Hell’s Kitchen is a step closer to becoming a sartorial hotspot with the opening of PDL Vintage, a new clothing store run by Patrick Daniel Loughlin that’s set up shop on W49th Street with the support of local mainstay Fine and Dandy.
Offering a select, smartly curated selection of seasonally rotating categories — which on opening weekend included funky bomber jackets, band T-shirts, leather vests, colorful 80s-style sweaters and vintage jeans — Loughlin hopes to make the sometimes overwhelming process of finding that rare treasure a bit easier.
“I want to have small sections of seven to 15 items in each category — 10 really good vests, 10 really good striped shirts, 10 really good cardigans. I pick each category so that I can stand out a bit, rather than just have a bunch of stuff mixed in. There’s a million amazing vintage stores and I’m trying to stand out by organizing these small racks on purpose.”
One of these amazing vintage stores is PDL’s next-door neighbor Fine and Dandy, run by Matt Fox and Enrique Crame on W49th Street for over a decade. Loughlin told W42ST that Crame — who he met as a wholesale client — is the reason he made the move to launch in Hell’s Kitchen.
“I’m very good friends with Enrique,” said Loughlin. “We met when he was buying wholesale items from me — we were both making money and everybody was happy, and we formed a relationship through that.” In 2022, Crame alerted Loughlin that a space next to Fine and Dandy was available, and “I signed the lease almost immediately,” said Loughlin.
The road to Hell’s Kitchen, however, had been a fairly unexpected one. Growing up in Poughkeepsie, “I loved business,” said Loughlin, whose first solo enterprise was shoveling driveways at the age of 10. He went on to work a cornucopia of odd jobs — mover, restaurant busboy — but a career in fashion and retail was never on the wishlist, until at age 15, friends asked him to join them on a trip to Goodwill. “Back then I was really into Air Jordans and sneakers,” recalled Loughlin. He agreed to tag along on the thrifting trip, “thinking that I could get some clothes to match my shoes.” Attuned to the value of sportswear brands, “I realized, ‘Oh my God, this stuff’s worth a lot of money’ — and it was being sold for a dollar or two,” — and a thrifter was born.
“I was thrilled at the chase of finding a deal,” Loughlin said. He quickly began re-selling his finds on the Poshmark platform, where his sister had long been offloading old items from her closet. “She was getting checks in the mail for like, $200,” said Loughlin. “It sounded like real money to a 15 year old who was making $5 an hour bussing tables.” He immersed himself in the vintage world, studying valuable brands, watching educational videos from New York-based Round Two Vintage and Googling finds to determine when he’d discovered a hidden gem. “The first couple of years, I knew nothing,” laughed Loughlin, “but I learned through trial and error.”
He soon developed an eye for rare clothing items and honed his own curatorial style. “I think I naturally had an eye to be able to pick out the cool stuff,” said Loughlin. And though his business was quickly picking up steam, he put his vintage career on pause to study Physical Education at SUNY Cortland. “I was going to stop and just focus on college, but a week in, I was already bored,” he added. “I started walking a mile from campus to the local thrift stores on Saturdays, and my roommates thought I was crazy. But it was fun for me!”
He was a sophomore in college in March of 2020 when COVID-19 hit and campus shut down, and Loughlin leaned even more into his vintage business. “I had a couple of wholesalers at the time, so I was still getting stuff in,” said Loughlin. “I got creative with the sourcing, driving around anywhere I could find things — stuff out on a sidewalk, at yard sales or off Facebook Marketplace. It was a crazy time, but business was booming.” Loughlin had gone back to working as a mover while at home, but the uptick in business convinced him to finally made the decision to take his vintage dream full-time. He completed his degree but by the time he had graduated he knew that a life in vintage fashion was for him. “I got into grad school, but I decided not to go,” said Loughlin. “There was no turning back.”
In addition to selling online, he began carting his wares down to New York City’s most popular vintage markets — the Hester Street Fair, Greenpoint Terminal Market, Grand Bazaar and the like — becoming a weekend vintage warrior and building up a steady base of loyal customers. “I’d been selling online for a long time, and I developed this little following,” said Loughlin. “People ask, ‘where can I find you?’, so I knew having a store would help the business a lot.”
When Loughlin got the chance to invest in a physical storefront, he knew the Hell’s Kitchen space would convey the gritty, industrial New York-atmosphere he wanted to build. “When Enrique initially showed me the space, I liked how raw it was,” he told W42ST. “I didn’t want white walls — I liked the exposed brick, the high ceilings — it has a lot of character and is very ‘New York,’. It has its flaws — I’ve been cleaning and fixing it up for the past few months — but I like that it’s not perfect.”
Loughlin considers it a bonus to be working next to Matt and Enrique of Fine and Dandy. “Most businesses don’t want competition next door,” he said. “But we have such different selections, that we think we can make this a destination for people to shop with both of us. We figure that if we put two or three stores together, it creates a vintage destination — people can spend $50 here or $100 there and get all kinds of different things.”
The camaraderie and collaboration he’s felt from Fine and Dandy and the operators of Vintage on 46th has cemented his decision to launch in Hell’s Kitchen. “We’re not in Soho or Brooklyn, where most of the vintage stores are,” said Loughlin. “But so many people who shop there are probably coming from this area! By being here people can keep it local, and we can also get people in town who may already be in the area — for people coming from upstate or Westchester, it’s easy to get here.”
After several months spent getting the store ready, Loughlin has also fallen in love with Hell’s Kitchen. “I love the neighborhood,” he said. “It feels less commercial, and a little quieter than other parts of Midtown.”
He’s looking forward to establishing relationships with the local community, with the support of his loyal street market customers and his friends and family — who planned to descend en masse for his March 4 soft opening. “I have people coming in from Poughkeepsie to South Carolina to support me — it really feels like a graduation,” said Loughlin.
“I’ve always wanted to have a store — it’s been my dream for a long time,” said Loughlin. “This is day one, and I’m still trying to make it work right now — it’s a slow build but I have faith that I will.” For now, he feels ready to tackle the challenge. “I’m just excited to get people out to the store and to take care of the local community.”
PDL Vintage is located at 441 W49th Street between 9th and 10th Avenue and is currently open Thursday through Sunday from 12-7pm.