Two heads are better than one; and when those 2 heads are beautiful, identical twins, what could be better? One look at either Sara or Karen Brown’s Instagram accounts will prove to you that these girls have an eye for style, composition, and color. The beautiful, blonde Brown sisters let us into their Brooklyn apartment (which boasts a perfectly curated collection of vintage blankets, pottery, and furniture) to talk inspirations, vintage shopping, and fondest twinning #TBT memories.
Photography by Kava Gorna, Interview by Natasha Nunez
Sara: Aquarius. It is pretty accurate in that we are both creative types, love our friends & family, and enjoy being independent.
Who is older?
Karen: Technically I am 1 minute older, but our mom had a C-section so they took me out first. We’ve been told whoever was “on top” would have been born second during a natural birth. This probably explains why Sara likes to mother me and boss me around.
Earliest recollection of getting dressed up by mom? How has she influenced the evolution of your individual style?
Sara: Our mom was most supportive in allowing us to dress ourselves from very early on. She always encouraged us to express ourselves through what we wore. She rarely picked out our "looks"... just when we were little babies!
Fondest memory of back to school?
Karen: My fondest memory of going to back school was obviously shopping. We focused on shoes, backpacks (LLBean vs. North Face), and finally clothes. I remember my first day of middle school like it was yesterday. I planned my outfit for weeks. I wore a Grateful Dead T-shirt, corduroy pants, and brown suede pumas. Needless to say I was in my skater boy phase which didn’t attract any of the boys. By 8th grade I was all about Contempo Casuals and sneaking eyeliner.
Describe your favorite twinning #TBT.
Sara: I have many favorite "twinning" moments. Perhaps the best were made on the beach in Maine, where we grew up spending our summers... boogie boards and making fimo jewelry!
How has your personal aesthetic inspired your line of work?
Sara: I am very inspired by vintage and the authenticity of it all. Working for the most "Americana" company for the past 8 years, I have grown to appreciate the 'timeless' look. It has allowed me to build a wardrobe based on what I like, quality, and history ... rather than trends that quickly disappear. Vintage items to me are timeless, as they represent a specific decade. They can inspire current trends while also being a nod to the past. I love how you can put together a look created entirely of vintage items yet it can still look new and current.
Karen: Sara and I have always channeled a preppy/hippy/grungy aesthetic- a result of growing up in Connecticut in the 90’s. No matter what we wear, that will always resonate in our style. Working at Ralph Lauren, such an iconic American brand, has definitely attributed to our evolving style.
style. We both tend to mix RL pieces with vintage and edgier items. I think it is safe to say our style has mostly stayed pretty consistent through the years. We always mix up different styles and aesthetics in everything we do.
Name three articles of clothing you borrowed from Karen and never returned.
Sara: NONE! Karen is raiding my closet as of late. We do share everything though.
What are Sara’s go-to basics for Fall?
Karen: This question makes me laugh. I tease Sara a lot about being so vintage and call her the “Vintage Queen.” So definitely her vintage Levi’s, and oversized wool sweaters over a vintage T. She’s also into this tights + socks and a vintage dress look which I tease her about but its super cute. It’s very “Japanese Sara.” I’d say her “go to” item is her antique Southwestern jewelry collection and accessories (which I always steal).
What are your favorite places to shop vintage?
Sara: eBay, Etsy, and random flea markets. I get inspired by things I see in high-end vintage stores or on the runway and head straight to the internet!
Tips and tricks for a successful vintage buy?
Karen: I’d say if your gut tells you its unique and special then trust that and get it. I’m still kicking myself over a quilt I saw in Lambertville, NJ that was made of felt cigar patches (old advertising) that I passed up. I looked it up on eBay when I got home and definitely blew it. Also, never be afraid to make an offer- you are not in a retail store for a reason.
Best vintage score?
Sara: My favorite 1930's depression era Santa Domingo necklace. It has a little turquoise thunderbird in the center- for my nickname "birdie". I found it in Arizona.
Karen: This is so hard. I recently bought a 50’s vintage bowling shirt that’s perfectly seamed, cropped and on the back embroidered is “Cookies Rolling Pins.” I found it on Etsy where I tend to buy more vintage now than Ebay.
Fill in the blank...
Karen: Sara is my cooler, sweeter, other half.
Sara: Karen will never bite her tongue when she's angry!
Karen: Twins are the world’s biggest blessing. I could cry thinking about it.