Anna Shay Wasden
Imagine a woman picking out a sexy dress to welcome her husband home after a long trip in the 1970s, or putting on the perfect skirt for a sock hop in the 1950s. Vintage clothing is steeped in mystery and history, and learning or dreaming about it is half the charm of wearing it. Tucked away in Eastbrook Flea Market and Antique Mall, Kynard Korner Vintage Boutique holds decades of stories threaded into silk, taffeta and polyester just waiting for the right person to come along and discover them. If you thought Kynard Korner was a thrift store, think again.
Owner Nina Vickrey Kynard began selling antiques and other items in 2000, but in 2004 she found her calling as a vintage fashion vendor after her son’s grandmother’s passing. Nina found many of her clothes to still be in great condition and realized how unmatched the quality of vintage clothing is by that of modern day clothes… it was constructed to last. These days clothing is cheaper to make but not always cheaper to own, and wearing vintage allows people to experience true luxury production at a less-than-luxury price.
It started with only a few racks, and Nina saw a great amount a reception from her customers. Montgomery was looking for vintage and Nina was the woman who could give it to them. Nina only sells quality clothing, not just to be worn as costume, but to be loved as part of your wardrobe. Vintage is bursting with whimsical details in the prints, the pin tucks and the buttons that can’t be reproduced, which is why Nina searches far and wide for one-of-a-kind and designer clothing for her boutique. She is often contacted directly by people interested in selling items that they have saved from their mothers’ and fathers’ closets or their own collection of vintage clothing.
Kynard Korner is a proud member of the Vintage Fashion Guild ™, an international council of vintage sellers, stylists, designers, fashion editors, writers, journalists, vintage-related bloggers, curators, researchers, historians, and librarians of fashion history. Nina is always looking for the next great buy, often searching for brands such as Vera, Bob Mackie, and Chanel. She highlights men’s clothing as the most difficult to find in good condition, due to the endurance of men’s styles and their ability to wear clothes to their full capacity.
The Kynard Korner owner is well-versed in the history of American fashion, particularly in the 20th century. She often researches the subject and has even had articles published in renowned fashion magazines. “The 1960’s was the most interesting decade in clothing. It started out very tailored and refined then closed out really funky and fun. That is the decade that changed the most in a short time.” She notes the onset of the 1960s fashion with Jackie Kennedy at its head: pill box hats and tailored suits were all the rage. But, as the Beatles came to light, the “London Look” came about with knee high boots and shift dresses. Finally, the iconic bell bottom and psychedelic prints ended the century. She laughs at the influence that the '60s and '70s have on today’s style. Fashion truly does go around, putting an even greater importance on the preservation of vintage clothing.
Nina’s love of vintage clothing has brought many exciting adventures into her day-to-day life. “I continue to be inspired by the blending of history and the hunt for interesting and unique clothing and accessories. I have been able to donate some 30’s era clothing to The Fitzgerald Museum. These were items that I couldn’t sell due to damage but wanted to find a way to preserve them.”
Kynard Korner’s collection has been a source for many stores across the Southeast, including locations like New Orleans, Atlanta, and Birmingham. Nina has assisted several costume designers as they come to Kynard Korner in search of period pieces for their upcoming show or movie. In fact, Nina met the costume designer for “Honey Dripper,” a drama set in 1950s Alabama. The clothing pieces she provided enhanced the authenticity of this production. Others tell stories of making new friends or having interesting conversations with strangers. There is something special about dressing in a way that reaches out to others without having to say a word. Vintage clothing is wonderfully nostalgic and invites meaningful conversation in ways that modern clothing cannot.
The boutique’s client base has a few household names on it including Naomi Rougeau, the fashion news editor for ELLE Magazine and Kid Rock, the rock singer. Nina works as business manager for a nonprofit but can often be found in the store on weekends, helping her customers find their ideal vintage look. When you invest in a vintage garment, you can rest assured that you will never walk into a room to find another person wearing the same. Nina values the hands-on work ethic and cherishes the feeling of connecting a piece of clothing to its new owner. She thanks her close friends, Frances Walker, Becky Cason, and Charmaine Knight who assist her with inventory, display, and repairs.
Her prices are unmatched, passing the savings onto the customer by remaining a vendor in Eastbrook. Kynard Korner is located in two locations of the flea market including the main floor and the basement. The store is currently the largest vintage provider in Central Alabama. Although online sales aren’t a reality yet, Nina admits that this may be something she looks toward in the future. Kynard Korner can be found on Facebook and located inside Eastbrook Flea Market in Montgomery. Stop by to find your own unique treasure. Even if you can’t trace the origin, it takes only a drop of imagination to create those special stories yourself.
Kynard Korner 425 Coliseum Boulevard, Montgomery, AL