Few things rival the feeling of slipping on a pair of jeans that fit perfectly…but if we had to come up with one, it’d be the feeling of stumbling upon an amazing vintage piece. One of our favorite sources for such pieces is Where I Was From, an expertly sourced vintage collection from Brooklyn-based friends and co-founders, Stacy Daily and Claire Lampert. We had a meeting to talk vintage denim with Stacy and Claire early last year, which led to the realization that we had to collaborate on an entire line—which is shoppable today. Here’s how it came together and how these two creative, vintage savants turned a moonlighting side-hustle into a dream full-time gig.
MDW: For starters, how did you start Where I Was From? What’s the story there?
Claire: We started selling our vintage styles online in 2012, and at the time there wasn’t much else out there for modern vintage—there was Etsy and ebay, but that was it. Stacy and I have a pretty big group of friends who were doing creative things independently—we knew photographers and we wanted to work with them on something we owned. So we put shoots together and created this visually heavy website.
Stacy: It wasn’t about supporting ourselves at that time. It’s kind of fun to think back on where we were four or five years ago and how we really were collaborating very freely. Everything was pro bono and the only exchange was the creative one.
MDW: At what point did you realize this could become a bona fide business?
Stacy: We moonlighted with Where I Was From for years while working for other brands but the pivotal point was last fall. We were doing customizations with denim and decided to take them to market.
MDW: Besides customizing jeans, you don’t alter or customize your vintage pieces, right?
Claire: We’re not reworking any of our vintage right now. We’ve become even more elevated as a brand by developing relationships with collectors. Instead of just selling thrift store stuff, we’re really finding pieces we wouldn’t want to change in any way.
MDW: So designing this line with Madewell was really your first foray into straight-up design as Where I Was From, aside from the jeans you’ve reworked?
Claire: Yes and it was pretty fun. We’ve both been working heavily on the product side most of our careers and we loved starting from scratch with Madewell.
Stacy: It took several conceptual conversations. We’d just returned from a trip out west where we had collected a bunch of deadstock pieces. These were our launching point for our first meeting.
Going all heart-eyes over these shorts? Click here to get yourself a pair.
MDW: Is there a specific piece you really love and think really gets at the heart of those initial brainstorms?
Stacy: The white jean and colored denim. We brought in a 40-year-old jean we found in Colorado, and worked with the team to develop a series with the same personality. Jeans from the late sixties and early seventies started with such a different quality and fabric from what we’re used to now. It was heavier and more rigid. The overall and the jean we created both have that same feel. It’s heavy with a super-straight leg—it’s crisp and clean and structured, but it’s worn in.
MDW: What’s next for Where I Was From? What’s the five-year plan?
Stacy: We have lots of things in the works—we hope to surprise you!
MDW: Ooooh. Excellent, thank you ladies.
Shop the collection—debuting today (!)—right here.