One of the Houston area's most popular vintage clothing events is finishing out the year with a stop at 8th Wonder Brewery. There will be rap performances and breakdancing battles, along with 60 vendors hawking everything from 90s-era basketball t-shirts to prints of 35mm photos and paintings.
Specifically called the Hip Hop Vintage Flea Market, the three-year-old monthly event was started by two breakdancing buddies who turned an area in Graffiti Park on Leland Street into a destination for people looking to shop for vintage clothing and music in the middle of a breakdancing party.
Ericka Martinez, a local breakdancing pioneer known by her b-girl name, Babygirl, says the event has been growing. They used to sign up 40 vendors who would come in from areas throughout Houston and elsewhere to sell vintage gear that included t-shirts, sneakers, sportswear jackets among other stuff.
“It’s just crazy where we're at. And I know it's going to continue to grow, like this is our first time going into the 60s of vendors,” she says. “We're able to give opportunity to people that are just starting up their clothing brands.”
You can find fan art at the market too, including some that reference the Houston hip-hop scene, like a painting of DJ Screw as an astronaut. That kind of vibe.
Uniting the vintage clothing culture with breakdancing culture was something that just happened naturally, because the founders of the vintage shop Resale Folds, helped launch the market and are breakdancers themselves. The market has grown to represent all the main elements of hip-hop culture with breakers sharing time with rappers and graffiti artists.
“We've had lowrider shows out there, we've had slabs show up, we've always had the MCs come out; just really showcasing all the tools of hip hop, you know, all the elements,” Martinez says.
The market was shut down for a little while due to COVD-19 restrictions, but recently the markets returned for one Sunday a month. Lately, interest has grown so much that the market went on the road in October to San Antonio.
Martinez says showcasing the concept in other areas is part of the plan for the Hip Hop Vintage Flea Market, to offer it to a larger and larger audience.
“We plan on having an annual one that's just big, and a huge space. So, whether that be Reliant, you know, White Oak music center, we're not sure whether it's a stadium, we don't know,” she says. Either way, she offers, the future looks good for their hip-hop style of vintage market experience. “We just know that we're going to have it somewhere big and we want it to be huge."
Hip Hop Vintage Flea Market (at 8th Wonder Brewery), 2202 Dallas St, Sunday, Dec. 5, 12 p.m. – 5p.m., free. For more information visit their Facebook page.