Space 24 Twenty Hosts Austin Locals at Popup Vintage Yard Sale

After months of hush hush quarantining, vintage hunters emerge from isolation to build their inventory and prepare for holiday shopping. With online platforms like Etsy, Depop, and Instagram’s Shop feature paving the way to digitally reach customers, it’s nothing like making that personal connection to shop owners and observing garments up close IRL. Thankfully Austin has still remained relatively open enough for retailers and small businesses to host a few seasonal pop-up markets. 

Local vendor Low Vision Vintage set up outside Urban Outfitters Space 24 Twenty’s backyard.

Last weekend I went to my first popup since the lockdown was lifted in and around Austin. The UT campus neighborhood “The Drag” hosts various budget-friendly shops and restaurants, catering to its mostly collegiate crowd all along Guadalupe Street. Though are you really in a university neighborhood if there isn’t an Urban Outfitters? Urban’s Spaces concept highlights flagship stores in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and Austin as hosts to local businesses in retail, dining, and artists in a collaborative architecture made for popup events or workshops. Austin’s 24 Twenty space is mostly outdoors allowing for fresh air shopping, which is recommended as we walk among an invisible virus.

Sandwiched between the UO’s men’s store and the multi-level woman’s/homewares store is Korean fried chicken purveyor, Left Wing at the entrance to the space. Keep walking through the awning where colorful, spinning building blocks make up an interactive art piece leading you out to the spacious backyard. Bananarchy, a local food truck serving up various sweet frozen banana delights is situated among socially distanced vintage tents. “There’s always money in the banana stand.” Arrested Development, anyone? You can also get your caffeine fix next door at Lucky Lab Coffee Co. with their seasonal menu and Austin pride merchandise.

I talked to several of the vendors and got a general consensus that the pandemic made them work extra hard to keep business afloat and the creative instinct burning bright. For the few, slinging vintage is a side hustle, but for many its a full time business. We’re fortunate to be in a place where the local community and small businesses invited (safely) mobile vendors in vintage, home goods, and the handmade sort to set up shop in small collective flea markets. UO’s Yard Sale also hosted a food and clothing drive that benefitted Caritas of Austin, a prominent homeless resource center.

A smattering of vintage t-shirts, acid wash denim, band tees, handmade masks, patches and pins are a collectors heaven. Some sellers even showcased hand painted clothing items as a wearable one-of-a-kind art piece. One of my favorite pieces I saw is this Campbell’s Tomato Soup tee from Lamp Light Vintage a local expert on that sweet feeling of single-stitch band tees. And who doesn’t love a bin of deals to hunt through?

“Rehoming vintage clothes and goods”

LGBTQ+ Austin based seller, Jello Mom Vintage

Many other small businesses around Austin have become comfortable with hosting popup markets, especially approaching this holiday season. Check out Facebook and Do512 for more information on Austin event dates and schedules and keep an eye out for more markets and exhibitions from Space 24 Twenty by checking out their Instagram.

Support more local sellers online by surfing their own photo feeds and Instagram shops. Many curators are offering their items on Depop and other online thrift apps. Some even offer shopping experiences by appointment for a more socially distanced and personalized styling engagement. See you next time!

~The Wayback Closet

Retro punk kitsch: an interview with Vintage MRKT

One day I went to a popup market in downtown Las Vegas across from the old Fergusons Motel. There is this quaint alleyway paved with the greenest grass and is full of the community’s local businesses. This is where I bought my first shirt from Vintage MRKT: an 11th Street Records t-shirt, the local record shop and recording studio, where my favorite indie surf rock band Rooney recorded most of their post hiatus EP El Cortez. So, I had to grab a little piece of history. The edgy couple of Vintage MRKT (pronounced like market), Jenny and Vanessa (V), always returned with full racks of my favorite staple: quality graphic tees. After working together on photoshoots, home-video inspired vignettes and an independent runway show, I wanted to dive a little deeper and unearth the Vintage MRKT ethos.

During this weird time where coronavirus has rendered many jobless or confined to working on screen, I wanted to take this time to interview the many people in my life that have brought me inspiration and learn more about their story. A deep dive way back, so to speak. So without further digression… I introduce you to V and Jenny of Vintage MRKT:

So what’s happening in self-isolation, the Las Vegas edition?

V: I actually did get ready today. On my second cup of coffee having a smoke outside. Right now I am wearing my favorite vintage high waisted pleated pants, definitely a throwback, my low-top red orange chucks and a white tank top from American Apparel, the OG. I’m also wearing a mustard/green cardigan from All Saints. It’s a pretty nice day out, I wish I could go wander about and such. But, no I am in the comforts of my apartment practicing social distancing, as I hope everyone is doing if they’re not at work. Like my partner / lover Jenny, she’s at work right now. We thought it would be best to answer these separately so you can get a feel for our individual personalities and point of view.

Many thanks to both of you for taking the time to delve into the details. So, let’s get down to it than, shall we?

I have a lot of pieces and quite a variety of clothing. After many times at Buffalo Exchange buy, sell and trading, I thought I could really be doing this on my own. It sounded cool to sell pieces based on my style and what I’ve seen out there.

V

What and who is Vintage MRKT? If you had a mission statement or all encompassing ethos, what would it be?

