‘Vintage Fest’ or just a mess?

Echo staffer goes to ‘Vintage Fest’ for the first time


Jordan Deschamps

Photo illustration by Jordyn Deschamps. Freshman Sarah Kluckhohn browses a clothing rack April 23.

Sarah Kluckhohn

Every month, Minnesota fashion lovers get together to buy and sell vintage clothes at the Minneapolis Convention Center. I went to ‘Vintage Fest’ for the first time April 23, and the experience was surprisingly fun. 

Going in, my expectations were low– a lot of overpriced clothes lifted from cheap thrift stores and price gouged. I wasn’t entirely wrong, a lot of stuff was obscenely overpriced for what it was. But there was charm there that made it worth it– a free photo booth made out of an old Volkswagen, piles of clothes for $5, communal art walls not yet entirely covered in penises. 

The people were something else too. Every five minutes I found myself making eye contact with my friend, fiending over yet another hot person. Some people stuck out especially– a young guy in a faux fur jacket and star-shaped sunglasses, a middle aged woman in a Juicy Couture tracksuit with fake tan and a coach purse. Her cat eye was so sharp it hurt to look at. Compared to everyone else, I felt horribly underdressed. 

As for what I bought, satisfaction was not guaranteed. I spent $55 on two faded white T-shirts and a tank top advertising Bruce Springsteen’s 1977 tour. That much money just to look like a Republican. As I walked away from the vendor, I felt scammed. I reminded myself I bought the clothes by my own volition, but it only made me feel worse.

A lot of the clothes weren’t ugly, but most of the cute stuff was either stupid expensive or not for sale. I remember pointing out a shirt on a rack, only for the vendor to tell me it was just there to make the booth look appealing. But, there is hope. After a trip to a mini free arcade and a photoshoot with some plastic aliens, I did end up finding a cute tank top for only $15, a purchase I don’t regret. ‘Vintage Fest’ is good for niche picks and patience. Do not buy the first thing you see. Instead, I’d recommend taking a trip around the whole thing first, then coming back for whatever really caught your eye. 

Overall, I would recommend ‘Vintage Fest’ for any fashion-loving individual. The cheapest tickets are only $8, and if you have some self control, you’ll only spend money on stuff you really want. There are some really cool finds, good photo opportunities and, if you’re a fan of people watching, you’ll definitely have fun.