By Aaron James
When I was in high school (circa 1980), the space at 2153 Central was a laundromat, replete with a few of those washing machine sized contraptions that passed for video games at the time. For much of the ensuing three decades, the neighborhood mini-mall was a destination for antique lovers near and far. Then, when property owner and long-time Cooper-Young stalwart Charlie Ryan landed renowned anchor tenant Urban Outfitters in 2013, both the thematic vibe and prestige of the otherwise humble location was changed forever. And this past fall, that bar was raised yet again with the addition of a new high-end vintage clothing store called “Fox + Cat Vintage Boutique.”
Shop owner Katie Gore, 31, who grew up in The Village off Poplar in East Memphis, says she’s been interested in vintage fashion since she was a kid.
“Playing dress-up has been, and continues to be, one of my favorite activities,” she says. “It began with tutus, lace veils, and white gloves, later evolving to ruffled 80s prom dresses and renaissance maiden Gunne Sax-style gowns.”
Started as an online Etsy shop three years ago while Katie was living in Jackson, Mississippi, Fox + Cat has shipped to such a disparate list of locales as Germany, England, Italy, France, Japan, China, Australia, Finland, Saudi Arabia, and Malaysia. When she moved back home this past August, Katie says she instinctively knew it was time to take the next step.
When asked why she chose Midtown, and Cooper-Young in particular, for the shop’s brick-and-mortar location, Katie goes on to say: “Midtown embraces local businesses and has a unique appreciation for self-expression and individuality. I always envisioned a Midtown location for Fox + Cat. More than that really, I refused to entertain the idea of opening anywhere else. I loved seeing the revitalization of Cooper-Young and wanted to be a part of the growing movement to tap into Midtown’s unique cultural arts center and to help facilitate its development.”
Fox + Cat is a vintage shop with a boutique atmosphere and local feel that strives to provide customers with an inviting and fun atmosphere. Their goal is to connect lives and generations, as one garment is passed from one individual to another. Ultimately, Fox + Cat is about the artful preservation of individuality and style, achieved with a level of sophistication gleaned from the vast universe of fashion history.
And in case you’re wondering about the name, “Fox” comes from the fact that her beloved Labrador Sally has a fox colored coat, and Katie herself is the “Cat.” As it turns out, Sally is one of the shop’s main attractions. When not greeting customers at the door, she can be found lounging under Katie’s desk.
To stay current on all the treasures to be found at Fox + Cat, be sure to Like their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/foxandcatvintage