Finding the Next Basquiat?

Chelsea Art DOJO StudiosThis we know to be true.

Artists come to New York to create. Art lovers come to New York to discover. The two compulsions are strong and they’ve shared a mutually beneficial relationship for decades as the flow of talent runs unabated and the hunger obsession for finding that which is beautiful, inspiring and thought-provoking in art is an unquenchable one.

We’ve long prided ourselves on creating a place where art lives and thrives. With our return to Chelsea Market this month, we’ve intentionally sought to amp up the arts within the market mix. It’s not just a Chelsea thing. It’s a belief thing and it’s a mission thing and, quite simply, it’s something we need to do because market life wouldn’t be interesting without art.

Over the next several weeks, there will be several new visual and mixed media artists joining the Artists & Fleas family at Chelsea Market. NYC artists like illustrator and painter Ray Sumser and photographer Matt Schwartz of She Hit Pause Studios join folks like Mike Lindwasser, Faune Yerby and Kevin Marcell in blowing up our arts quotient.

Art is everywhere. Look up and look around.



Leroys Place and the beat boxRetail is always a bit random and unpredictable. No matter what the scientists, trend predictors and so-called experts may say, there’s a lot of left brain and right brain stuff that happens. But then there’s also market magic, the stuff of randomness. It’s the pixie dust of market life.

Check Leroys Place moves to Zounds, a priceless little video of former Boston b-girl crew member Serene B. of Leroys Place doing her thing to the beats of Sunday’s resident DJ Turmix in front of the absolutely smashing and hip tower of power of Zound Electronics up cycled vintage suitcases refashioned into modern-day beat-boxes says it all. Shit just happens. Spontaneously. Always. It’s what we call marketlife and you can follow it (on Instagram) and add to it (obviously) with that simple little hashtag. Or just come and see it and live it for yourself with us in Williamsburg. Ground zero for #marketlife.

Score Vintage this Superbowl Weekend

Superbowl-Weekend-Vintage-Shopping-Event-WilliamsburgWhile NYC plays host to the big game, we are hosting and holding our own Superbowl Weekend fete the only way we know how: with a truly alternative version of merry-making mayhem. Destination:Williamsburg, a super Superbowl vintage sales event brings together over 20+ sellers of fine vintage fashion, apparel, accessories, housewares, kitsch, vinyl & more.

Destination:Williamsburg happens all weekend at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg – for more info, check out the Facebook invite and follow our feeds for sneak peeks, choice picks, participating sellers and deals.

718 at Chelsea Market: A Launch Party

Chelsea Market launch party eventJoin us this Thursday (7/18) as we bring brand Brooklyn to Manhattan for Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market for our Summer opening party. Shop, sip, boogie and celebrate as we kick off the start of a 6-month pop-up market residence bringing the best of local and emerging artists, designers, vintage collectors and tastemakers to the west side of Manhattan. Special guests include illusionist JB Benn, guest DJs and super hip swag bags to the first 50 attendees.

FREE and open to the public — Thursday, July 18th from 7-10pm inside Chelsea Market on the corner of 10th Avenue & West 15th Street. Click on our Facebook page for more details.

American Made Summer – Part 4

Dap-Kitsch-mens-bowtiesThey say that necessity is the mother of invention. That’s the way Tyler Estes, the man behind fashionable bow-tie up-and-comer Dap Kitsch, started when he couldn’t find ones that he liked. Tyler takes his quest for unique fabrics deep into the obscure corners of New York’s Garment District plunging into the depths of vintage textile piles where ever he can find them. Then he goes to work making his originals.

Like the best of ‘em in Brooklyn, Tyler works out of his apartment studio for now meticulously cutting and sewing the patterns that will be destined for that dapper dude on whatever occasion beckons (Father’s Day is Sunday, June 16th!). Before creating wearable men’s accessories, Tyler got his NYC credentials at Patricia Field  where he was THAT GUY wearing those hip and funky ties. When people asked where he got them, he had to explain that he made them. When people asked where they could get them, he had to explain that he didn’t sell them. Until one fine day when he made more and rolled the dice on whether or not people would embrace them as their own.

They did. They have. And history is still being written. That’s what makes a great American Made story.

American Made Summer – Part 3

class-attire-chalkboard-teeThe Chalkboard Tee from the folks behind Class Attire is making a splash in a very big way. Creators, marketers, designers and inventors Chris and Jinyen Carew created their uniquely American Made (and NYC-made, natch) product way back in 2007. The idea was and is simple: create a wearable wall for forms of self-expression. 6 years, thousands of shirts, tons of chalk and millions of miles later, the Chalkboard Tee is poised for a mega breakthrough (mum’s the word…we promised!).

