“For Men, For Women, For Everyone.”
So says the window of a new shop in downtown Harrisburg. It’s a fitting tagline for a unique retail concept that houses two clothes stores in one—the male-focused Midtown Dandy and the female-centric Stash Vintage.
Anela Bence Selkowitz runs Stash, which carries mostly women’s clothing and accessories, while Andrew Kintzi heads up the Midtown Dandy, which features menswear. The two have combined their passions to bring stylish, vintage collections to the city’s burgeoning SoMa neighborhood.
Stash has actually been around since 2013, starting off as a collective of four owners with a shop on North Street and then space on Walnut Street. Over the years, various life changes reduced the group to three then two then one, with Bence eventually moving Stash exclusively online.
“Doing this on my own online has been manageable because I’m a mom and a photographer, and I can kind of work it around my life,” she said. “The store is obviously different.”
However, just when Bence thought she was out, Kintzi drew her back in, asking if she’d like to join him in a brick and mortar.
“I couldn’t really say no when Andy asked,” she said. “I know people have been talking about wanting the store to come back. Having him stock my men’s corner was such a relief.”
On its own, Midtown Dandy has been operating since 2015, starting at the Harrisburg Flea and running an online shop through Etsy.
“Mostly, it was just the pop ups,” Kintzi said. “I just started buying men’s vintage clothing and figured out how to sell it. Then I got more people to know about it, and it spun into this.”
Kintzi had never done retail in a storefront before, so it’s a new experience for him.
“It’s a little on the daunting side, but it’s a good scary,” he said. “The grand opening was very successful for us because we’ve had a lot of support in the city.”
That support extended to friends, family and other business owners, he said.
“It’s nice to know that the support is there and that the small business community is very strong here,” he said.
One of a Kind
Bence has a longtime interest in textiles and fashion. Some of her favorite styles are from the 1920s and the 1970s. On opening day, she was rocking a vintage pair of bell bottoms as a subtle hint towards her interests.
“Nobody would ever know,” she said, laughing. “But in particular, I love the glam part of the ‘70s. That crazy, disco-y black and velvet. I don’t wear a lot of beads or sequins, but I love glammy and gaudy styles. I just think that era was so sexy.”
“I’m a victim of the ‘90s,” Kintzi joked. “I grew up in the ‘90s, so I’m kind of slightly obsessed with old band tees. Like the streetwear stuff that’s all coming back, I have an affinity for.”
Kintzi’s favorite styles are new looks mixed with some of the old. At the opening of the shop, he matched a camo button-up with a navy blue tie and a more formal-looking jacket.
“The style that I’m really into right now is the juxtaposition of streetwear mixed with vintage,” he said. “They just pair really well together. Taking a piece from Supreme or a brand like that and mixing it with a 1960s camouflage military jacket and mixing it with thrashed Levis from the ‘80s. Mixing it all together and figuring out how to make it work is something I’m really into.”
Bence pointed to the quality of the vintage pieces.
“I love the history that’s there,” she said. “The nostalgia and the quality and the attention to detail are all things that I appreciate. It’s all one-of-a-kind and clean, recycled fashion.”
Besides bringing cool clothes to Harrisburg, Bence and Kintzi hope to offer guidance to those looking to up their fashion game.
“The biggest thing I’m trying to do is show men how to wear things,” Kintzi said. “Like looking at something on the rack and figuring out what to put with it. That’s the kind of thing that I want to help people with, knowing that they have a resource where they can not only find cool pieces, but that they know what to wear with it.”
With their combined knowledge of women’s and men’s fashion, Bence and Kintzi can provide guidance for everyone and their varying tastes.
“Andy also helps with women like me who also like menswear,” Bence said. “Women who want the flannels, button downs, stuff like that.”
“A large portion of my clientele is women,” Kintzi said. “They buy a lot of the more androgynous clothing like sweaters, camos and jackets. There’s no gender to it. It’s all just cool stuff, regardless of whether it’s a guy’s or a girl’s.”
One thing they both offer is a personal touch from experienced professionals. Bence hopes that they will continue to attract people who have specific needs, who need tips for creating a great outfit.
“It would be a lot of fun to get people in here who were looking for help trying things out and help putting things together for people,” she said. “That’s what I really liked about the old shop. People coming in, for example, looking for clothes for a party, and my telling people what I think they would look good in. Then seeing if anything fits and if they like it.”
The Midtown Dandy and Stash Vintage are located at 11 S. 3rd St., Harrisburg. For more information, visit www.themidtowndandy.com and www.stashhbg.com, as well as their social media and e-commerce sites.