This Is Rutherford
This is Lórien Vintage
By Tracy Leigh
Rutherford resident, Mary Lou Murillo was looking forward to spring time at her new storefront, Lórien Vintage on 92 Park Avenue, formerly Harpy art gallery. What she didn't anticipate was the mandatory closure of retail stores and having to pivot her business to online retail.
Mary Lou and her husband, William, have been Rutherford residents for 3 years now. Formerly of Hasbrouck Heights, Mary Lou has fond memories of going to the Williams Center as a child. TIR had the opportunity to catch up with new store owner, Mary Lou and learn more about Lórien Vintage.
TIR: Congratulations on your new business! Please give us some background/history on Lórien Vintage.
Mary Lou Murillo: The idea for Lórien Vintage was born years ago when I began undergraduate studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and knew that I would one day love to run a shop, sourcing vintage clothing and textiles; it has really been a lifelong dream. That dream took a circuitous route as I changed career paths to study Anthropology and found a career in a large museum managing the collection of ethnographic and archaeological textiles. My experience with textiles there, along with a love of vintage, fashion and clothing as a means of cultural expression, has really informed the creation of Lórien Vintage and its ethos.
My husband Will and I were given an amazing opportunity this past winter to set up a pop-up shop in the beautiful space at 92 Park Avenue, formerly Harpy art gallery, and during that time got to meet some of the wonderful residents of Rutherford and neighboring towns. We are so thrilled to be making our future home there.
Part of the mission of Lórien Vintage is to offer a sustainable and ethical fashion solution to the growing crisis of fast fashion and its effects on the environment. The developing market for vintage and resale clothing is just one of many ways to shop sustainably and we hope to offer that to Rutherford.
In addition to the vintage selection, we are planning to expand into some other sustainable solutions in the coming year - details will be announced soon via our mailing list, which can be subscribed to on our website: www.lorienvintage.com.
TIR: Your business name is unique, how did you come up with it? MM: One of my favorite authors is Tolkien, and to me one of the dreamiest places of all time, real or imagined, is Lothlórien, the legendary realm of the elves of Middle Earth in “The Lord of the Rings”. Incidentally, one of the tenets of this fictional Lothlórien, or Lórien as it is sometimes called, is preservation, and preservation is a means of sustainability. Between the aspects of preservation present in vintage textiles and the preservation work that I do in the museum setting to prolong the life of cultural textiles, the name seemed a perfect fit for what we are trying to represent and reference through the business. We also thought that Lothlórien might be too much of a mouthful!
TIR: What can customers expect when shopping with Lórien Vintage? MM: Lórien offers vintage and resale clothing and accessories with many pieces dating from the 1930s through the 1990s, and a few Edwardian period garments. During the pop-up shop run, we also carried fair-trade textiles and jewelry from various places around the world, where customer purchases went towards specific goals such as supporting global artisans and providing employment for at-risk populations.
In the coming year, we hope to expand more into this type of selection, and we are also looking to partner with sustainably produced fashion lines and with a lovely locally made bath and body care line, which I am very excited about.
TIR: What else would you like TIR readers to know about your business?
MM: Vintage may not be for everyone, but the hope is to present these garments in a way that reclaim their original beauty and to provide a place on Park Avenue for vintage shoppers and maybe even some new converts!
We are so very excited to be a part of this vibrant community, and we look forward to any and all feedback, as we are a very new business - just reach out to email@example.com.