Alexa Chung's Best Friend Has a Rad Store in New York City

It may be filled with vintage-inspired wares, but Tennessee Thomas's East Village boutique also has an agenda that has nothing to do with the shop's mini-dresses or cat-eye sunglasses.

Two years ago, Tennessee Thomas signed the lease on a small retail space in the center of Manhattan's East Village but had nothing to fill it. "I had to call out to the community—like, 'We've got a shop! Does anyone have anything?'" Because Thomas is the person she is—drummer for the band Summer Moon, a DJ, and best friend of Alexa Chung—the people she hit up, many of whom are multihyphenates like herself, had plenty to offer.

That's why it took no time to fill her shop, The Deep End Club, with the cheerful 1960s-inspired gear it's known for today, allowing Thomas to also use the space as the activist headquarters she intended it to be. "When I first moved to New York, Occupy Wall Street was happening and I was really excited about that," she says. "I got here and it was like the fucking '60s. I was like, This is amazing!" But once things began to quiet down, Thomas explains, she had to come up with a way to keep the fire burning.

Today, the shop partners with organizations like The Wolf PAC and Lady Parts Justice to throw regular events like radical-crafting parties, neighborhood cleanups, equinox meditations, and Bernie Sanders activist trainings. "My friends and I thought it'd be really fun to have a space where we could have these types of conversations all the time. We're not claiming to know anything," says Thomas, "but we're all on this journey together."

Here, Thomas shares her top five picks from the shop for fall. In case you were wondering what to wear to the Global Climate March next weekend, look no further.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

1 Black Dress

"I designed this myself for the shop. The black-dress-with-white-collar part of my wardrobe is significant. But I usually wear vintage ones that are all kinds of ripped and don't fit me properly, so it's nice to have a new one that's nice quality. Velvet is always great for the holidays, black is practical, and short is cute."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

2 Orange Faux-Fur Coat

"This coat is by a brand called Family Affairs. We carry quite a lot of their things in here. It's fake fur—I'm vegetarian. This piece is great if you want to resemble a teddy bear. People should resemble teddy bears more, I think. Who doesn't love teddy bears? No one. Teddy bears are in."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

3 Silver Dress

"This is my dream silver dress. I designed it because I could never find one. Silver for the holidays—I mean, come on! It's always fun. I don't think I've had more attention than when I've worn this dress. Recently, I DJed at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in L.A. and emerged from the graveyard at 1 a.m. wearing this. I had sprained my ankle and had a cane and my box of records and was coming out of the graveyard and towards my Uberpool, and the people inside the car were like, 'What the hell is going on?! Can you please explain?'"

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

4 "Give a Damn" T-Shirt

"I collect vintage activism pins. I have one that says 'Give a Damn' and just thought that said it all. It's pretty relevant. And it's a pretty comfortable T-shirt, too."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

5 Future Eyes Sunglasses

"You can see the future through these. I played a game with some people in here to see how long we could keep them on for: the longer you do, the crazier it gets. But then it almost becomes normal; it's almost like a visual meditation or something."

See more at

Photographed by Stephanie Noritz

More from sweet: