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‘Sustainably Bougie’: Vico Style Ventures Into Harvard Square

Vico Style, a new vintage clothing startup that opened last month, advertises itself as size-inclusive and budget-friendly.
Vico Style, a new vintage clothing startup that opened last month, advertises itself as size-inclusive and budget-friendly. By Ariana-Dalia Vlad
By Caroline K. Hsu and Sidney K. Lee, Crimson Staff Writers

Vico Style, a vintage fashion startup that opened last month, aims to help customers “be sustainably bougie on a budget,” according to its founder.

Located on the corner of 73 Mount Auburn St., the Harvard Square location is currently the only permanent Vico Style storefront, but another is set to open in Boston later this month, according to founder Cecilia Hermawan.

Hermawan said the idea for the store emerged from her own “pain point,” as she often purchased secondhand goods to save money while completing her MBA as a single parent.

“I learned that I had to be better with my money because I had to pay for my own tuition. So as a result, I started consuming secondhand goods,” Hermawan said.

Hermawan, who worked for nearly a decade in fashion in the Boston area prior to launching Vico Style, said she decided to start her own business after falling in love with a vintage Irish tweed cape.

“I caught the startup bug,” Hermawan said. “I am not going to wake up when I’m 50 and regret I’m not doing something that I’m passionate about.”

According to Hermawan, the collection of clothing will be rotated every three weeks given the store’s size restrictions. The location has just 200 square feet for selling space, Hermawan said, adding that each set will have its own “vibe.”

“Right now, we have grandparents-core, which is kind of like your grandpa’s blazer type of vibe and your grandmother’s florals and pearls,” Hermawan said. The next collection will feature bright, “dopamine dressing” clothing, with colors like fuschia and aqua.

“Curation is a big part of what we do,” Hermawan added.

Vico Style also offers a subscription service, Hermawan said. Each quarter, the business ships boxes to subscribers containing pieces catered to “life stage.”

“What are you looking for? Are you graduating or you’re about to have internships or whatever it may be? Do you hate animal prints? Do you like textured stuff or mostly solid?” Hermawan said. “We tailor that specifically to you.”

Hermawan said the startup gathers information on customers’ buying habits, with plans to train a machine learning algorithm with the data to “curate really personalized selections that could scale.”

Customers said they were drawn to the Harvard Square storefront by its unique selection and affordability.

“It looks like all the clothing pieces are special and unique,” said customer Emma C. O’Malley ’26. “Someone else you see on the street wouldn’t have the same clothes.”

“I’ve been really into sustainable fashion, vintage stuff these days. And I noticed that they opened and the clothes looked really cute.” Haesung Jee ’23-’24 said, adding that the shop was “welcoming” and “affordable.”

“I feel like a lot of vintage shops in Cambridge, sometimes they really mark up their prices,” Nayleth E. Lopez-Lopez ’23 said.

“You don’t want to try something on, love it, and then not be able to buy it,” Lopez-Lopez added.

Jasdeep K. Gurm ’26, who went to the store on its opening day, wrote in a message that the “vibes” at Vico Style are “immaculate.”

“All of the items were great quality and really reasonably priced! I loved their selection of vintage purses and jewelry,” Gurm wrote.

—Staff writer Caroline K. Hsu can be reached at caroline.hsu@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineHsu_.

—Staff writer Sidney K. Lee can be reached at sidney.lee@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @sidneyklee.

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