One of our favorite new shows, The Dukes of Melrose, ends its season tonight with a double-header starting at 9pm on Bravo. If you haven't yet given this show a whirl, you are totally missing out. The show follows Chistos Garkinos and Cameron Silver, the two fashionable co-owners of Decades, a well-known vintage and consignment boutique in Los Angeles. While there are ups and downs in the land of vintage retail, one thing remains the same—the clothes are fabulous.
Lucky for us, we got to talk shop with Christos Garkinos about how he got started, his tips for consignment shopping, and of course, his favorite celebrity clients. Read on!
OK!: How did you and Cameron first meet?
Christos Garkinos: We were set up actually on a blind date 15 years ago. We went out on a date and I was like, “Oh this is not going to work,” so we decided to be friends. He had just started Decades and I was still working in music and I loved fashion and I loved what he was doing and I gave seed money to help start Decades Two about two years later.
OK!: What made you decide to merge two years ago?
CG: It's just that it was getting more difficult for Cameron to do it on his own and he saw the strength and growth of the modern business. There were two different beasts under one roof and we thought it would be best if we actually just got together and did it.
OK!: You guys are so different in your approach to running the store. Have there been any big blowups that ever threatened the company?
CG: Not like, huge blowups. It’s more about the models of the store being different. I just don’t understand why we have to spend money on a dress. (Laughs) I get it in my head, but I just don’t like to, because I like to sell things quickly.
OK!: Did producers come knocking right when you merged to do a reality show?
CG: Pretty much, yeah. We had been approached separately to do things and I was ready to go out with one idea and [Cameron] wasn’t sure, and then we decided to merge and he asked to kind of come along for the ride and I was like, “Yeah, sure that’d be great.”
OK!: Have you always wanted to be on TV?
CG: Honestly, the truth is, I feel like I’m living out my father’s life. He really wanted to be in television and movies, but his language skills weren’t great, so I really feel like I’m living out his dream when I’m out there doing stuff. I love connecting with people. It’s my favorite part of what I’ve done so far.
OK!: Is there any celebrity’s closet that you’re dying to get your hands on?
CG: Most have already come to me, but I think I’d like to go really deep into Blake Lively’s closet because I think she has really good style.
OK!: Who are your favorite celebrity clients?
CG: I love working with Garcelle Beauvais. I love working with Selma Blair, Winona Ryder, and from a stylist perspective, I love working with Karla Welch. My favorite right now is Ashley Madekwe from Revenge.
OK!: Can everyday people shop at Decades?
CG: Absolutely! You saw in the show we do our shoes at $150. Our opening price point is $100 on blouses and skirts. Any office skirt for the most part is under $250 in the store and dresses you can buy for $200. Also, there are $400 dresses that go all the way up to $10,000, so there is definitely that sort of range of clothing in both cases. With both modern and vintage.
OK!: Do you have a lot of people that turn their noses up to buying pre-owned clothes?
CG: Yeah, and I have some tips that are interesting: If the store doesn’t smell good when you walk in it usually means it’s not well-edited, so just don’t go there. Make friends with the store managers, they can tell you what’s coming in. Never go shopping with a girl who has the same shoe size because that’s going to be a situation.
OK!: Ha! Any other tips?
CG: Yeah, if it smells like Aunt Judy's house, just stay away.
OK!: Let's discuss your personal style. What do you like to wear?
CG: I definitely have certain brands I kind of go to. I mean, I love McQueen and Gucci and I’ll throw in some Tom Ford pieces from Gucci when he was designing for men, but I definitely like those brands. This morning I wore [Thierry] Mugler on Wendy Williams and I love that.
OK!: In tonight's episode, there is talk of the Met Ball. What are some of your favorite Met Ball looks of all time?
CG: I love when poor Beyonce had to jump in her dress to go off the red carpet. I love that. I thought that was great. Anytime Naomi Campbell goes to the Met Ball is a good look. Iman, too, always looks beautiful. I think Giselle [Bundchen] and Tom [Brady] literally could wear a paper bag over their heads and go and they would look great together.
OK!: Can you tease anything else coming up on the show?
CG: Yeah. I think you’ll see me reveal something about myself about my ability to really want to spend money in the end. You’ll see the Christos come out. (Laughs) There’s nothing fake about that show. You see me literally go nuts at an auction. I got so competitive. It’s crazy.
OK!: How has your life changed since your show premiered? Have you been recognized a lot?
CG: Yeah, it’s very strange. I am. I’ll see people smiling and I’m a pretty friendly guy and they’re like, “Hi” and I’m like, “Do I know you,” and they’re like, “No I love your show!” and I’m like oh that’s right, I have a show. It’s still very, very strange for me. It's this knowing smile I get, and I'm still not used to it. My mother loves it because she is the queen of Detroit and is having the best time ever with it. She’s loving it.
Make sure to tune into the season finale tonight at 9pm on Bravo! Are you a Christos fan? Do you hope for a season 2? Tell us in the comments below or tweet to us @OKMagazine.
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