Jenny: Vintage MRKT to me is a big “fuck you” to outdated beauty, gender standards, and the way we consume fashion. It’s the original idea of V, who was always trading her clothes to make way for new items. I was all for it and started helping at pop ups and managing social media. It evolved to be the love child of two queer people of color who just want to express themselves to the fullest and inspire people to do the same, all while hustling to make a buck or two and staying sustainable. 

V: It was supposed to be temporary, the name Vintage MRKT, I had another one picked out for when I decided to produce my own merchandise. It was just wordplay and distinct from other brands to avoid confusion. But since then we’ve gotten noticed around town with the popup scene, we kept with Vintage MRKT.

To get to the point, if we had a mission statement: we want to provide individuals like us, leaving gender and what your “supposed to wear”, all bullshit aside, to be an expression of individuality. We want to provide clothing to people like that. We also strive to do our part with sustainability: getting away from fast fashion and buying new. Environmentally friendly and reducing waste: we are definitely supporters of.

Who is your customer or muse? They can be classic or current.

Jenny: I am inspired by all the unapologetic weirdos with tattoos, cool hair, rad taste in music, and are probably the black sheep of their family. 

V: I might have touched on this already, but we don’t have one type of muse. We reach out to a lot of locals that inspire us and are probably more of a younger female demographic, but those lines can blur. If we did, it would be that beach goth skater punk going to shows, traveling and is inclined to cool, edgy style, with a little rockabilly thrown in the mix.

Market In The Alley: A collective of creators, designers and makers

Ever since moving to Las Vegas, I sought out to find a gathering of small business owners and generally anyone who is side hustling in some sort of way. With Vegas having a stigma and allure of being the Sin City to satisfy your vices, I want to remind visitors (and myself from time to time) that it also is an actual place with actual people. This year I have become more invested in how I spend my time. I have been freelancing much more than actually going to my “day job”, which graciously allows me to work as part time as I want. So, with various copywriting projects filling my time, I thought what better way to ignite my right brain then to seek out the passion projects of Las Vegas and unveil some buried inspiration.

After a few years of exploring places I would normally go to “get out of the house” I stumbled upon a daytime event this past January. On a random Sunday I went to Market In The Alley in downtown Fremont across the street from the abandoned Fergusons Motel, which has been a vacant space for many years, except for the Burning Man Big Rig Jig sculpture towering above the desolation.

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Big Rig Jig at Fergusons

Now, the downtown Fergusons is a bustling hub in the making. It has finally undergone a major makeover to become a co-working space for various workshops, boutique hotel rooms, main offices for Market In the Alley and other downtown businesses. At the last Market I wandered over to take a look at the progress and there are few units already in operation, like the new Hatsumi Japanese Restaurant and a space proposed for a coffee shop.

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Photo: Fergusons Downtown on Instagram

The Downtown Fergusons collective also started a monthly event in the evenings that focuses on tasty libations: alcoholic and non-alcoholic called Pour in the Alley.

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The Pour in the Alley event is usually during the week before the next Market, which occurs every third Sunday. In the past they have had tasting events focused on tequila, coffee and most recently, mezcal. Next month’s will be rum focused. For future Pour in the Alley events peep the Fergusons Downtown Pour in the Alley Calendar.

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Big Rig Jig on a stormy Market In the Alley in February

Vulnerable moment PSA: The first time I went to Market In the Alley, I was feeling pretty down and out after getting into a car accident the week prior. I really needed to GET OUT and be around people doing cool things: making, creating, moving on, working towards their goals, instead wallowing in the event that had just occurred. I’m so happy I did, because not only was it a distraction, but it ignited something in me to keep going and keep brainstorming ideas on how to resolve the situation. And walking through the Alley is inspiring…

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Myself and friends taken at the January Market by Christopher Matlock

So, with friends from work we have made Market Sundays a regular day date. Each time we go, I always meet a new person who wants to collaborate; whether it’s cosmetology, photography, music or film production. This area is full of creatives that are wandering around looking for their next inspiration. This is what makes the wheel turn: a community of individuals that hustle for their dreams and aren’t afraid of collaborating for free.

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My hairstylist I now see, I met her twice at the market! Once at the January market and then at the February one; it was fate. She coaxed me into getting a fresh look from her along with makeup for a photo and video shoot. Out of that one collaboration, I now know a Vegas based fashion stylist, hairstylist, makeup artist and photographer. And we all have regular Market Sunday meet ups.

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Myself and Amber at April’s Market in front of the mobile Burnt Boutique

As for the event vendors, there are always so many. It’s hard to list my favorites. Vendors change monthly depending on if they can snag a booth in time before the deadline or if the event sells out. A few lovely vendors I frequent have been there regularly and always have an assortment of their own goods: from vintage wrestling tees, jewelry, coffee, organic home products, and so much more.

Each month I feel like there are more vendors than the last. Market in the Alley is definitely growing in popularity and it’s fun for everyone. There is always a rotation of live music outside nestled in the middle of the Market greens.  The Bunkhouse Saloon  has drink specials all day, plenty of food trucks to satisfy every different diet, coffee, animal adoption and morning yoga some days. As we move into the ‘hotter than hell’ of desert summers, Market in the Alley will most likely transition into a Night Market.

Hope this helps anyone in Las Vegas, visiting or stationary, that is looking for another way to socialize, take in the local scene or get those creative juices flowing… ✌️