Milk & Ice, located on The Avenue in Hampden, offers highly selective and well-made vintage garments based on the expert taste of the owners. Angie Gavin and Kate Schultz see their role as curatorial, selecting one-of-a-kind pieces that stand the test of time, and also promotional, broadening the perception of what vintage is to a growing audience of customers.
Milk & Ice is a treasure trove of gowns, jackets, jewelry, and fur coats. Gavin and Schultz say that sourcing materials is not only a creative and environmentally friendly act, it can also be a meaningful transfer of historic value. “We prefer private estate brokering because we can work with families and ensure their loved ones’ pieces can breathe new life in our care,” they say. “It also allows us to confidently date the vintage and get a story we can pass along to our customers.”
When the two are not creating runway looks for fashion shows, co-producing the Baltimore Vintage Expo with Mount Vernon vintage shop Bottle of Bread, or dressing up like horror movie characters as Halloween costume inspiration on their super-entertaining Instagram feed, they offer sage sartorial advice to anyone looking to up their wardrobe game, especially for special events.
Owners: Angie Gavin and Kate Schultz
How long have you owned the business?
Our retail store has been open for 5 years, we’ve been working in vintage together for close to 15 years.
Where does the name come from?
Our name, as weird as it is, is pretty literal. We are best friends who early on in our friendship discovered we both grew up drinking and love milk with ice, and that tended to gross people out, but we loved it.
What do you sell the most of? Can you describe a range of the types of clothing you sell?
We sell a range of vintage and try to consistently stock our shop with as many eras, styles, and sizes as possible to stay aligned with our motto of “vintage for everyone!” In our retail shop you will find a plethora of very wearable vintage from old rock and roll tees, broken-in denim and workwear, to vintage dresses from casual to cocktail. In our online shop we primarily sell more special pieces, things we find more rare or historic which is what we get an extra kick out of as collectors ourselves.
Where do you get your clothing, jewelry, and other items?
We could tell you but then we’d have to kill you!!!!!!!! Just kidding. We source from every possible source imaginable, but prefer private estate brokering because we can work with families and ensure their loved ones pieces can breathe new life in our care. It also allows us to confidently date the vintage and maybe even get a story we can pass along to our customers.
Can you talk about how shopping vintage is both fashionable and political? You are recycling and also taking some sartorial risks in what you wear.
Despite sounding trite, it’s true that clothing just isn’t made the way it used to be. A lot of vintage we source was made in America from stronger fabrics and with better materials. Zippers are metal instead of plastic, they stood the test of time for a reason. Wearing vintage is a way to take a stand against mass-produced, cheap outsourced clothing. And most of the time, it costs less money than the newer, cheap stuff, which is a great way to justify taking risks with fashion. We’ve heard people in our shop say, “Oh I love this gown, but where would I wear it?!” And we say “GROCERY SHOPPING! WHO CARES!” Because it’s affordable, it doesn’t always have to break the bank in order for you to try out a new style or go for something out of your comfort zone.
What are your favorite vintage items to buy for yourself? If you have one favorite thing you bought and wear all the time, what is it?
DENIM JACKETS! We both have closets full of them. Thrashed denim jackets with holes and oil stains, clean, cropped Wranglers, just denim ALL THE WAY.
Kate’s favorite is a 1970s Lee Denim Jacket and Angie’s is a 1960s Levis denim jacket passed down to her from her Dad.
Editor’s Note: This interview with Gavin and Schultz was published in an abbreviated version in Issue 07 of the BmoreArt Journal of Art + Ideas.
Photos by Justin Tsucalas for the BmoreArt Journal Issue 07: Body
Heads Up: The Next Baltimore Vintage Expo, organized by Milk & Ice with Bottle of Bread, is Sunday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m.–noon for earlybird tickets and noon–6 p.m. for general admission at Union Craft Brewing. More info here.