15 Aug Fashion Director Cameron Silver on Halston and His Love of Vintage
Cameron Silver, the King of Vintage and the Duke of Melrose is the founder of Decades on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, CA. Having first opened its doors some 20 years ago, the store has served as a capsule for vintage clothing and is known to have high-profile fashion designers stop in for inspiration from the archives that live within the walls.
Vogue has named Decades one of the best vintage shops in the world and its founder was previously named one of Time magazines Most Influential People in Fashion. Thus, we absolutely had to meet vintage royalty turned Halston Fashion Director Cameron Silver.
Image: Xcel Brands
SLTV: Who was Cameron Silver before fashion?
CS: Even before fashion, growing up as a kid in Beverly Hills, I was always surrounded by fashion. I was also involved in theater and traveled around the world with a classical-boys singing group.
SLTV: Wow, fashion, theater, and music. Sounds like you were made for this! Enter Decades. You’ve started your career as a small business owner. How did you get through it and what advice do you have for not losing your creativity/passion in the hustle and bustle of everyday business?
CS: At the core I am a small business owner and an entrepreneur. In all honesty, it is always a struggle, but having a visceral relationship with clients and not just treating everyone and everything as an algorithm provides daily inspiration.
SLTV: Algorithms, they seem to rule the world. It’s nice to forget about them and be driven by passion. Speaking of, you are now the fashion director for Halston. In the 70’s Halston collaborated with JCPenney to bring affordability. He also embraced size and cultural inclusivity by having plus size model, Pat Ast and African American model, Pat Cleveland join his group of Halsonettes. Halston seemed to have really been ahead of his time, a trailblazer. How do today’s Halston brands remain true to the visionary that started it all?
CS: Today, the Halston label has expanded and is distributed globally from high-end retailers, to department stores and interactive TV. There is a range of product but H Halston and H by Halston are the two labels that offer a modern Halston look, in contemporary designs for every day at a price point that is more accessible.
Image: Xcel Brands
SLTV: What is the difference between Halston Heritage, H Halston and H by Halston?
CS: HALSTON is our designer RTW label wear comprised of evening wear and cocktail dresses that are available at Saks, Neiman Marcus, and other luxury department stores. Halston Heritage is our RTW and dresses label which is available in better department stores. Our H Halston collection is contemporary and modern, but at more accessible price point available at Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay. Last but certainly not least is H by Halston, our casual, everyday wear collection exclusive to QVC, where I appear on-air and shop in real time with our customers.
SLTV: Thats interesting, why QVC?
CS: All eyes are on QVC! The women who tune in and shop on QVC.com are dedicated and they like high quality items at a value price. QVC understood how to connect with the customer before the social media age. Halston always wanted to bring his designs to the masses, making them available to all shapes and backgrounds. This is a continuation of that legacy.
SLTV: Makes complete sense! You’ve accomplished so much. You are a vintage connoisseur, designer, consultant, and curator. Which role do you favor and what have you learned?
CS: I don’t have a favorite role since everything is related. I have learned that it actually gets harder and the minute I rest on my laurels or becomes too passive in responsibilities, provides an invitation to chaos.
SLTV: Speaking of being a vintage connoisseur, tell us, how do you obsess about vintage?
CS: Fashion has such a rich history and every vintage piece has a story. Something of the past could resonate with you in the future and I think that’s a magical moment to explore! If it’s vintage, designer, fits me, and is in pretty good condition, I have to have it. I love the story telling of fashion.
SLTV: Time flies and it’s said that we are shaped by the decisions we make. What decision got you to where you are today?
CS: I have a circuitous path to my career in fashion, but I decided to strive to be kind.
Last year, Silver sold off about 400 items from his avant-garde and vintage collection of more than 1,000 pieces, fashion and art institutions snapped up some of the rarest and most flamboyant styles. As a fellow fashion history lover, here’s hoping some of these pieces make it into exhibitions and live forever.
With fashion history, and fashion future at his feet, let’s stay tuned to see what’s next for the designer and may the Halston story reign on.