WICHITA — An anniversary present is part of the inspiration behind River City Retro, a new business Cindi Gentry is opening with photographer Don Birmingham.
When Gentry celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary she wanted to give a picture of herself to her husband as a gift.
“I wanted a photo, but not the boudoir or glamour photo,” Gentry says.
Instead, she chose a pinup shot.
“It sounds funny for a woman to say, but I’ve always loved pinup girls,” Gentry says. “I have books and books of them. I just think they’re beautiful.”
Now, Gentry and Birmingham are opening River City Retro to do pinup shots for other women.
Gentry has collected vintage clothing since she was a teen.
“I just can go to that closet and choose whatever look that I want,” she says.
Gentry says customers can choose every era from the 1920s to the mid-1960s.
“The sky’s the limit.”
River City Retro particularly will cater to pinup parties, which might be for someone’s birthday or bachelorette party when she wants to bring several friends.
“That’s the craze going on around the country now,” Gentry says. “I didn’t even realize until I went online.”
She took a hair and make-up class so she can help customers with vintage looks.
For now, River City Retro will be at 340 S. Pattie where Birmingham and several other photographers share space.
In June, the business will move, most likely to the Douglas and Grove area.
River City’s first official photo shoot is Friday night. The wife of a man whom she lovingly describes as a nerd wants to portray a scientist who is mixing a love potion.
Gentry hopes other customers will have the same creative spirit.
“It’s just fun and giggly for everyone to get up there and pose.”