Across from Forsyth Park lies a retro vintage boutique with windows filled with groovy mannequins rocking colorful wigs. Despite the lack of stores in this area, as well as an overall lack of vintage stores in Savannah, The Future is looking to put old school classics back on the map. Lauren Sadasivan McCoy, owner of The Future, grew up in Louisiana and moved to Savannah to study fashion design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She sat down with Trespass Chicago to discuss what inspired her to open the store, as well as an exciting fashion show she’s partaking in at the end of May.
Mary Tres: When did The Future open and what inspired you to open it?
Lauren Sadasivan McCoy: The Future opened in September 2014. What inspired me to open it were a couple of things. First of all, there weren't that many second hand vintage stores in Savannah at the time. It was really only Civvies downtown, Cherry Picked Consignment downtown and then a few random antique shops that also had a little bit of clothing. I just felt like we needed to kind of boost that market here since there's so many creative people. With an art school, most of these artists don't want to just run down to J. Crew and get the thing that everyone has. They want to express themselves and I felt like there just wasn't enough out there and we needed more.
MT: How did you go about choosing the name?
LSM: It’s actually a funny story. It was a conversation that I was having with my best friend. We went to California together and we went to all these amazing vintage shops that were so cool. They had this great vibe of aliens and the way they had it set up was just so cool. So we were talking about what would be a cool name for a shop. Like oh “The Future.” You could say like, “Where did you get your clothes?” “The Future.” “Thanks for calling The Future.” “Welcome back to The Future.” There are so many good little puns and it’s kind of ironic because the clothing is used. So it just kind of evolved from this conversation with my best friend. I have to give her partial credit cuz she was definitely a huge part of it.
MT: What was the process of the logo design?
LSM: I went to Pinterest and I looked up vintage and retro logos. I made a pin board of them and I noticed they were all round so apparently I liked a round logo. I knew I wanted it to be really simple; something that would be recognizable and clean. I just made it in Photoshop, just made two circles and picked some fonts that I liked and there it was.
MT: How did you choose the location of the store?
LSM: I looked at a couple places around town. The moment I walked in this space I was like “This is it, this is the one.” I looked at some places on MLK and some places on Broughton. I looked at some very strange places on Jones that were in little basements in people’s houses and none of them really felt like what I wanted for the store except for this space.
MT: How is foot traffic with being right across from Forsyth Park?
LSM: It’s good, it's good. At first, we were a little slower because we didn't have a sign outside. The space used to be a salon so it was mostly an appointment-only type situation, so I don't think that people looked at this space as being a commercial space. Once we got our sign installed, it's been crazy, just immensely busy. It's been such a significant difference that we've really had to adjust our inventory buying to make up for the amount of people coming.
MT: Have you always been passionate about vintage?
LSM: Oh yes. My family always bought clothing second hand just because we grew really fast over short periods of time. My mom was like “I’m not buying new stuff because you're just not going to wear it in six months.” We've always been a used clothing sort of family. When I started at SCAD, I noticed that all of my design work was influenced by vintage clothing so I kind of just knew that this was exactly what I wanted to do.
MT: How do you think the Savannah audience responds to the merchandise?
LSM: Good, I think they seem to like it. I feel like people don't usually tell me if they don't like it but as far as I can tell, people seem really into it. SCAD kids seem to really like it, locals seem to really like it. We’ve tried to bring in more plus size items in vintage which is very difficult to find but we've been pretty lucky with finding some good state sales. We’ve just been trying to expand that market and give people more options.
MT: How does the aesthetic of your store stand out?
LSM: My whole thing with opening a vintage store was that I didn't want it to be a mess. When you have individual items that are all different, it's visually overwhelming. When I was designing the layout of the store, I really wanted it to flow nicely. I wanted everything to have a place and to be off of the floor because the last thing you want to see in any store is dust and with vintage clothing you have to deal with that a lot. Cleanliness was probably my main thing with designing. I wanted the colors to be white, clean, and pristine, so that it would be an experience where you could focus on the clothing and not whatever else is going on.
MT: Can you explain a bit about the rental process that The Future offers?
LSM: The rental process is pretty simple. You can rent between 5 and 20 items for 7 days. You pay a nonrefundable rental fee of twenty percent of the total cost of the items and during that time we keep a credit card on file. Once everything comes back in good condition, we just delete all that information.
MT: You've definitely taken to social media to help promote the store, even utilizing Snapchat lately. Has that had an effect on anything?
LSM: Definitely. I think, for one, it gives my employees a creative outlet during the day. Instead of just standing around during the slow times, it gives them a fun opportunity to dress up and plan out a little photoshoot just around the store or outside. It gives them an opportunity to showcase their favorite pieces, me to do the same, and kind of let people know that new stuff is in. I think that it has been really great. We've definitely sold some things to people who don't even live in town. They just called us up and said “Hey I gotta have that item I saw on Instagram.”
MT: Do you plan on building the social media outlets more so?
LSM: Yea I think so. The employees I hire are younger people, so they’re very good with social media. I’m letting them move it forward because they're really passionate about it and they love doing it. I’m a little limited in my knowledge of current social media but they're definitely helping me.
MT: Can you talk a little bit about the upcoming fashion show you’re partaking in?
LSM: The fashion show that we’re going to do is at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens and its actually put on by the Botanical Gardens. They're trying to build a children's garden and so all of the proceeds from whoever attends the show will go to build their garden. They approached us and i know that they are other businesses involved as well.The reason I decided to really move forward with it is because it’s free advertising for us. They're putting on the event, so all we have to do is provide the models and clothes.
The Future is located at 106 W. Gwinnett St, Savannah, GA 31401
Stay up to date with all their new merchandise by checkin out their Instagram feed at https://www.instagram.com/thefutureonforsyth/
“Runway in Bloom” will be at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens on May 29th. Ticket information is posted on their website at http://www.coastalgeorgiabg.org/runway.html
Photography by Erin Wyrosdick