By Kenzel Williams
Arizona State University has become the newest stop to find vintage fashion. The University Street Market (USM), where vendors sell second-hand clothing, is back on campus. The first event was held last year in April, with this recent iteration being the fourth time USM set up shop.
The market took place from 9 a.m to 5 p.m Wednesday, Jan. 29 outside the Memorial Union Starbucks on Tempe campus, allowing passersby to stop and shop all day.
Prices were as low as $5, but the rarer the find, the more expensive. Brands like Levi’s, John Varratos, and even Supreme, were priced at upwards of $50.
Customers could purchase vintage clothing from brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Champion, and Nike at the market Just about anything can be found there, from retro Phoenix Suns merch to tie-dye Nike hoodies.
The market was founded by Matt Welter, who currently runs it alongside business partner, Will Lorant. Welter was inspired to start the USM by Melrose Trading Post, a flea market in Los Angeles that sells vintage goods.
“There weren’t any in Phoenix. If no one else is doing it, I decided that I could do it,” said Welter.
Within recent years, vintage clothing has garnered much popularity. Fashion-savvy individuals have flocked to their nearest thrift store or garage sale in hopes of finding unique, original pieces at a low price.
Vendors have caught on to this trend, and students have become amongst those looking for these fashion-forward rare finds.
“Everything’s unique,” Welter said. “You can’t find the same thing twice here.”
Welter doesn’t sell clothes himself, but he gathers the vendors and organizes the event. One of the vendors, Daniel Villegas, has been selling at USM since day one.
For Villegas, vintage clothes are not only about style, but also sustainability. “I like that it’s your chance to be unique and save the world a little bit,” he said.
The mass production of fast fashion creates a lot of waste, and buying vintage clothing is one way to combat this problem.
Villegas, like many of the other vendors at USM, have an online Depop shop. His Depop account (@coolclothesya) boasts 11,000 followers and a 5-star rating from over 900 reviews.
Vendors particularly enjoy selling at USM because they get to interact with new customers with different aesthetics.
Silas McCracken (left) and Isay Quintero (right)
“I like seeing that everyone has their own style,” Isay Quintero, (depop: @isayquintero) another seller at the market, said. “Everyone has a nice, unique style, and everyone here is friendly, too.”
Customers enjoy this market, too. ASU student Manny Garcia decided to check out the market due their love for thrifting and vintage clothing.
“I checked them out last semester and I really liked the stuff they have,” Garcia said.
Students will have more opportunities later this year to shop here. The University Street Market will have four more events this semester on Feb. 19, March 4, April 1, and April 29.
Follow @universitystreetmarket on Instagram for more information.