Julie Mardian and Cassandra Hunsdon Go Head-to-Head (and Toe) in Local Style

Cassandra Hunsdon and Julie Mardian work in two of the cutest spots in town, so it makes sense that we want nearly everything in both of their closets. The two friends manage Phoenix sister stores Frances Vintage and Smeeks, where they style fabulous parties, clothes and gifts.

What are you wearing right now?

A vintage, cream-colored, 60s-style stewardess dress with vintage men's belt, footless heart-print tights with brown Jeffrey Campbell clogs.

Julie: A black Spendid dress with a BCBG thermal and Look From London footless tights with, of course, my TOMS.

- What is the last item of clothing you bought?
Cassandra: A bright red vintage dress and these incredible chandelier clip-on earrings from Retro Ranch -- one of my favorite vintage shops.

Julie: A Charlotte sweater for New Year's Eve.

- What is the item of clothing you most covet at the moment?
Cassandra: This incredible vintage fringe dress from Retro Ranch and the entire spring collection at Frances ... the dresses are amazing!

Julie: Anything from the Biya spring collection!

- Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes:
Cassandra: My obsession with fashion and style started at a young age. I grew up on a farm with six siblings. I'm the youngest of six girls and one boy, so you can imagine the hand-me-downs I was given. I started making my own creations out of the items by altering them or completely tearing them apart and making something new. The lack of resources forced me to be creative and think outside the box.

I was definitely infatuated with a certain pink dress. I look at pictures now and I swear I must have worn this dress for five years straight.

- Name five items every woman should have in her closet:
Cassandra: Great-fitting jeans, scarves, high-waisted skirts, TOMS wedges, and lastly, some COLOR!

Julie: TOMS shoes, a go-to, match-everything purse, a black dress, good-fitting jeans, and, whether you're working out in them or not, a pair of Lululemon pants.

- Name an item of clothing that's best when it's vintage:
Cassandra: I'm partial to vintage dresses. The fit, the cut, the colors, and yes, the shoulder pads -- I'm a sucker for all of it!

Julie: A good vintage find is hard to come by, but I always keep my eye out for a great coat.

- Name an item of clothing you should NEVER buy used:
Cassandra: I've never been able to buy used/vintage pants. They either look like mom jeans on me or super high-waters.

I would think the last thing someone would buy used would be a wedding dress. Sure, you wear it for one day, but this should be something you and only you wear.

- What is your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix?

Explore different colors and combinations, wear what inspires you. Put some effort into it. There is nothing wrong with taking a little pride in your style. You don't have to drop mad cash to have a unique style -- there are great shops in the Phoenix area that offer a variety of affordable finds. Guys, this goes for you, too. There is nothing sexier than a guy that knows how to dress and isn't afraid to express his own style.

We're not L.A. or N.Y. We're somewhere in between, but it's the local shops that have the finger on the pulse. Redefine your style and shop local!

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton