This past Saturday I was given the rad opportunity of attending the Neighbourgoods market in Braamfontein, downtown Jozi.
When walking to the market along the city streets, the first thing one notices is the mix of eclectically and fantastically dressed people meandering about. This is the part of downtown Jozi I have always been amazed and obsessed with. There’s just something about seeing people being their 100% pure self and being able to express themselves in such a gorgeously open and free environment that welcomes them and encourages originality.
The streets showcased Jozi’s finest underground and street style, with people dressed to the nines in their own happiness. Doc Martens, high tops, platforms, high-waisted jeans, fisherman hats, oversized denim jackets, mom jeans, chunky knits, bomber jackets, short shorts, intensive layering and of course ugly fashion (my favourite). If you’re unsure of what ugly fashion is I’ll insert a picture for you to adore at the end. It’s more than fantastic.
I managed to snag interviews with two lovely ladies I bumped into at the market. My first victim was Lital, she was managing the Asseblief stall (an adorable vintage thrift store with awesome, awesome stuff! I’ll throw the link in at the end) and my second was Leah, who I actually met in the changeroom and then stalked around the market in order to get an interview, upon realising how rad she was.
The two ladies had some really interesting and cool ideas on underground street style, these were the questions I asked:
**How do you feel about underground style becoming a trend?**
I thought they’d be aggravated that their unique self-crafted styles are now readily-available to anyone and everyone, however their overall feeling is that it’s actually a good thing – fond of the fact that it makes the style more accessible to people, however some of the items can be overpriced in store, which makes buying that trend difficult for the general market.
**How do you feel about the commercialization of niche brands and items?**
Another unexpected response from the ladies, both positive, as they believe that it’s better for the people that can’t afford the original. Leah then added that there isn’t anything wrong with it, but to her, it isn’t ideal and if she could afford the original she’d rather go for the original (I’m definitely with her on that one)
**How do you feel about brands that bring underground style to light?**
One opinion was that these brands are great and “if it’s quality and you’re getting it for a good price, why not”. On the other hand, it was mentioned that what we love about underground style is lost when big brands swoop in and commercialise it.
**What type of clothes do you buy and why?**
It was interesting to see how their style actually correlated with their interests and ideas on my previous questions. Both ladies said that they buy mainly second hand items from thrift stores like Hospice and charity stores because it’s cheap, it’s for a good cause, each item has a story, and when you get down to it, it’s actually recycling which is cool and eco-friendly.
In my last feat to establish their identity through their clothes, I asked them how they would describe their personal style. Crazily enough, both ladies gave me very similar answers (these interviews were conducted separately and to my knowledge neither of them know each other… spirit animals?). Lital described her style as laid back and she basically just wears whatever goes. Leah said the same, just adding one extra thing that, quite frankly, made my day… she loves ugly clothes! (my soul mate?)
All in all I’d say Saturday was successful and truly wonderful. Meeting new people, discovering new places and finding out thought-provoking opinions on topics I hold great interest in.
I’d like to thank both Leah and Lital for allowing me to interview them and invade their bubbles by videoing them and taking their lovely portraits. I’d also like to thank Yuval for being my transport and videographer for the day, and Jade (my bestie) for accompanying me on my little adventure.
Below you can find the images of my fantastic victims (AKA interviewees) and a link to Yuval’s Youtube account, where he uploaded the awesome video of the day’s adventures!
Till next time
xx Kat xx
The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m296iyEN44E
Asseblief’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Asseblief
Asseblief’s Tumblr: http://asseblief.tumblr.com/
Neighbourgoods Website: http://www.neighbourgoodsmarket.co.za/johannesburg