“I believe that the energy of the original owner is retained in an object.”

Ren Antonowicz received her master’s degree in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design, with a concentration in Historic Costume & Textiles from the University of Rhode Island. She then taught History of Fashion and other courses full time at the college level for 13 years and taught part time in the CE Program at the RI School of Design. Along the way, Ren and her husband, Mike, opened Nostalgia Antiques & Collectibles, a co-op located on historic Wickenden St. in Providence, Rhode Island, and ran the business for five years. Ren continues to follow her passion for historic costumes by conducting fashion era presentations, such as “The Fashions of Downton Abbey” at libraries, senior centers, schools, historical societies, and historic homes. Spirits of Fashion was developed by Ren as a vehicle for conducting these various lectures and workshops on all eras of fashion history.


  • Her fascination with the paranormal and how certain items might “retain some of the spirit” of the person who owned it before.
  • How she started her collection that spans many eras of fashion.
  • Her passion for the stories behind thrifted vintage items.
  • Her love of historic fashion, Cocktail Culture, and the presentations and lectures she gives in her home state of Vermont.
  • All about the Costume Society of America.
  • The thrill of the hunt!