Last month, I went to Brooklyn for Smorgasburg and ended up shopping at the very cool, very unique Lavai Maria boutique. It’s situated in the heart of Williamsburg and carries a well-curated mix of vintage pieces, reworked (aka “recycled vintage”) garments, art and jewelry from local artists, and original designs by the owner, Vania Scharbach. Maybe it was the sale rack of colorful frocks and well-arranged rug and pillows that greeted you on the sidewalk, the 90’s mix of music playing, or the sales associate asking me if I wanted a drink, but upon entering the store I instantly felt a good vibe. The store was incredibly organized and even color-coded, which helps a vintage shopping neophyte like myself easily peruse the racks and take inventory of what I might want to try on.
On the day I visited, the owner, happened to be in the shop and was extremely friendly. She even chatted with me a bit about the shop and her original designs. She is committed to producing products locally and in an environmentally-friendly way; each original garment is made in her studio in Greenpoint (Brooklyn). The store also supports artists in the community by incorporating their work into the store design, holding trunk shows (Rachel Weisberg was having one the day I visited) and selling paintings from the collection on the walls. On top of everything else, they offer customized tailoring to ensure your garment fits you perfectly!
Lavai Maria you get two thumbs up from me, and I’m sure many more swipes from my credit card. Overall, I enjoyed my trip and shopping experience and look forward to wearing my new goody – one of those aforementioned “recycled vintage” pieces, a men’s white button dress shirt that now serves as a dress.
If you’re in Williamsburg, be sure to stop by the shop and check it out for yourself. You’ll be happy to know the vintage pieces are all washed and ready to wear, and the prices are pleasantly wallet friendly, with dresses ranging from $80 – $350, and shoes and handbags going for $48 – $250.
Located at 109 North 5th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Phone: (718) 384-0086
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-8pm & Sun 11am-7pm