Olivia La Roche & Alexes Ruiz Bowyer

The business partners (the pair sell grade-A vintage through their brand, Petra Von Kant), roommates, and best friends have the most characterful closet we’ve ever seen.

By: Emily Ramshaw
Styling: Emily Ramshaw
Photography: Alec Kugler

When you were a 14-year-old, did you and your best friend secretly make plans to one day move to New York, live together in a downtown loft, and start a business in fashion? It sounds quaint now that you’re living the nine-to-five reality (for us, too), but exchange the downtown loft for a Brooklyn duplex and Olivia La Roche and Alexes Ruiz Bowyer are pretty much living the dream—because that’s exactly what they did.

They completed step one with little to no sweat, having moved to New York from Oakland a few months ago (La Roche was an editor for indie e-commerce juggernaut Lisa Says Gah, among other creative projects; Ruiz Bowyer was a jewelry designer and a buyer for cult vintage store the Painted Bird). They moved in together pretty seamlessly too, having found the NYC fantasy apartment (two floors with ample work space ideal for company-starting). And then they started a business: an online vintage store called Petra Von Kant that marries their collective genius eye for vintage and sartorial storytelling. The best part for us? They keep their stock at home—and while everything you see here they actually own and aren’t selling, it’ll give you a pretty good sense of the goodies for sale. And if you’re anything like us, you’ll wind up with a large order of your own in 3, 2, 1…

Click through the gallery to find out where the name Petra Von Kant comes from and why La Roche owns sandals covered in plastic grapes.

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