For the month of April, Tucson ladies will get to experience a past era in sexy bedtime New York without having to leave Tucson.
How Sweet it Was Vintage has purchased the entire inventory of a Brooklyn lingerie store that had been languishing in boxes at a Tucson home; and will open a shop within a shop this month.
In 1973, the owners of Kitty's Specialty Shop, a Brooklyn lingerie store, closed up and moved to Tucson, hauling all of the store's inventory with them.
They intended to reopen the shop here but that never happened and all of those boxes of lingerie had been stored away for the last 44 years, until the east-side house was sold with everything in it.
The woman who bought the house wanted to sell the items. So she called Crissy Burgstaler, who owns How Sweet it Was Vintage, and invited her to check them out.
She was blown away by the number of boxes as well as the contents.
"The add-on was packed floor to ceiling with boxes," Burgstaler said. "At first it was kinda weird. There were boxes of old pantyhose, but as we started digging, there were real gems.
Everything in the boxes was brand new with tags.
"As we started digging, it was this amazing lounge wear from the 60's and 70's," Burgstaler said.
There were boxes of panties, baby doll sets, peignoir sets, gowns and more in all sizes and popular colors of the era.
"It's one of those eras that you see it on a hanger and you're like 'this is cool,' but when you put it on you're like 'hellooo!,'" Burgstaler said.
Since it's so rare to have an entire collection with a variety of sizes (up to 14), piecing out the items in the shop didn't seem to do justice to the amazing inventory, Burgstaler said.
So she and her store manager, Kaylee Ducote, decided to turn their monthly art party event, in which they feature local artists, into Kitty's Specialty Shop.
"The completeness of it and how it encapsulates this moment in time, it paints this cool, vivid picture," Burgstaler said.
Lingerie wasn't the only thing in those boxes. Each style came with a fashion sketch to show merchants what was inside. They will be on display during the monthlong event.
Selling online was an option, but Ducote and Burgstaler wanted to give Tucson ladies the chance to shop first. For the unveiling of Kitty's Specialty Shop on April 1, there will be a party with DJs, refreshments and other activities.
"We want to have a fun community event," Ducote said. "Give the Tucson girls dibs."
The reaction Burgstaler has received from other women has been "empowering," she said.
"Women are sharing stories of the importance of these garments that make you feel extra special," Burgstaler said. "It's just rad."
What: Kitty's Specialty Shop unveiling
When: 7 to 10 p.m. April 1
Where: How Sweet it Was Vintage, 424 E. Sixth St.
Cost: Free, but bring money to shop
Find more information here.