Shopping at Flip in the 1980s

Splatter T-shirts! Tank tops! Skirts with geometrical patterns! Flip was early-80s cool clothing headquarters. And the late great Postermat was on the same Village block. 


This ad appeared in the August 1984 issue of the East Village Eye.

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57 Responses to “Shopping at Flip in the 1980s”

  1. kingscountyny Says:

    hey they leave their telephone number (minus the area code) but no URL???

  2. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    URL in the 80s? Weren’t invented yet…And area codes? C’mon, man, that was 8th Street in the Village, we weren’t so programmed back then…

  3. petey Says:

    “(minus the area code)”

    hey – if you have to add the area code, you’re not manhattan!!

    • Aonghais Says:

      Actually, all of New York City was 212 until 1984, when 718 started getting phased in in the other 4 boroughs. However, the 212 area code still worked at the 718 numbers until December 31, 1984. So technically, people had 2 phone numbers in the boroughs, ie 212-555-5555 and 718-555-5555. On January 1, 1985, you needed to dial 212 to reach Manhattan, and 718 to reach the other boroughs.

      You also didn’t need to dial the area code if you were in your own area code (not like now where you have to dial 212 even though you are calling from 212.) Plus long distance cost an arm and a leg back then, no 10 cents a minute!

  4. prb Says:

    There was a FLIP on west 8th St next to the 8th St. Playhouse, and another on St Mark’s Place next to Trash & Vaudeville. Actually the backroom of Ray Pizza (originally VideoPop, the new wave pizza/music video joint) on the corner of St Marks and 3rd was part of FLIP’s space.

    FLIP, sold mostly UK clothes, cheap stuff from Carnaby St at vastly inflated prices, which was funny cuz the FLIP in London sold thrift shop clothes from america at vastly inflated prices. But back in the day it was THE place to go to get that authentic UK fashion look.

    • Cockneykid1962 Says:

      Just thought I’d back that up by saying that I used to frequently buy American clothes in the three London shops which Flip had (Curtain Street – cheap: Covent Garden – medium price; and Kings Road – bloody expensive!) back in the 1980s.

      Really miss those times…

  5. mykola (mick) dementiuk Says:

    At the time all of NYC was 212, changes came about in the 70s…

  6. Sue Says:

    I shopped there! I kept a pair of capri length leggings for years out of sentimentality. Just kept it for the tag.

    Why put the area code? Manhattan = 212 in the 1980s.

  7. Rich Mag Says:

    I love looking at the old ad’s from the 80’s. Brings back a lot of memories.

  8. Nick Cato Says:

    I wish I had the Village Voice ad for the 1983 SLEAZE FESTIVAL @ the 8th Street Playhouse—saw some real gems there.

  9. sandy Says:

    I still have some pants from Flip. Leopard spandex lol

  10. Lisa Penner-Dang Says:

    I remember Flip like it was yesterday.

  11. Irene Says:

    I have still have buttons from FLIP! (and Antique Boutique, Unique, Cheap Jack’s, Zoot) On the cover of his debut album Valotte, Julian Lennon is wearing a FLIP button on his shirt. Ah, the 80s…

  12. mister speed Says:

    man… i bought the coolest sleeveless leather jacket from there! kinda like a destressed looking brown (circa 1983?) i think i had it on lay-away for months… i was so broke back then! miss those daze!! 🙂

  13. meowmeow Says:

    i worked at Flip! the owner was a horrible cokehead, possibly mafia. what a freakshow.

    • Bklynite Says:

      I worked at Flip too in 1987/88. The owner WAS a raging coke head and a freak! I’m actually surprised I was never sexually assaulted there!!!

      • Heidi Says:

        Trying to find out his name, the guy who ran the eighth street flip. Any responses are appreciated.

      • Jill Says:

        I worked as the manager around that same time.

      • Dawn Says:

        I worked there very briefly in 87!!! I was a wet behind the ears Brit chick from Wales! Remember the owner trying to get me to go live with him LOL!!!

