Swap meets, flea markets, and garage sales… Hollywood has been host to all of the above, in the multitudes. In the world of “upcycled fashion,” every avenue is a potential for a trash-to-treasure find. And by every avenue, we literally mean every avenue, as these parking lot pop up shops seem to be taking over the city!
The latest to find its legs in LA is the Hester Street Fair. Founded in the creative burrow of the Lower East Side of NYC with origins that date back to the late 1800′s, its current model was reformatted to cater to the DIY spirit that has hot glue gunned itself to America’s heart.
SuChin Pak, who rose to notoriety during the TRL heyday of Mtv, as an MTV News correspondent, is a member of the team responsible for breathing life back into Hester Street Fair, and she tells us she couldn’t have been happier to bring it to LA.
“LA is an easy choice because there’s so much talent out here. There’s also already a culture and consumer base that understands the DIY movement and supports small, creative start ups. There’s so much similarity between the 2 cities, that it was the natural path of expansion for us,” she told us. She also sites the partnership with DLJ Real Estate Capital (who own the parking lot where Hester takes place) as an essential part of its ability to showcase Hollywood’s creative community. “When someone offers
you that much space in the heart of Hollywood…it’s a no brainer. Together with DLJ we were able to create a giant market bonanza complete with a kid’s activity area, cocktail and beer garden and music. Having a great partner is key to our expansion and we happened to have found one that believes in the mission to create, foster and support community talent.”
Of course, these types of gatherings were happening all over Hollywood already (the outdoor weekend vendor processions at Space 1520 off Cahuenga, for example), but thanks to the lot’s highly visible locale next to the W Hotel on Hollywood Blvd., it’s gone to another level. “Hester Does Hollywood” as it’s been called here, has had a successful run, even with the unsavory summer heat. Its triumphs are also in large part thanks to the diversity of artisans and vendors who have come out to showcase their work.
Two of Pak’s favorites 31 Bits, a jewelry line made entirely from recycled paper by displaced women in Northern Uganda, and Sires Crown Eyewear, custom made frames from sustainable wood, have done well with LA shoppers. Another fave, Visantine, a pint-size NY boutique and staple at the East Coast Hester Street Fair, made the trek cross country to give Californians a taste of New York. Other Pak sites Mama Musubi (“if you’ve never had a musubi, this is a great place to start”), ORG skincare (“possibly the best find and my new favorite beauty product… it’s all natural and completely changed my skin texture), and The Churro Borough LA (“a twist on a classic…a churro ice cream sandwich made on the spot”) as other faves.
Other vendors to be on hand on Saturday include: Mi Bazaar Latino jewelry, Human Tree Robot art, Rojas clothing, and on and on (see the site for the complete list). One of the most popular at the last Hester fair The Poster List guy, (pictured below) had as many customers as there were posters and there were a lot…
As previous installments have focused on art and design, the last hooray before Hester high tails it back to the Big Apple is all about the music. The aptly titled “Goodnight Hollywood Blvd. Music & Craft Festival,” closes out a summer-long stint and welcomes to the stage a slew of local talent. While the merchants will still be open for business, as well as the food trucks and beer garden, the stage will be where the excitement takes place this Saturday, Aug. 25.
To add to the already impressive line up of performers– including Peaking Lights, Beachwood Sparks, and Regal Degal– Hester Street promoters just announced that the event will be hosted and emceed by Andrew W.K., who will also act as DJ for the night. Bringing his own brand of stage presence (and nosebleeds ?), the NY part king and California native will be welcomed home with open arms and familiar faces as he creates a soundtrack for the evening’s celebration.
Gates open to the public at 2, with no cover to enter. In response to the extreme heat, organizers have decided to extend the hours later into the night so that supporters can enjoy the festivities without the threat of heat stroke. No word from Pak or the other organizers if there are plans in the works for Hester to vacation to the Golden State in the future. With the talent we’ve seen, and the hoopla its made for the creative community Hollywood, we sure hope so.
More info including the impressive vendors list at www.hesterstreetfair.com/hollywood/