The well-known saying “out with the old and in with the new” holds little significance in the lives of Susan Harris and Amanda Harris Muri. Based in California, this vintage-loving and fashion-conscious mother-daughter pair established Binks & Franny in April 2012 to help girls everywhere create an ageless personal style. These women are smart, classy and “dedicated to making vintage fashion both accessible and appealing to everyone.” So, the next time you are looking for classic pieces to update your wardrobe without emptying your bank account, check out what Binks & Franny has to offer!
Q: Where did the idea for Binks & Franny come from?
A: The concept was inspired by our beloved parents/grandparents Binks and Franny who mastered extraordinary personal style, not only in how they dressed but also in how they lived and who they were.
Binks and Franny did it their way, always, and this is our way of honoring their memory, sharing their legacy of life, individuality, and a love for all things fabulously unique with others!
Q: What is the mission of your website?
A: Simple. Modern. Accessible. — The B&F mission statement of sorts. Our goal is to make unique style accessible at affordable prices and to introduce a decidedly modern concept of what “vintage” truly is by helping our customers visualize how vintage pieces can work with items already in their closet.
Having become increasingly frustrated with the decline of independent boutiques and the proliferation of chain-retailers and a mega-mall mentality, especially in Southern
California, our aim is to create a retail concept that redefines vintage in a modern way, making the concept more understandable and accessible to a broader audience.
Binks and Franny colored outside of the lines and we strive to help others do the same through an appreciation of all vintage fashion has to offer.
Q: When was the website established? What has the public’s reaction been like?
A: Our website launched in April 2012 after several months of planning and design. It’s a labor of love and continued source of inspiration, growing with us as we forge ahead on this exciting adventure.
To date, the feedback we’ve gotten in regards to the site has been extremely positive if not somewhat limited. One of the biggest hurdles we’ve faced is generating commentary on the site itself. We’re both “talkers” and would love nothing more than to hear from the hundreds of people visiting Binks & Franny each day!
Q: What are your hopes for the future of Binks & Franny?
A: Our current goal is to expand our online footprint with the hopes of opening brick and mortar retail locations throughout Southern California in the not too distant future.
Q: Where do you find the clothing?
A: We source from the usual suspects like estate and church rummage sales as well as our favorite well-edited off-the-beaten-path thrift stores and the private collections of friends and family. It’s the latter we find truly sets us apart from our competitors as more often than not the pieces we find in these private collections are top quality, highly-covetable items simply in need of a new lease on life and a loving new home.
We pay careful attention to the condition of our garments. Funny odors, missing buttons, broken zippers, stains (noticeable or not), and fraying seams are unacceptable. All items are cleaned, stored in a non-smoking environment, carefully packaged and protected so that you can wear them immediately. Our garments are meant to be worn, not collected.
Q: What type of person does your website target?
A: As far as our target clientele goes, we’re equal opportunity vintage fashion enablers! We truly feel vintage fashion offers something for everyone, regardless of age, lifestyle, budget, etc. The Binks & Franny woman seeks to create her own unique, personal look, loves timeless, classic style, understands and appreciates quality and, most importantly, isn’t afraid to take a fashion risk.
Q: Have you always been interested in vintage fashion?
Susan Harris: I have always been interested in the history and evolution of style, and with fashion as art. I suppose having a sister who is 10 years older, and being asked to wear her hand-me-downs, gave me an appreciation for vintage early in life as well. With the proliferation of cookie-cutter chain retailers, designer knock-offs, and diminished quality at unreasonable prices of late, my love of all things vintage has only grown stronger.
Amanda Harris Muri: In a word, no. Before I truly understood ‘vintage’ I, like so many others, was a bit turned off by the idea of wearing someone else’s castoffs. Susan opened my eyes to what vintage fashion really is and now I can’t get enough. Growing up in Southern California, the adage that looking like everyone else is desirable is seemingly ingrained in you at birth. I’ve been lucky enough to have a family that taught me beauty is in being unique, an individual, and nothing affords you the ability to do so like the one- of-a-kind nature of vintage fashion.
Q: Anything else you would like to add?
A: Too often people get hung up on dates and decades or impose limitations on what is considered vintage. A fabulous piece is a fabulous piece, whether it’s from 1951 or 2001
Through our extensive travels we’ve noticed the most stylish women in the world mix it up. There’s no easier way to create personal style or look stylish and modern than to keep your look simple and timeless with a mix of signature pieces. You can do it all with vintage. You can do it best with vintage!
Inspired by Binks & Franny to hunt for vintage clothing? Make sure to read Shaniece’s 7 Tips for Shopping Vintage beforehand!
Nicole Veenstra is a Fashion & Lifestyle writer for College Lifestyles. She is currently studying journalism at Rider University and loves spending time with her friends and family, dolphins and red velvet anything.