    • Heidi Says:

      Do you remember his name. I am trying to find out his first and last name. Thanks for any help

      • Cris Says:

        I did work there too, the name of one of the owners was Touria, one of 5 or 6 Brothers

      • Baron Says:

        I worked at Flip (8th St.) as well around 1985 when I was 18. It was owned and run by a couple of brothers (Marty and Alan). One was nice (Alan) and one was a total sleaze bag (Marty). Marty was always hitting on the young teenage female employees. I got my then girlfriend a job there and as soon as Marty found out we were together he fired the both of us. LOL. That being said I had a total blast working there. What teenager wouldnt have? Anyone remember Cathy who worked the cash register? She looked like Siouxsie and had voice that sounded like a six year old.

      • Jill Says:

        I think Baron has got to be my ex, because that is my story, how when Marty found out he fired us both. We had so much fun working there – especially cool that I lived a block away. Alan toiled away in the basement on 8th sewing and fixing all the vintage crap they bought in bulk. I managed the place for about a year, and Marty was so volatile. By this time Flip was no longer patronized by the likes of Cher. Our big spenders were pimps and hos. Shout out to Angela, and the hot chick who worked the floor with a tattoo on her entire scalp.

      • Baron Says:

        Jill. While I am sure I am not your ex (I am still in touch with my ex from Flip days) , that is hilarious that he fired you and your boyfriend. I guess that was Marty’s M.O. Eliminate the competition. As if you or my ex would want anything to do with him. Some of the people I remember from Flip are Cathy (as mentioned), Danny from “The Throbs”, punk rock Hector doing security as well as Body builder Dave, beautiful blond Susan from down South, Michelle with a bat tattoo on her cleavage and Marty’s young squeeze of the moment Lizette. I also remember the pimps an Ho’s as well as those stall dressing rooms. I remember you could almost see into one of them from a mirrored pole outside. Pretty sceevy but guys would often make sure attractive girls were put into that specific changing room and hang out by the mirrored pole. I won’t even go into some of the exhibitionists you would get in those rooms or the lewd acts that went on. Good times.

      • Jill Abrams Says:

        Baron, even funnier is that my ex was my (lesbian) girlfriend, which made Marty even more jealous, but perfect for me to escape his endless advances. Marty Fromer was definitely perceived as a raving cokehead, but I think he was beginning to calm down when I managed the store, because by then the store was spiraling downward. But in his day, he like many of the popular restaurant owners was a local celeb and he couldn’t get enough of all excesses I’m sure. I saw him many years later running his Melrose Ave store in LA that was not thriving. He was hanging on to his former glory, but seemingly fit and healthy. I hope he saved some $ for retirement. I think I knew Michelle – did she have tattoos all over her body and scalp? Wasn’t sure if that was Sandy or Michelle, but I adored her, she was fun fun!!

      • Eileen Says:

        I worked there in 1984 and again in 1987-88. Funny it was my first job! I remember all of them, Cathy, Marty, and Alan…I remember KISS coming in for bondage pants.

      • Christine W Says:

        his name was Marty (Martin) Fromer. I worked there and had to sue him in small claims….

      • Isabelle Says:

        His name was Paul Wolf in the London stores.
        Unfortunately Paul was killed in Oporto by Portuguese mafia ( beaten to dead) in July 2011 ( his killers were never brought to justice yet) very sad news great loss he was an amazing person a genius and a very dear friend he help me and a lot of people although he had lots of problems with coke addiction

    • Shellie Says:

      I know this is an old post but I just randomly found it and I too worked at Flip. The winter of 1984, I worked the back accessories counter. Total flashback because I remember the boss was a sleazy creep. So if anyone stumbles across this in 2020, hi!

      • Joyce Says:

        Shellie, do you have a tattoo on your scalp? I kind of remember your name. You’re talking about Marty Fromer haha! He was a lowlife.

      • Richie From The Bronx Says:

        Hello Shelly…I know it’s an old post. I stumbled on this post looking up Flip on the internet to show my daughter where I worked back in the day as a teenager. I worked at Flip around 1984. I was there for a short time and the owner was indeed horrible…cheap and never paid you your paycheck on time. I remember a French girl who worked at Flip who had a club single at the time…I can’t remember her name for the life of me…but she was super cool with me. Wow this is a trip down memory lane! All the best and hello!


  14. Cris Says:

    I did work there too! in 1993 Covent Garden, London!! One of the owners was called Touria, she was in charge of that store, but the big boss was the older brother , the cokehead with a ponytail! When did you work there?!