Their process is obviously a trade secret, but through trial and error they created a flexible, screenable, chalkboard that you can wear. And it’s freaking brilliant. The shapes are simple and appeal to kids, adults and everyone in between. Before joining the family at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg and debuting to much delight at our April Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market pop-up, Class Attire was selling around New York and around the country.

Marketers, market-goers and maestros of the merch as well as just downright outrageously cool people, the Chalkboard Tee crew and their gear can be found in Brooklyn every weekend as well as at MoMa and the New Museum and the upcoming Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair later this month. Chris and Jinyen are living it and building the next great American Made brand. Chalk yourself into one for your American Made Summer.

Go Big or Go Home with Photographer Mike Lindwasser

mike-lindwasser-photographyIn this day and age – the Instagram era – everyone and their grandmother is a photographer. Here’s the thing, there’s a difference. A keen eye for composition, a level of talent that makes a professional photographer. Mike Lindwasser has been in the game for years. Mike studied at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and has been capturing weddings, portraits, city life — the small details that make New York the city that it is. Since the beginning of the year, Mike has been an anchor in Williamsburg, but he is taking it to the big show. After riding his waves of success at our Chelsea Market pop ups in 2012 and 2013, he’s going to say goodbye to Brooklyn and move across the river. Moving up and over – catch his portfolio of new works when Artists & Fleas at Chelsea Market opens on June 21st.


American Made Summer – Part 2

Artists-and-RevolutionariesArtists & Revolutionaries is many things to many people. Incredibly wearable, comfortable clothing, handbags and accessories made of repurposed leather and linen, the brand captures the critical notes of comfort and style for urban living. The master-mind behind the brand, which is now in it’s third year and its second year at Artists & Fleas, is John Michael. Forget about the fact that he studied at Parsons and then in Paris. What you need to know about this brand is that it’s eco-friendly and completely American Made.

I’m not going to blow up any one’s spot, but John Michael uses repurposed leather, cashmere and organic cotton, which he sources from a variety of places. I had the pleasure of tagging along earlier this month and it’s truly an experience. Don’t think of it as anything other than taking surplus fabric and recreating it in amazing shapes and styles that work on just about anyone.

John works out of his home studio in Hudson, NY with a small team of artisans. They hand dye and hand sew all the tops, pants, skirts and dresses. Since he works with small lots of fabric, all the pieces are limited production and many are literally one of a kind. Find Artists & Revolutionaries online and in person every weekend at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg.

American Made Summer – Part 1

American-Made-BrooklynThe hype machine is alive and well. When it comes to all things “made in the USA,” the where of it all is usually a lot more complex. Beginning today and continuing through Labor Day, A&F’s BrooklynMarket Manager and Bushwick denizen Molly Cronin (@mollsrawks) reflects and opines on what she’s seeing at the market under the theme of “American Made” — true American made, often hand built here in NYC.

It’s almost summer. An American summer. BBQs and picnics. Beach and sun. Here at Artists & Fleas we are going to celebrate the only way we know how – by showcasing original designers. These are the clothes for your Brooklyn summer.

I’m constantly blown away by the original design at the market. Trend-casters, take note. This is where experimentation and innovation lives. It’s a petri dish for the fashion-forward. This Memorial Day weekend brings Michael Calloway (Vamps), Joann Berman and John Michael (Artists & Revolutionaries) and their derring-do. All of these amazing creators are making pieces on a small scale. True American makers bringing creativity and craft to the public.

Join us this holiday weekend as we showcase these 3 designers.

Hey, Mister DJ: Anthony3000

KevinAnthony3000Since the early days of the market, bringing DJs to set the mood and keep the beat has been a touchstone of what the A&F shopping experience is all about. Over the years, we’ve had resident DJs who were neighborhood fixtures – Sasha (aka DJ Sport Casual) from the now defunct Grand Street cafe and bar the Lucky Cat, Rodney from Academy Records and Union Pool, DJ Nithya of the famed Kings of Karaoke. And the list goes on and on. Each brought his or her own blend of beats to the ‘Burg.

Our Saturday mainstay is DJ TruTones aka KevinAnthony3000. A native of St. Lucia and a sorta recent transplant from Atlanta, Kevin is a fiend for 1970s and 1980s funk, soul, R&B and Afrobeat. Until recently, he held down a steady gig at Bembe and now is the driving force behind Porch Fridays at the Southside joint, Bia.

Dig the dude and jump-start your Saturday night out with a soundtrack to your shopping every Saturday afternoon from 2-7pm at Artists & Fleas in Williamsburg.