Photograph by Chris Smith
Casablanca Vintage is experiencing a revival, and it was an unlikely pair of musicians-turned-shop owners who pulled it off. In its previous life, the Northside clothing store was kind of a mess. Diehard shoppers loved the huge selection, but the stock was literally piled on the floor, and the empty storefront window gave the place a gloomy, disused vibe.
That all changed in January of 2010, when loyal customers Teddy Aitkins and Sky White made an offer to purchase the shop. You may recognize Aitkins as the drummer for local band Automagik, and White as the keyboard player for the band Foxy Shazam. The pair began Casablanca’s transformation by wading through the stock and reorganizing the shop’s interior. “One half of the store was covered by a pile of clothes that was about 10 feet tall,” Aitkins says. “It was in disarray, but that never stopped people from shopping here.” With Aitkins and White in charge, the piles have been replaced by racks filled with clothes that date from the 1920s all the way through the 1980s, organized by style and color. What hasn’t changed is Casablanca’s street cred. The large inventory has been cultivated over 26 years, something that Aitkins believes makes the store stand out in the saturated world of vintage shopping. “Casablanca has been established for a long time; people know the name, so we get people bringing us product every week,” Aitkins says. “You can find things that really speak to your style here.”
Casablanca Vintage, 3944 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, (513) 541-6999, casablancavintage.com
Originally published in the February 2013 issue