May 02, 2012

They Do It, Why Can't We? The Stylish Flea, Second Hand, And Thrift

Me shopping at the flea market near Loire Valley, France.
Don't we all secretly love flea markets and second hand stores? It's not like they are making a come-back, they've been, actually, around for as long as the first markets back in the Depression era that appeared to be the only ways for the people to sell their belongings for food. Nowadays, most of the people, who sell their stuff at flea markets do not necessary doing it for money, although, it does help to get something back on that YSL circuit 1986, right? 
For some people, they like the 'aura' and idea of shopping the flea markets and second hand stores because some of the well known celebrities and cool people do it. 

Shopping the flea markets almost became hip nowadays. Claudia Schiffer swears by Parisian flea markets, Elle Macpherson swears by Sidney's flea markets and Kate Bosworth is a regular on the Los Angeles flea market scene... So, if those who can afford to shop at some of the most exclusive high fashion boutiques shop at the flea markets, why shouldn't we, right? 

Even the men and women, who run those markets and second hand stores do not look the same as a decade ago - they are young, stylish and very fashion-savvy, and they appeal to the shoppers, most of whom judge the assortment of a store/market by the owners, just as we judge the spa/beauty salons by how healthy and translucent is the skin of the beauticians themselves. Don't we all do it?

Well, regardless of who shops the flea markets and second hand stores, one can find some true gems at a very low price. Not to mention the vintage!

My latest find, for example, was this skirt: a leather slash silk skirt, all 'naturale', in great condition, not a single flaw... Let's just say it goes with everything and I'm pretty happy with my find at a vintage store in Hell's Kitchen.

Here's the list of the flea markets in New York City:

  • Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market (39th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves; 212-243-5343; Sat, Sun 9am-6pm)
  • Antiques Garage (112 W 25th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves; 212-243-5343; Sat, Sun 9am-5pm)
  • Brooklyn Flea (Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Lafayette Ave between Clermont and Vanderbilt Aves, Fort Greene; Sat 10am-5pm* Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park between Main and Water Sts, Dumbo; Sun 11am-6pm)
  • 321 Flea Market (180 Seventh Ave between 1st and 2nd Sts, Park Slope, Brooklyn; 718-421-6763; Sat, Sun, call for open hours) 
  • GreenFlea (Columbus Ave between 76th and 77th Sts; 212-239-3027; Sun 10am-5:30pm) 
  • Williamsburg Flea Market (Wythe Ave between South 2nd and 3rd Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Sun noon-6pm) 

So, who else have been spotted shopping at the flea markets? 

Jean-Paul Gaultier, Demi Moore, Mathilda May or Charles Pasqua are all regulars to the narrow alleys of the markets where they enjoy sifting through the boxes packed with history. Other regulars are Sharon Stone, Aznavour, Claudia Schiffer, Richard Gere, Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Lindon, Pierre Cardin, Fanny Ardant, Amanda Lear, Florent Pagny, Faye Dunaway, Emmanuel Chain, Jack Lang, Madelin, Fabius, Yves Galland, Martine Aubry, Julien Dray, Chiara Mastroianni, Gilles Dufour, Cendrine Dominguez, and Sharon Stone all shop the flea markets.

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