Vintage fashion aficionados, rejoice. After shuttering in March due to COVID-19, the Rose Bowl's monthly flea market, which draws in nearly 20,000 shoppers from around the world every second Sunday of the month, is going online.
Starting today through December 1, The Rose Bowl Virtual Flea will live on Free People's website and app, giving online shoppers access to coveted pieces from more than a dozen Rose Bowl vintage fashion vendors.
Among the exhibitors are vintage denim collector Fair Season Vintage, vintage jewelry maker Nancy Melet, graphic and tie-dye apparel curator Hippie Shop, vintage sunglasses seller Sunglass Museum, archival clothing textile studio Well Worn Art, and more.
The digital flea market is front and center on Free People's home page, where users can browse featured sellers and categories, including dresses, denim, tops, accessories, and tees. Keep scrolling down and you'll see "The Best Vintage I've Ever Found," an editorial section with illustrations of vintage lovers next to quotes about their favorite finds.
When the pandemic hit, vendors traded in their canopy tents for virtual stores and shoppable live streams. In May, L.A.-born co-op A Current Affair kicked off an Instagram Live series for its first-ever virtual market in which purveyors invited viewers into their homes, shops, and work spaces on their own Instagram accounts to showcase pieces, which were released on their respective websites immediately after.
One such exhibitor was Eveliina Vintage, an online shop run by twins Emilia and Amanda Musacchia, that sells vintage pastel slips, dresses, and tops worn by the likes of Bella Hadid. Breezy summer staples like a hand-dyed sky blue organza dress, an embroidered cream cotton net party dress, and a dove gray baby doll slip were modeled live on their Instagram from Finland—where the twins' mother founded the vintage store in the '70s—and thereafter posted on their website.
Free People's Rose Bowl Virtual Flea is part of the bohemian retailer's larger effort to expand its vintage selection. Just two weeks before lockdowns went into effect, Free People hosted a pop-up at its Malibu store as part of its two-day Vintage Loves Roadshow activation, which focused on sustainable shopping tips and previewed what's to come for its Vintage Loves line.
If there's one silver lining for vintage buffs in the pandemic, it's this: Today, what makes or breaks your chances of snagging, say, a YSL fringed ensemble, depends not on how early you wake up for the flea market, but how fast you can click "add to cart."
Main photo: @fairseason