Photo: DeSean McClinton-Holland
Melissa Rich (pictured above)
Comedian and writer, Lower East Side
What brought you to the rack?
I live in the neighborhood, so I pass by Chad all the time. I’ve bought a lot of really cool stuff from him. Like a Von Dutch tank top.
What brought you to New York in the first place?
I’m a comedian, and I was doing stand-up in Pittsburgh and working at the Capital Grille steakhouse. They transferred me to the Midtown East location, which is right by the U.N. It was wild to move to the big city but still have to wear the same uniform, which was disgusting.
Did you wait on any famous politicians?
One day, we saw these different-looking Secret Service agents around; there were often Secret Service in there for, you know, whoever, but this time, they looked pretty intense. And they started going through our bags. Obviously, all of us had weed. But they let us in, and my boss was like, “Michelle Obama is in the dining room. Nobody talk to her. Nobody look at her. Just walk straight to the kitchen.” But then when she walked through the dining room, she waved and gave us little, like, finger guns. It was so cute.
Chad Senzel (@chadsenzelarchive)
Vintage dealer, Harlem
So this is your rack?
Yes. The story is I’m from Vermont, and growing up, I’d go all the time to the local Goodwill and find all these funky clothes. Three summers ago, I started trying out this rack thing. First in Soho, which I thought would be great because, like, Soho is notorious for people with money. It didn’t do well. Then in Dumbo, which, same. Now here, which has been great. I got laid off a few months ago because of COVID, but I’m doing well enough with this that it’s a full-time job.
Jamie Jaquez Jr.
College student, Los Angeles
What brings you here today?
I play basketball for UCLA, and we’re in New York for the ESPYs. We’re nominated for Game of the Year for our crazy overtime game versus Gonzaga. During COVID, without the fans, we were just pulling up to games in our sweat suits. But now that the fans and cameras are coming back, you have to look good again. Which is why we’re rolling through the streets, shopping.
Archivist, East Village
Vintage-store owner, Lower East Side
Retail manager, Crown Heights
Michael Johnston Jr.
Designer, Downtown Brooklyn
Gallery assistant, Lower East Side
How are people dressing in the neighborhood these days?
I’ve dabbled with things that are maybe trendier, but to me, a big old T-shirt and a hat is true New York LES fashion, way more than a little bag or a silk scrunchie. Same with my street jewelry that turns my hands different colors. Gangrene till I die, bro.
Editorial assistant, Bushwick
Actor, Los Angeles
Did you get anything?
Yes, these Armani pants. I really liked their soft-green color. At first, I was like, “Chad, are these going to be too big on me? And does anyone care if I change right here?” They look really good, if I do say so myself.
A&R representative, Lower East Side
Designer, Carroll Gardens
Designer, Downtown Brooklyn
Interior designer, Lower East Side
You live right around here?
A little bit north, like closer to Houston. That’s a very different scene than Dimes Square, though it’s still super-super-sceney. It’s the worst. It’s like 80 percent TikTok-Instagram people and then 20 percent people rolling up in their souped-up Corolla with the windows down blasting Pop Smoke.
Recruitment manager, Upper East Side
Model, Lower East Side
What are you up to?
I was just walking by with my Dalmatian, Pongo. I bought him in the pandemic. I always wanted a Dalmatian, but I thought they were too big. Then I heard there were miniature Dalmatians. When I saw Pongo, I thought, Wow.
Vintage-store owner, Bedford-Stuyvesant
Photographs by DeSean McClinton-Holland