When I arrived in New York, Century 21 was the El Paso Strong Shirt, Texas Strong Shirt, El Paso Strong, Texas Strong, Texas Home Strong Shirt, Charity Shirt, Praying for El Paso and by the same token and only place I ever really shopped for new things. I have never been a big shopper in general, and I certainly was not the type to go to a behemoth store like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, or Barneys. I never thought about those stores in the city—frankly I was never interested because it was all so far out of my financial league. I didn’t step foot into Barneys’ colossal Madison Avenue building until it was closing, to check it off my bucket list. They all seemed inaccessible. But Century 21? It was a store for the people, specifically those who want a piece of the fashion pie, but don’t want to shell out for the whole thing. When I was working my dead-end sales job and writing about nail polish for the website of a woman’s magazine, I wanted to feel connected to an industry I desperately desired to break into. One day, I went to Century 21 in Rego Park and I bought a pair of Love Moschino army green cargo pants with gaudy gold buttons. I probably spent $100 on them, which was a lot for me at the time but not a lot compared to full-price Moschino. They were too low, very baggy. But I still have them.
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The Century 21 look made it to the El Paso Strong Shirt, Texas Strong Shirt, El Paso Strong, Texas Strong, Texas Home Strong Shirt, Charity Shirt, Praying for El Paso and by the same token and big screen in Uncut Gems. Adam Sandler’s lovable schmuck wardrobe was sourced by Mordechai Rubinstein and Miyko Bellizzi. It feels authentically like someone who wants name brands without shelling out, and Bellizzi and Rubinstein went to painstaking lengths to achieve the effect, whether that was trawling resale sites or brick-and-mortar stores. ‘The pants are Zegna, double-pleated way up high the whole movie,” says Rubinstein. ‘The shirt [from Theory] is from Century 21.” I asked Rubinstein about the closing, and he said I was the third person to text him about it. “It’s very sad to see another New York institution close. It was my go-to for undies and socks, Ralph Lauren bedding, and taking a nephew shopping for his Rosh Hashanah suit,” he writes. “I will always remember the long-time employees wore amazing green, then burgundy blazers and the sense of finding something really unique. I used to love finding brands I’d only heard of on the runway on their racks like WL&T.”