'I've always been someone who was more interested in vintage clothing than new things' says Emily Spivack, Brooklyn-based writer,and author of Worn in New York, a set of stories chronicling the meanings and memories behind items of clothing.
'When I look through my closet, I don't think about designers or seasons, I recall the experience I had wearing them. Sometimes with clothes, there's this thing where we hold on to something, but we don't necessarily ask why. Why I can't I throw away this item? Why are you so attached to that t-shirt?" With Worn in New York, I had that opportunity to ask why.'
In her new book, Emily interviews 68 people who live or have spent time in New York, from celebrities to taxi-drivers, musicians to restaurant owners. Each one has chosen an item of clothing with a meaning or story behind them, here's a look at some of our favourites...
Nile Rodgers, musician
'I wore this hat when my band, New York City, went on tour with Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 in 1973. At the time, we had only one hit, but it was enough for us to go on tour with them. During the tour, Michael and I became very friendly because he liked my hippie fashion sense.'
Catherine Opie, photographer
'I'd moved out to Novato, California, […] because this girl I knew had just inherited her grandparents' house […] and needed a roommate. Inthe closet of my new bedroom was this mint condition 1952 Sears, Roebuck and Co.'s leather jacket. I tried it on and it fit me like a glove. My roommate bequeathed [it] to me, it was the first piece of clothing that allowed me to identify as a leather dyke—it was hot and sexy and transformed me from a girl from Ohio into an urbanite. I needed it to feel like I could fit in.'
Coco Rocha, model
'I have been a huge fan of Elizabeth Taylor ever since I watched National Velvet as a child. When my friend invited me to the Christie's auction of [her] clothing, I jumped at the chance. When that [Givenchy jumpsuit] came up, I put my hand up […] and suddenly it was mine. I was the youngest person in the room and all these older women turned and looked at me. One asked "what are you going to do with that?" […] I looked at [them], confused. "I'm going to wear it. Isn't that why we're here?"'
Lena Dunham, writer and actress
'…to have a Gaultier ball gown, I thought you had to be a millionaire. My mom had found it in the European designer section marked down, like, 200 percent. It's a hideous brown with pinstripes and layers of tattered tulle, and I thought it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. […] This dress does not look good on me. […] But I've worn it a bunch. It's had a whole beautiful life with me. I don't keep a lot of crap […] This dress, though, will be a part of me until the day I leave this planet.'
• Extracts taken from Worn in New York: 68 Sartorial Memoirs of the City by Emily Spivack (Abrams, out November 1, £18.99)
All Photography by Rachel Brenneke