“I think I am a mix of gaucho chic Latina meets Jane March in The Lover. And my chicer side is a bit Angelica Houston, Charlotte Rampling or Meryl Streep in the 70’s and 80’s with a hint of Diane Keaton in Annie Hall,” ponders Marina reclining back on the black leather Eames chair in her living room. Her long maple brown hair hangs loosely over her shoulders and her face bares no make-up. She’s wearing soft denim harem pants and a brushed silk black tank. Gold hoops dangle from her ears. She’s barefoot. “I am deeply inspired by movie references,” she confirms. Marina’s dress sense is relaxed and unpretentious. She mixes textures, fabrics and cultures with a consistent twist of masculine-feminine, but mostly, 29-year old stylist-assistant Marina Munoz is an urban gypsy queen. Born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to an American father and Argentinian mother, Marina has moved between states and countries enough times to stockpile an empire of worldly experiences and travel stories, accumulating a collection of vintage clothes in each place and leaving a chunk of it behind again when she left. “I figured I would find similar pieces on my next route,” she shrugs with a hint of relief.
Marina lives with her boyfriend, photographer Sebastian Kim and 5-year old Cavalier King Charles, Mureno at the once infamous Gretsch building in Williamsburg. We meet on a glorious Wednesday morning over a cup of coffee and granola bars. While she chats and skims her closet for her favorite vintage pieces, I try to make sense of the chronology of her enviable bohemian inclinations. At one point she lived in Lenox, MA where her family owned a leather goods store. She signed up with Ford Models in New York City when she was 15. “I would commute from Jersey and attend school half days,” she says. It’s around this time that her love for vintage sparked. Her first purchase was a black & white polka dot vintage Henri Bendel dress from a store in Jersey. She lived in San Telmo, Argentina with two friends when she was 21. “San Telmo is a sector in Buenos Aires by the old port section and is full of the best vintage stores. We had an L-shaped balcony that ran alongside the apartment where we spent most of our time parading in our vintage ensembles. We were quite the tourist attraction,” she laughs. Sounds like Sexo en la Ciudad! She got married in Paris, lived in Mexico City, and finally settled in Brooklyn. “I am staying put now!”
When we leave the house to visit Malin Landaeus, an uber-cool, late 80’s-inspired vintage store down the road, Mureno has the saddest look on his black and brown face. “Adios Señor, portate bien,” whispers Marina lovingly as she shuts the door. You might remember the feature in the October issue of American Vogue where Esther Adams describes how “a crop of cool, 20-something dressers are mixing vintage romance with modern looks, a hint of what’s to come.” Marina Munoz was and is one of these girls. And she named Malin Landaeus as one of the vintage sources she most cherishes. She tells me “the carefully edited selection is super chic and reminds me of what my mother wore in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I love her silk pieces and accessories. You can spend hours and hours looking through the racks and then go back two weeks later and find everything has changed. Malin is a strong woman and a terrific mother to Nova. It’s a place for me to go and get good energy and be inspired.” Along the way we bump into James Penfold, Bill Gentle and his wife Fanny Bostrom, sipping coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee on Berry Street. It’s a gorgeous day and I’m thankful for the sun, the cherry blossoms and Marina’s endless, uplifting inspiration.