven.com. Thank us later…