Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shopping: Only in New Hope

A typical display at Love Saves the Day on the corner of Main and Bridge streets in New Hope PA.

The store, one of two founded by now deceased retail genius Leslie Herson, still survives and flourishes with help from her husband and staff.

The shop continues Leslie's focus on ironic vintage clothing, games, toys and lunchboxes primarily from the 70s and some 80s and 60s. She was one of the first to see the marketing potential of diverse kitschy items like the Kojak board game, Pez dispensers, Elvis lamps, GI Joe, and Partridge Family lunchboxes.

Leslie also had an eye for vintage clothing, and later adopted much of the humorous Accoutrements novelty line, including the Albert Einstein action figure and the incredible Boxing Rabbi.

She was also influential in the evolution of the East Village/New York City retro idiom, and was an original, trippy, eccentric woman, probably 4'8" in heels, and kind to her workers, many of whom she helped to form their own spin-offs, like the popular "13" 80s-inspired fashion store on W. Mechanic Street, and new-comer God Save the Queens and its passion for punk. She was generous in sharing store fixtures, merchandise and connections, even with competitors, whom she also wouldn't hesitate to imitate.

A lot of us here in town and in the Village miss her.

Leslie Herson and Love Saves the Day. New Hope PA originals.

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