Are your items genuine vintage or built costumes?
99.9% of our items are authentic vintage pieces. We have just a few clothes that were made for productions that we acquired, and only accept them if they look authentic.
What period do you cover?
1860’s through early 1980’s, with an emphasis on late 19th century to mid-20th century.
Are you a retail store?
NO. We are a costume rental company in a 6200 square foot space on the 3rd floor of an industrial loft building, though we do have several racks of clothes, accessories and hats always for sale. Check our site in the future for information about items for sale.
Are you open to the public?
NO. Unfortunately, we do “to the trade” only rentals, with a few exceptions, depending on the client and the situation.
Do you buy?
ABSOLUTELY. Give us a call to set up a viewing appointment.
How long have you been in business?
30 years and counting!
Is there anywhere I can read about samples of projects you have done?
YES. Check our project lists on our site and also check out our regularly updated blog, to see what we are up to.
What are your hours?
We are open Monday through Friday, from 10AM to 6PM.
I thought you were in Manhattan. Did you move?
YES. We moved June ’07 after many years in Manhattan’s Garment District. We are now in Long Island City in Queens right at Queens Plaza, which is just over the bridge from Manhattan (you can even walk over the bridge to us!)
Are you easy to get to?
VERY EASY. On our corner are 3 major subway lines (E,R & V lines) and 2 blocks away are 3 subway stops (N, W and 7 lines). If you want to take a bus from Manhattan, we are the first stop over the 59th Street bridge with both the Q32 and Q60 buses. We are just 3 minutes and one subway stop from Bloomingdale’s, and only 10-13 minutes from midtown by train.
What are your rental fees?
We have standard fees depending on the project. For instance, plays are charged by the week while movies are charged a flat production fee. Call us for quotes.
What do I need in order to rent from you?
We require a certificate of insurance and a signed contract. If there is no certificate of insurance, we require a deposit against loss or damage, returnable after the items have been returned.
Can I just drop in or do I have to make an appointment?
We work by appointment, but you can call and come in the same day if we are not too busy. We try to be flexible in order to accommodate our clients.
If we are out-of-town, can your staff pull things for us?
YES. For projects requiring our staff to independently pull costumes and accessories for them in lieu of their own costume designer or stylist, the staff member is paid $50/hr. directly.
For both styling and individual fitting services the staff member is paid $100/hr. directly.
Fees for full designer/stylist services for design projects are priced on a per day basis, subject to the project’s needs.
Is there a charge for taking pictures?
YES. There a charge of $5/photo, whether it is of individual items or items grouped together.
What if a photographed item is subsequently rented? Do you give us credit?
YES. $5 is credited toward the rental of that item. If multiple items were photographed together only a $5 single photo fee is credited towards ONE of those items.
If we have actors in New York, can we use your dressing room?
YES. We charge $75-100 for a full day, $40-60 for a ½ day (4 hours) and $25-40 (under two hours/maximum 2 people.) The fee range depends on how many people you are fitting within that period.
Do you charge a fee for taking things out on approval?
YES. We charge a weekly “memo” fee for any period up to one week. The fees range from $3/wk for a tie to $15/wk for a dress or man’s suit.
How do you calculate the memo period?
The memo is charged on a weekly basis, beginning with the date that the item(s) are pulled from HUVC and ending with the day the item(s) are returned to HUVC.
What if the item is returned a day late?
We allow a ONE DAY grace period. If the item is 2 days late, we charge for another week’s memo.
What if I only want to memo things for a day?
The memo fee applies to anything kept from one hour to one week, as long as it is taken off our premises.
How long can we keep the items out on approval?
All memo items HAVE TO BE RETURNED before a shoot or first dress rehearsal. Any items not returned by that day will be considered rentals and fully charged for. Other than that, we continue to charge a weekly memo until the item is returned to us.
Is the memo fee applied towards the rental?
NO. The only exception is when we pull for the client and ship choices. In that case, we apply the individual memo fee towards the rental fee of each piece the client ultimately chooses to rent.
What if we decide to use the garments for a theatrical show but have a few weeks before the show actually starts? Do you charge a rental fee for that time?
We only start charging a weekly rental fee starting with “first dress”. We give you a two free weeks’ grace period before “first dress” to hold the items. Any time that precedes those two weeks we charge a weekly memo fee.
What if we decide to use the items for a movie?
After the first week’s memo fee, there is no charge other than a one-fee production rental which encompasses the entire rental period.
What if we only want to copy the item?
That would be considered a rental.
Can we alter the items?
YES. You can alter the hems, cuffs, sleeve length and waists but you MAY NOT cut the fabric or make any alterations that drastically alter the dimensions of the garment.
Can we add embellishments to the garments?
YES, conditionally. Because all of our period garments are authentic, any alteration or restoration must be made with authentic or authentic-looking natural fiber fabric or lace. If the garnishes enhance the garment, it can be returned with the added embellishments.
Can we re-line a garment?
YES, subject to our approval.
Can we dye a garment?
NO, CONDITIONALLY. If a garment is dyed without our approval, full replacement value will be charged. Sometimes we allow bright garments to be “teched down” but only with our approval.
Can we return the items they way we altered them?
CONDITIONALLY. Any menswear made larger may be returned in the enlarged size. Any menswear made smaller has to be re-altered to its original size before it is sent to be dry- cleaned and returned to us. If not, the production will be charged alteration fees. Women’s wear also has to be returned to its original size unless discussed and approved of by HUVC.
Do the items have to be cleaned before being returned?
YES. You can have them dry-cleaned at the place of your choice or you can call our dry-cleaner to have them picked up from you and delivered to us, at your expense.
Is there anything that you don’t want dry-cleaned?
YES. Any delicate Victorian through 1920’s cottons should be hand-laundered.
What if at the end of our rental we discover something is very damaged, lost or stolen?
The “replacement value” for each item rented is listed on the rental invoices. We will consider a suitable replacement, subject only to our approval.
What if something is damaged but repairable? Are we liable for the full replacement value?
NO, CONDITIONALLY. Should any returned damage item be repairable (in HUVC’s discretion) to the point of bringing it back to its original condition, you are responsible only for sewing/millinery/repair expenses instead of the entire “replacement value”. If the garment is still usable but visibly damaged so that it can no longer be used as principal wear, you will be billed a partial replacement value.