Categorized | People, Products

Vintage Shop


I love trailblazers.
I love vintage fashion.
I love shopping online.

I am in lust with everything sold at Market Publique and PROMISE not to break my bank account. Pamela Castillo has created a vintage fashion powerhouse that will be getting a lot of business from me…read on…this gal knows fashion inside/out…

How did the idea of Market Publique come about?

The idea for Market Publique really came out of necessity. I had been selling vintage on the site on eBay and then, after all the changes to their policies, feedback system and fees, I switched for a while to Etsy, but found that neither of them had the right tools to sell vintage online. After much complaining, my partners and I realized that we could do something about it, since we are all web designers and developers, so we decided to build Market Publique.

What is considered vintage fashion?

Vintage is defined as an item that is older than 20 years, and younger than 100 years. Anything over 100 years is considered antique, instead of vintage. It is also a misconception that vintage is the same as used or second-hand clothing. While most items are used due to their age, sometimes you may find items that have never been worn, with the tags still on, maybe from an abandoned warehouse or the like. That is considered ‘deadstock’ vintage.

How has the popularity of vintage fashion blossomed over the years?

After the boom of mass-production, and especially with globalization and manufacturing, people have been looking for alternatives. I think now more than ever, people want items that are unique and of good quality, yet still affordable. Vintage fills this need, as well as being a sustainable choice.

Names of the founders? What are your background/s? The three founders of Market Publique are:

Jonathan Berger –
Jonathan is our resident nerd, pixel pusher and tech antenna. A native Brooklynite, he holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Vassar College and an MA in Media Studies from The New School. He works as an interactive designer and is very active in the New York tech community. Jon makes sure we are all buzzword compliant, use Twitter frequently and know our URLs from our URIs. He’s worked with clients like Yahoo!, MTV, and Eyebeam, among others.

Pamela Castillo –
Pamela is a vintage junkie and creative director of Market Publique. Originally from Guatemala, she came to the U. S. for college. She graduated with a double major in Fine Art and Business Administration from Trinity University and moved to New York City to pursue her M.F.A. in Design & Technology at Parsons. Castillo has designed and developed websites for clients like,,, The New Museum and others. She now uses her artistic eye and technology chops to guide the Market Publique’s brand and image. She writes the blog, styles and directs all photo shoots, buys vintage for the House Store and obsesses over every single article of vintage that she comes across, more oftentimes than not, trying it on several times.

Anthony Ina –
Anthony Ina is our lead User Experience Designer. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he’s been interested in fashion since helping his dad run photo shoots at their hair salon. He moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University, where he graduated with a B.S. in Human-Computer Interaction. He has since been designing the way buyers and sellers interact with Market Publique, creating a smooth user flow from the seller and the buyer’s perspective. He was worked with clients like Chicago Tribune, Hello Health and, among others.

Is it necessary to have a, say fashion background to know vintage clothing?

I don’t think it is necessary at all. I think you just need to really love clothes and their history. I think it’s important to look at a lot of clothes, how they’re made and read about the history of fashion to recognize what is significant, what is well made and learn about what you like. My guess you’ll be hooked once you learn all the stories behind each item and you’ll understand why people love vintage so much.

How is Market Publique, say different from Etsy?

The biggest difference is that Market Publique is exclusively for vintage. We designed the site specifically for vintage and did a lot of research for the design and usability to learn what tools vintage buyers and sellers need.

In addition, we curate all the sellers on Market Publique. Each seller must first apply in order to be accepted to sell items on Market Publique, so buyers can shop with confidence and we can keep the quality of the listings high.

Aside from having fixed price listings, we have auctions as well, which is a format that is really useful for both buyers and sellers. Sellers can set a price for something via an auction and the buyers can bid more if they absolutely have to have it – something very important with one-of-a-kind items.

We also have a lot more pictures included per listing (up to 15, vs.  Etsy’s 5, all included within the $0.25 listing fee; eBay charges $0.15 per additional picture), a bulk uploader, and many other tools to help sellers present their product more effectively.

What were some challenges in creating Market Publique?

The biggest challenge was having the guts to quit my secure full-time position to embark on an unknown trail, one which I knew would take a lot of hard work and long hours without necessarily turning into revenue or pay. After launching, with all the great response we’ve had from the vintage community, it seems I made the right choice.

Another big challenge is having to do things you don’t necessarily know how to do, like formulating a business strategy, keeping the books, and other tasks that we didn’t have to take care of before this. But you do it and you learn.

Also, learning to compromise is a big challenge. For example, when we launched we didn’t have all the features we wanted already developed, but we knew we had to launch with something, and then keep building on top of that. Knowing what the right mix of those features were was a big challenge – so having a goal and deadline in mind for the long-term is very important.

The Usuals…

Why do you do what you do?
Because I love vintage and I always wanted to work within fashion, but I didn’t necessarily want to design or have all the  clothes. So I decided that putting my skills to use within an area I am passionate about would be the right move.

I also saw that the vintage community didn’t have the right tools, and I wanted to help. Since vintage deals with one-of-a-kind items, vintage sellers do not really compete with each other. I believe they benefit when working together, creating a community that can help set standards, help with dating and pricing items, and sharing their expertise so that the field becomes unified and pools their resources, instead of each seller trying to make it on their own. Vintage scales only when people can work together.

What makes you want to wake up in the morning?

The smell of coffee and my husband – who almost always brings me a cup to bed. Yes, he rocks.

Who is your inspiration?

I have many people and things that inspire me. My grandma and my mom are both big influences. My grandma is one of the most fashionable ladies I’ve ever met, and is always put together with nary a hair out of place. My mom always taught me to be myself and follow my dream, no matter what anyone said. They have both helped me become a strong, independent woman.

I am also inspired by people who wear what they want and have unique style, like Iris Apfel, Elizabeth Hawes, and Edith Head.

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be?

I would be me! I love my life. And however much I would have loved to wear clothes from a certain era or decade (maybe the 50s and 60s?), I don’t think I could live without the Internet. I adore the Internet. But, if I absolutely must choose, I would choose Edith Head. It would’ve been so much fun to dress stars like Mae West and Tippi Hendren, to work in Hollywood when the production budgets for costuming were astronomical and you could literally create what you had imagined. And then, to have a show like The Dress Doctor and help women dress their best would be a lot of fun too.

Your three rules to live by?

1. Never compromise your integrity. It is more valuable than any profit.
2. Wear what you want.
3. Listen and try to understand.

Your must-have makeup item?

I always wear moisturizer with SPF 15 or more, and use liquid eyeliner, mascara and lip moisturizer everyday.  My current favorites are: Lancôme Artliner, DiorShow Mascara, Stila eyeshadows (in Golightly & Oasis), and Fresh Foundation and Sugar Lip Moisturizer, Nars blushes (in Orgasm and Casino) and lipsticks (in Barbarella, Funny Face, Captiva, Heat Wave, Dolce Vita and Roman Holiday), Chanel for red lipsticks (in Rouge Noir and Pirate), and Essie nail polish in Chinchilly.

Your city/country of origin?

I was born and raised in Guatemala City, Guatemala. I then moved to Texas to attend college at Trinity University and moved to New York for my MFA at Parsons. I met Jon at Parsons and we got married 8 months later. Since Jon is a native New Yorker, I will probably (and happily) live in New York City for the rest of my life!

Your proudest accomplishment?

Market Publique is my proudest accomplishment so far.

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