  15. Peter Stoddart Says:

    I worked at flip in kings road and the bosses name was wolf and his wife or girl friend went to st martins and was a coke head and closed the biz because second hand jeans could give you aids yes he was mad and he banked in India so the people that took over where india he. Lost it in 1984 -5

    • Joe Singh Says:

      The name was Paul Wolf and his girlfriend later wife was Alice Pollack. Yes he banked with Bank of Baroda in UK because no other bank would back him when he was starting with very little in his pocket!
      Sold the business in 1984 for around 2.8 million pounds and moved to California, where I understand he opened another used clothing store.
      I understand Paul passed away in 2003/4 in USA.
      I worked with him from 1979 to 1982 when he was starting in UK.

  16. The Seductive Allure of Fiorucci « Do You Remember Blog Says:

    […] trendy friends and I would head to Greenwich Village, hitting Canal Jeans, Unique Clothing, Flip and Trash and Vaudeville. We'd check out street vendors, gawk at The Erotic Bakery, eat at Le […]

  17. Ron Says:

    I have 2 FLIP New York City buttons is anyone is interested 😉

  18. Cris Says:

    Trying to find a friend that worked there too, called Nana Banana

  19. Jill Says:

    I just remember Marty’s last name Fromer! Martin E. Fromer and his brother Allan. I looked him up, he’s 71 years old. Wow!

  20. meowmeow Says:

    marty! that was the cokehead freakshow owner–he had kind of a andrew dice clay style going on. what a piece of work. he’s on facebook–looks like he got himself a mail order bride. bless his heart.

    • diane Says:

      I worked for him as in house designer/personal assistant/ ! talk about an experience. you get it but it did get me a start in fashion… I am still a working artist…..I am in texas/hometown with my husband also an artist and have owned a tattoo shop for 20 yrs..So Marty did not discourage me even though he survived..Maybe I will look him up he was very upset when I quit Ha!

  21. Craig Lawrence Says:

    loved flip

  22. Kristofer buckle Says:

    I worked at Flip NYC on 8th street. I mostly just touched up my ferocious makeup. My friends worked at the 8th street playhouse next door and would give me popcorn so I wouldn’t starve….My best day there was when I spent an hour dressing Nina Hagen in different outfits.❤️

  23. pepe Says:

    I have flip pins and motorcycle Jacket I bough in 85 I believe from a pinker who worked ther

  24. larry hirsch Says:


  25. Andrea Fiume Says:

    I went to Flip on W 8 St all the time! My favorite things I bought a black leather motorcycle jacket, a big men’s coat, and a men’s black and white shirt which I still have! Those were the days where you could get a warm winter coat for $15.00! It was a great store, and there was a goth girl behind the counter who was SO nice, we used to talk all the time. I never even knew her name, and I sometimes wonder whatever happened to her. I saw Rick Okasek in there 3 or 4 times too!

  26. baldersmash Says:

    It’s a mini reunion! I worked there from ’85 to ’86, fresh off the plane from Ohio. I was Cathy’s second in command/lackey which meant I had the rare privilege of walking ‘Flip,’ Marty’s racist monster Husky. It was so much fun trying to keep Flip from mauling smaller dogs or biting the black security guard or ME, especially in ridiculous heels. At least I had a nice soundtrack to get bitten to, mostly Kiss in the Dreamhouse, one of Cathy’s favorites.

    Marty had a lot of talents, to be sure, not least of which was never EVER breathing through his nose. That was for other purposes, ahem.

  27. Diane Tapper Says:

    Hi everyone my name is Diane and I knew the owner of flip his name is Mardy he saved my life when I was a young girl if anyone knows how can I find him to let him know he changed my life for the better I would be greatful ….Love Diane

  28. Diane tapper Says:

    Marty I’m looking for you …want to say thank u for saving my life if u ever see this post please call me 12125187387 ….thank u

  29. Damaris Bellio Says:

    I worked at Flip back in 1997!

  30. Nikki Rivera Says:

    I really loved shopping there. Miss it. Always some one of a kind items. I loved getting my outfits there. I dtill have my biker jacket I got there in 1982.

  31. Angela Says:

    This thread on Flip and Marty Fromer is hilarious. I found Marty’s facebook account if he’s still alive and you’d like to contact him.

  32. Rena Says:

    I just love connecting to Flip again and to a great era in NYC. I bought my first oversized men’s coat here and loved shopping at the store. Thanks all for sharing your memories!

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