In the world of online niche shopping, Pinup Girl Clothing has made a name for itself as the leader in retro and rockabilly fashion. Founded in 1996 by Laura Byrnes, Pinup Girl Clothing has gone from a one woman operation run out of a third bedroom to become the leading online destination for retro and rockabilly clothing.
Laura, a swing dancer, collector of Vargas Pinup Girl illustrations, lounge lizard, frequenter of underground Los Angeles bars, and prolific photographer of the LA music and retro scene, got fed up with the constrictive nature of the magazine photography world (her old-school punk rock attitude and general disrespect for authority certanly didn’t help either) and decided to pursue her lifelong interest in pinup style: 50’s fashion, rockabilly revival, retro dresses, pinup girls, 50’s Hollywood bombshells, and the seedy, sexy underside of it all. An FIT dropout – for photography, not fashion – Laura was in love with pinup girl style and retro fashion, but the only place one could find 50’s style, at that time, was the local thrift store. Even in Los Angeles, circa 1996 – the center of the emerging retro, rockabilly, and lounge subculture – rockabilly and retro gals were limited to vintage dresses, which while fantastic, couldn’t exactly be depended upon to fit right, wear well, or smell good. Laura’s close friend, Jeanette Iskat, was an avid collector of vintage dresses from the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, making the rounds of her favorite – and often little known – thrift stores weekly to score the most amazing vintage dresses, many from well known designers of the day. Sadly, few of these vintage dresses fit Jeanette, who towers over mere mortals at an impressive 6 foot 3. Jeanette’s loss was Laura’s gain – Jeanette’s vintage clothing scores filled Laura’s closet and constituted nearly her entire wardrobe – fantastic retro swing dresses in satins, taffeta, and brocade. Rockabilly clothing – cropped capri pants, halter tops, and high-waisted pencil skirts. These vintage dresses still hang in Laura’s closet and continue to influence her retro fashion sensibility.
However, vintage clothing has its limitations. Stains, tears, and musty smells. Stitching and seams in fragile condition. The perfect retro dress – in someone else’s size. The retro and rockabilly scene was growing fast, and the vintage dress pickings in thrift and vintage clothing stores was getting thin. Something had to give, and it did. Laura, and a very small handful of other rockabilly gals, started designing. One of these girls, Melanie, started a retro clothing line called Dixiefried. Dixiefried’s style was purist and tailored – high waisted pencil skirts with vintage details, fitted bombshell dresses in retro fabrics. Alicia, Melanie’s assistant, left Dixiefried and founded Stop Staring Clothing, which carried on the purist retro vintage tradition after Dixiefried ceased to be.
Laura’s vision was different – she loved the sexy dresses worn by the Pinup Girls in Varga, Elvgren, and Petty illustrations, sexy, clingy, fantasy clothing that, in the 50’s, could never have translated to a real world garment: Pinup Girl Clothing. Pinup Girl Clothing was her vision, and Pinup Girl Clothing she would design.
Pinup Girl Clothing existed as a home based business for 2 1/2 years – Laura selling her retro and rockabilly fashions from a rack of clothes hanging in her living room, custom fitting dresses for her rapidly growing customer base of retro and rockabilly gals. In 1999, after scouring the web for retro clothing, rockabilly dresses, and the like, and finding it severely lacking, Laura took Pinup Girl Clothing online with the launch of PinUpGirlClothing-dot-com. It started small, as great things often do. The website started with 50 items, all designs made to order by Laura’s team of talented seamstresses. Her customers asked for more – more dresses, more shoes, accessories – and Laura listened. Pinup Girl Clothing started to add other brands: Eldorado Club Jewelry, Classic Hardware, Steady Clothing, Lucky 13 Clothing, and EC Star Clothing were some of the earliest brand additions to Pinup Girl Clothing. Accessories from Revamp Productions, Lux De Ville, and Blue Q would follow. Leg Avenue Lingerie, Stockings, Pantyhose, and Halloween Costumes came along for the ride.
Pinup Girl Clothing continued to grow. Pinup Girl customers – swing dancers, clubgoers, rockabilly gals, and modern pinup girls – loved the ever-growing selection, fast delivery, and personalized customer service. Each Halloween, Pinup Girls customers came back to purchase Sexy Halloween Costumes for that year’s Halloween bash. Each holiday season, they’d return to find that perfect retro gift for their best friend or their main squeeze. Each Valentine’s day, they’d browse our unmatched selection of sexy retro lingerie. And each spring, they’d
come back to find that perfect retro swimsuit, the perfect retro dress, and shoes and a bag to match.
Fast forward to 2007, and not much has changed. Laura is still designing clothing for modern, real-life pinup girls, although now she’s got a full production team behind her, and her line, Pinup Couture, can be found in retro & rockabilly shops and boutiques on every continent except Antartica. Jeanette is still discovering treasures and fueling the creative engine of Pinup Girl Clothing. Pinup Girl Clothing is known the world over as the ultimate shopping destination for retro & rockabilly clothing, shoes, and accessories. Customer Service is still top-notch, shipping is still speedy, and the selection has grown wider and wider. Customers from way back in 1999 stil visit often, a fact that fills Laura & Jeanette with an equal mix of pride and appreciation. Pinup Girl Clothing has inspired its share of imitators, as great things often do. But Rockabilly gals, retro vixens, girly girls, and modern pinup girls know that there’s only one place to find the best selection of cute, retro clothing, shoes, and accessories on the planet – Pinup Girl Clothing!