Young Socialites Struggle to Redefine Antiquing; Let’s Call It ‘Shopping for Furniture for Your Home’!

On Thursday, Jan. 29, the Winter Antiques Show hosted a young collectors night at the Park Avenue Armory, co-chaired by Kipton Cronkite, Gillian Hearst Simonds, and Tatiana Perkin, among others. 

“The feedback we’re getting is that people are being a little more hesitant before they’re making purchases, but there are sales that are happening,” Mr. Cronkite told the Daily Transom when we found him wandering the maze of dealers’ booths. 

Mr. Cronkite, who recently told us that he enjoyed antiquing quite a bit, was visiting the show for the first time, and was browsing the dealers’ stock for something specific. 

“I’m looking for a black Dutch frame for a Warhol painting that I have,” he told us. “And, actually, I’m also looking for a dining room table.”

The Daily Transom wondered whether “antiquing”–the thing that older people tend to do when they retire and move upstate–was becoming more of a younger, hipper thing to do for New York’s young socials.  

“I think so. It definitely has that stigma, which is why we’re trying to raise awareness with the Young Collectors Night,” said Mr. Cronkite. “If you’re furnishing your apartment and you’re buying a piece from a well-known store and you compare that price to an antique and you look over the long run, you’d see that the piece that’s newly made is obviously going to be worth a lot less than an antique. If younger people can look at the money they’re already spending, they’ll see that antiques are a better investment and they have a lot more character. There are so many periods and colors that there’s really something for everyone.”

Nearby, socialite and Christie’s auctioneer Lydia Fenet was also checking out the inventory. 

“I’m from Louisiana, where we have incredible antiques. My favorite is probably the matching bedroom set with a 17th-century armoire that my parents bought for me. It’s still at home, but I can’t wait to actually figure out how to get it here to New York,” Ms. Fenet told the Daily Transom. “And I love when my mom comes up because then we really get to go to places by Manchester, Vermont, or Tarrytown, New York, and check out some antiques.”

And did Ms. Fenet also notice the antiquing crowd getting younger? 

“I think in our generation, shopping for antiques is no longer known as going antiquing. We think of it as shopping for furniture for your home,” she replied. “I think also certain new magazines–and I know Domino just folded–really show how to do everything yourself. So I think our generation knows how to mix and match and it brings antiques to this middle market.” 

Young Socialites Struggle to Redefine Antiquing; Let’s Call It ‘Shopping for Furniture for Your Home’!