In the 1950s, Ann Jahnke worked at a dress shop in Dickinson, North Dakota, called Vanity. Jahnke and her husband purchased the rights to the Vanity name in 1957, and they moved the original store to a new, larger location three years later. Experimenting with their exact niche, the owners decided to dedicate a portion of their second Vanity store to juniors' apparel, and they soon saw this new category become a top seller. The pair officially incorporated Vanity in 1966 and began to expand the concept. They opened Vanity 2 in Grand Forks, ND, and dedicated it entirely to juniors' sizes.
Over the next decade, Vanity opened several more stores across North Dakota, and it expanded to Colorado in the mid-1970s. The store primarily caters to fashion-minded young women who are looking for affordable options. Today, there are more than 200 Vanity stores in 27 states across the country. It has also had an ecommerce presence since 2008. The brand is committed to a list of core values that include integrity, respect, collaboration, passion, and dedication. Vanity has publicly supported a number of philanthropic causes--providing clothing to victims of natural disasters and holding food drives to help fight world hunger.
Vanity offers teens and twentysomethings a wide array of apparel in a number of different categories. In tops, you can find plenty of basics, such as camis, tees, tanks, baseball shirts, and button-downs. Graphic tees are also available with different designs and slogans on them. Fashion tops include henleys, peasant tops, and blouses, as well as tanks and tees with embellishments like lace, chiffon, beads, and sequins. Cardigans and sweaters provide fashionable options for light outerwear, while blazers, vests, and jackets give you more layering options. You can also find plenty of functional coats, including anoraks, fleeces, and parkas.
Bottoms are divided into two major categories. First, jeans are available in styles like flare, bootcut, straight-leg, curvy, and high-rise. You can also find specialty jeans that are distressed or have unique embellishments on the pockets. Other popular bottoms include trousers, tab pants, and leggings. Skirts and activewear bottoms are also available, though the selection isn't as broad. Apart from basic apparel, footwear is one of Vanity's top categories, and the brand focuses on boots. Fashion boots include riding boots, heeled boots, and booties, and you can also choose among a selection of cold weather boots. Accessories are also popular, and options like socks, scarves, hats, legwarmers, and jewelry are all available.
Like many other family businesses, Vanity really became what it was through trial and error--and it was the Jahnke's passion to fill a void that helped define the brand. In the six decades since the first Vanity store started to sell juniors' apparel in North Dakota, the brand has stayed true to its mission and values while expanding nationwide. Today, Vanity garments do a great job melding fashion with affordability, and they do it without alienating the average customer. In fact, almost anyone can find Vanity clothes that appeal to them and fit within their price range. We give Vanity 4.5 stars out of 5.