By Liz Petoniak / Photographs by Michael Fornataro
Initially dreaming of becoming an art teacher, Lauren Dzadony never expected her passions would lead her to opening Vintage Grace Boutique in Dormont last spring. She reminisced about her college years during our visit, telling us that although she eventually switched her course of study, she chose to replicate clothing from paintings for her senior thesis. “My favorite artist was Georgia O’Keeffe, so I constructed clothing based out of her paintings,” she says. “It was funny at the time — me not knowing that my thesis was going to be my career, going into retail.” From there, she went on to hold visual merchandising and styling positions at major retailers, such as Macy’s and Forever 21, before breaking out on her own. Today, her background is apparent in each aspect of the bright, bubbly, and vintage-inspired boutique. Her eclectic fashion sense translates through the shop with the different mixture of styles represented, organized by theme and color story. There’s a curation of clothing and accessories for every girl — edgy, bohemian, feminine — and Dzadony changes the displays and fixtures each Monday, which she says is the most fun part of owning a boutique. Her custom-made Austrian crystal jewelry, also featured in the quaint store, serves as an additional creative outlet. Though jewelry crafting is something that she says she “picked up along the way,” she enjoys that it allows her to constantly challenge herself. “If there’s an outfit that I know is coming in, I’ll try to make something that’s going to match it,” she says. “Just the beauty of being able to create your own jewelry to go with whatever outfit you have is great — and, making what you feel in your heart.”
→ Vintage Grace Boutique, 2991 W. Liberty Ave., Dormont. 412.207.7760.
How would you describe your personal style?
Lauren Dzadony: Very eclectic. It depends on what mood I’m in when I wake up in the morning or what the occasion is. But my closet ranges from very girl to edgy — total different spectrums. If I had to choose one, it would be boho. That’s me.
Where do you find fashion inspiration?
LD: A lot comes from my family, actually. Since I was little, we would always go shopping together. My mom, my aunt, and my grandma all have a great fashion sense. Now that [my younger cousin] Alexa is into fashion, she really inspires me because she knows about fashion trends before I even see it. So, it’s great to have that input. But, also Instagram and just street style. That’s really good help for when I buy.
Where are your favorite places to shop?
LD: My favorite places to shop are Free People; I love Forever 21 because they always have fast fashion; H&M; and Macy’s. Another favorite brand is BCBG [Max Azria], just because it’s very classic and very unique.
Who is your style icon?
LD: Sarah Jessica Parker. That’s why you see the tulle skirts in here! She has a lot of different looks to her.
What are your favorite trends for fall?
LD: Modern ‘70s boho. I’m excited to see the bell-bottom pants coming back, high-waisted cuts, and the jewel tones, which are very pretty for fall. The Victorian trend with the lace and the flowy ruffles. And, the last one is fringe. If you don’t like a fringe shirt, you could do a bag, jacket, or boots. So, if you’re not totally into the trend but you want to incorporate it into your wardrobe, you can with those smaller pieces.