Fabulous Fanny’s is one of Manhattan’s most treasured boutiques, specializing in vintage eyeglass frames and apparel for men and women since 2001. The boutique is named after Fanny, the store's pet macaw. Co-owners Ken Finneran and Stanton Blackmer opened their boutique on East Ninth Street after successfully selling their wares for many years at the popular Chelsea "dollar lot" flea market.
The bulk of the frames are authentic vintage, acquired over the span of many years from private collectors and designers. The collection includes new-old stock (original unused frames from the past) from recent designers within the past 15 years, such as creations by Maryam Zaim, as well as colorful designs from Nouvelle Vague. The collection also boasts a number of fine vintage designer frames, from names such as Emanual Co, Paloma Picasso and 1930s New York Designer, Gasparri, who was the first designer to ever sign his frames. One can also find classics and collectable frames, like Neo Style's timeless "Nautic" frame, as made popular by Elvis Presley.
The store also carries a variety of new stock. This includes sophisticated eyewear like "Lafont," as well as Fabulous Fanny's signature line of vintage-inspired frames, "Spectaculars,” which was inspired by Finneran and Blackmer’s desire to recreate and bring back a slew of popular vintage styles. The square-shaped, thick-rimmed "Skier" and sassy, cat-eye "Cruella" frames are among the most popular styles available. This line sports over 20 styles of frames in a variety of colors exclusive to Fabulous Fanny's. Extremely chic and meticulously fashioned from fine Italian plastics, "Spectaculars" can be purchased as a reasonable price of $135.
For a special touch, customers can also request an addition of Swarovski crystals to the frames. All work is flawless and beautifully executed, done in-shop by Blackmer himself. Blackmer skillfully hand-drills a hole for each diamond-cut Swarovski crystal prior to attaching it firmly into place. His work has were worn by the Three Blind Mice in the broadway production of Shrek.
Perched throughout the store is a variety of collectable frames and odd optician gear. Fabulous Fanny's vintage museum stands at the back of the store, and showcases a variety of interesting "masked" frames, from the original "Cruella" frames to precious couture "Gaultier" eyewear to past frames worn by famous pop artists. Anyone interested in trendy optical habits of the past will be fascinated by this collection.
In addition to eyewear, the other half of the store features a choice selection of men and women’s vintage clothing and costume jewelry. All of the clothing has been cleaned and is in ready-to-wear condition. On display is a wonderful collection of exceptional women’s millinery dating back to the 1930s. At the far back is a hidden Victorian women’s closet with rare period pieces.
Fabulous Fanny's contains one of the best vintage menswear collections in the city, which is constantly replenished by a flow of new merchandise. This section includes bow ties, pocket squares, suspenders, and a large selection of men's suits from the 1970s disco era.
As for costume jewelry, the beautiful pieces on display are fashioned out of antique and vintage finds by Chinwa. Meet the designer during her regularly scheduled monthly guest appearance at the shop.
Fabulous Fanny’s is a popular boutique that carries one of the largest selections of vintage frames available today. For shoppers who are visiting Manhattan for the day, the boutique also has a list of select opticians in the New York City, Pennsylvania and Boston areas with the ability to specially fill the prescription for vintage frames. With such an extensive collection of quality vintage merchandise at hard-to-beat prices, Fabulous Fanny’s is a must-visit destination for those craving a distinctive, unique look.
Written by Tommy Do | Edited by Bonnie Chan