Heart of Vintage – a sustainable, vintage, online company – curates collections that are filled with the highest quality and most unique pieces. Created by Isabella Conte, the collections are built on pieces that are timeless and defy current fashion trends.
The clothes reflect Conte’s “eclectic” style and her drive to collect trends from all different eras in history. She wants people to choose clothes that reflect who they are — not just the trend of the moment. Conte is currently working on her next adventure in opening her new shop in RiNo and adding personal styling services to her offerings.
Conte grew up loving fashion. Her parents had an appreciation for fashion and they have always dressed her in the best clothes since she was a child. “Looking back at all the clothes I had as a toddler, I was like — I was really stuntin’. I would kill to wear the things I wore as a kid,” she said.
Therefore, her parents influenced her taste in fashion. They always took her shopping and to fashion shows. That is where she developed a love for the art of fashion, “They always push me to be really creative and individualistic. It allowed me to express myself through fashion,” she said.
Heart of Vintage first opened as an online store in January. The vintage community in Denver grew during the pandemic because people were figuring out ways to pre-occupy their time. Many people were opening small online businesses to grow their creativity.
“I was seeing a lot of people doing this. I was learning a lot about sustainability in the fashion industry. I was able to really educate myself,” Conte said. She wanted to figure out how she can make sustainable fashion more accessible to people since vintage pieces can be expensive.
“My main purpose is how can I bring this to as many people as possible and make it super accessible,” she said.
Conte’s clients find her through word of mouth, Instagram DMs or comments and her website. She previously attended several markets in the Denver area where “people have been really receptive to what I’m bringing. They say it’s very curated, which is really important to me because it shows that what I’m bringing is a true reflection of myself and my style,” Conte said.
It is very important to her to sell sustainable vintage clothing because it’s so much less wasteful. “I’m so passionate about this because not only does it allow people to get off the trendy pieces and having to buy things they think are relevant, but it gives them an opportunity to shop from all trends that have existed throughout history. It helps them choose pieces they enjoy and totally reflect who they are,” Conte said.
When Conte goes out to shop for her Heart of Vintage collection, she determines several conditions for the items she finds. Her two requirements are the quality of the piece and the uniqueness and style of the item. She always tries to go for pieces she likes because it seems to have resonated with her customers much more.
“My style is a little all over the place — I feel eclectic is a good word because it pulls from a bunch of different styles,” she said.
Conte keeps an open mind when it comes to style because she loves pieces that are different or that she’s never seen before.
“Eclectic, colorful, and timeless because I think the whole point of these pieces is that they defy time and fashion in general.”
Keeping up with trends is not a worry of Conte’s. She loves the history that comes with clothing and tries not to put pressure on herself to keep up with the latest trends and styles. “I just have to constantly remind myself — this is the reason why I’m doing this, I need to keep an open mind and really be true to my style. When I do people are more responsive because [the pieces] are so different,” she said.
Through creating an online business and seeing the progress she has made, she is now adding stylist to her area of expertise, “This is my next adventure, to be able to incorporate personal styling and personal shopping as an offered service — a marketed offered service,” Conte said. “I’ll ask them what they are looking for, the occasion. My idea would be to have them create a Pinterest board or mood board to get a sense of their style and find the pieces they want.”
Conte has now opened her own store with two other women, their brands are called — Kaler Collections and Mood Studios in The Source Hotel. The store is a collective of these three brands and the name of the storefront is called Lost Room Collective.
“I think being able to open it with two other girls has been such a cool experience because I could not imagine doing it by myself. It’s been the most rewarding thing — we’re able to bring really cool stuff to people on a regular basis,” she said. She hopes to open more locations in other states and would love to collaborate with more companies that are sustainable.
Conte comes from a family of entrepreneurs, so it has always been her dream to open a storefront and own her own sustainable fashion business. She feels very lucky that her business is starting in Denver because people in the sustainable community here really care about how clothes are made and give older clothes from history new life in this modern era.
“I am just really thankful for the sustainable community in Denver in general. This is the perfect spot to start out, and hopefully, I’ll be able to go to different cities in the future.”
All photography by Roxanna Carrasco