Meet Yon, the Owner of Yonkers’ Quirky Costume Drama

At this Westchester costume shop, spending time with Elvis and Marie Antoinette is all in a day’s work



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Once upon a time, in a far-off land, there lived a girl named Yon. She lived in a big, beautiful house in Seoul, a home constantly bustling with maids, workmen, and her parents’ guests. Her father was a well-to-do executive, a progressive man who often took Yon and her siblings to the opera and the ballet. Her mother was a traditional Korean housewife—disciplined, poised, well kept. 

Yon was not like her mother. She cringed when she received compliments for her exceptional beauty because she hadn’t earned it. Oftentimes, when her parents threw fancy parties, Yon would get bored and go upstairs. She’d rather spend her time with the maids and with her live-in aunt.

Yon spent lots of time in her aunt’s room. There, she often gravitated towards the bottom drawer of a large chest. In it were hole-punchers, nuts, bolts, needles, thread, safety pins—all the misfit instruments that didn’t quite belong in any other drawer. For Yon, they became props for her imagination. She punched holes into scrap pieces of paper, pretending they were railway-passenger tickets, among other things—anything that could satisfy her creative visions.

Yon is now 57 years old, and her imagination is still alive and well. Except now she makes her visions a reality. Her full name is Yon Zweibon, and she is a costumer and the owner of Beyond Costumes, a 22,000-square-foot industrial warehouse of organized chaos based in Yonkers.

Beyond Costumes is on the second floor of an industrial block on Nepperhan Avenue. It can easily go unnoticed. But, once buzzed in, customers are exposed to a large space that stretches as far back as the eye can see. The first section of the store is a retail space full of wigs, masks, makeup, accessories, and all-in-one costumes—mass-produced items one can easily grab, wear to a party, and either keep or discard. Deeper in the warehouse, as steam travels to the ceiling over two women working diligently over their sewing stations, you’ll find the real collection, which includes everything from vintage designer clothing to this year’s hottest Halloween costumes.

 

 

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