An Interview with Salima Boufelfel
1.Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to do what you do.
Hi! My name is Salima Boufelfel and I am a vintage clothing dealer. I started working with vintage and antique clothing When I did costuming for my high school plays. I became familiar with all of our local vintage shops around town and would frequent them during our theatre season. It was a very educational experience for me, the owners of the shops were very gracious with their knowledge and I learned a lot about eras, clothing, and provenance through them. I moved to Paris for my last years of university and secured a job with a vintage clothing dealer; that period was a foray into the world of designers and antique clothing. I was able to meet so many fascinating individuals and it really cemented the love I have for vintage clothing.
2. What are some of your favorite pieces in the shop at the moment?
My partner (Roberto) and I just finished a big buying trip at an antique fair in Massachusetts called Brimfield. We found a lot of incredible pieces that are very early. I especially liked all of the printed thirties pieces and the turn of the century linen suits.
3. Can you tell us about the history behind Desert Vintage?
Desert Vintage was established in 1974 in Tucson, Arizona. It was actually one of the shops I would frequent when I did costuming in high school. It was known for its wide variety of vintage clothing and costumes that spanned the eras. I always knew I wanted to run a shop but wasn’t sure what that looked like. Roberto and I were able to buy the shop 11 years ago and transform it into the shop we’ve always wanted to run.
4. How does being in Tucson specifically inspire what you do and what comes through the store?
Being in Tucson is about being immersed in a vastness of space, and nature. In my personal experience it has helped with my creativity; allowing me the time and energy to create and experiment on my own terms. It has a sense of refined ease that comes through our selections at the shop.
5. What do you hope to communicate with the aesthetic world you've built?
We believe that vintage clothing contains multitudes, and we love to portray the different ways it can be worn through our styling. One of the reasons we love to produce our shoots is because we feel like we are dressing a series of characters with the selections of vintage we carry. It’s a fun exercise for the imagination!
6. Outside of work, what have been some activities or rituals during this time?
My partner and I are working on a small collection of clothing that we are going to carry in our shop and online. It’s been an exciting new world to explore.
7. Current soundtrack & reading list?
Reading — Run me to earth: Paul Yoon, The Bodhisattva path of wisdom and compassion: Chogyam Trungpa, Joan Didion: The white Album.
Soundtrack — Beverly-Glenn Copeland Keyboard Fantasies
8. What are you looking forward to this summer?
Spending time with family and friends