The Brooklyn Flea has a summer share at Madewell’s stores in Manhattan and East Hampton.
Eager to give its shoppers an assortment of affordable vintage pieces that complement Madewell jeans and save them the trek to Brooklyn, Madewell is setting up outposts in those two boutiques. Regulars on Saturdays at “The Flea” in Fort Greene, Madewell’s marketing director, Gigi Guerra, and stylist Lisa Schulner will start sharing their vintage finds with Madewell shoppers on Thursday. They hope The Flea’s indie spirit will appeal to Madewell’s consumers, and are spreading the word via e-mails, Madewell’s Facebook page and word of mouth.
“It operates as a real community,” Guerra said of The Flea, which typically has 150 vendors in Fort Greene on Saturdays and 110 underneath the Brooklyn Bridge on Sundays. “It’s such a New York thing and such a summer thing.”
Straw hats, crocheted dresses, sunglasses, tops and bags will be among the vintage pieces sold in the Madewell stores. By and large, the flea market goods will retail for less than $100 and everything is meant to be mixed with the Madewell collection, especially its forthcoming more affordable 37s jeans. Due in stores next month, 37s — named for 1937, the year Madewell was founded as a family-owned workwear business — will retail for $59.50. In 2006, the J. Crew Group relaunched Madewell and opened the first Madewell store.
To give Manhattanites at Thursday’s opening-night party a taste of the food vendors often camped out at the flea market, Madewell will serve hors d’oeuvres prepared by Red Hook food vendors, Nunu Chocolates and Salvatore Bklyn. Another resource from The Flea, Brooklyn Brew Shop, will be serving up the “Madewell microbrew,” which will be made specifically for the bash.
The collaboration — the most high-profile one to date for the popular weekend hangout — may be extended beyond Labor Day if the concept takes off, said Flea co-founder Eric Demby. “We’re trying to keep things fresh and interesting. We just want people to know we’re not a tube socks kind of flea market,” he said.