Back to retro

A new, intimate market in Cape Town offers an authentic experience of designed nostalgia, writes Nadine Botha

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Emos, hipsters and cool kids might be more frequently spotted in their nocturnal state, but drawing them out into the Saturday morning sunshine is the You & Me & Everyone We Know Market.

A mostly fortnightly jaunt in the courtyard of the historical Labia Cinema, the market is a haven for all things vintage, retro and the like. Frocks, jewellery, sunglasses, shoes, clutch bags, T-shirts art and rosettes make up most of the fare. “Vintage and retro” should not be mistaken for second-hand or the Milnerton Market boot sale. While some wares might be pre-owned, this is not the impetus of You & Me & Everyone We Know.

Rather, the market sells a certain aesthetic – the sunglasses are certainly not pre-worn, although they could have been taken out of any episode of Mad Men.

The market is based on “designed nostalgia” and the desire for an authentic experience rather than the mass-produced consumer one.

As co-founder of the market Marcii Goosen says: “It is small and intimate. I think people feel like they belong; it’s almost like they are hanging out in my back garden with a visual feast and beautiful people around them.”

An artist, designer, art director and self-described “creative networker”, Goosen was inspired to start the market when she realised her super-talented friends had nowhere to share their work.

The first market was just an informal gathering in her studio in 2009. Having spearheaded the Labia’s 20-year anniversary celebrations earlier that year, Goosen knew this underappreciated cultural gem was the ideal location for expansion.

Using Facebook and word of mouth, the first market at the Labia drew a crowd that included Adel Snyders, the other co-founder of You & Me & Everyone We Know.

As managers and curators, Goosen and Snyders balance the diversity of the exhibitors, continue introducing new talent and keep the face-paint and crystal stalls at bay. The biggest challenge, says Goosen, was to not compete with Whatiftheworld’s Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock.

“We wanted the city kids to have a local hangout under the mountain, and we wanted to give exposure to the Labia Theatre, which is the oldest cinema in the country. We also wanted something intimate, small and manageable. We are influenced by subcultures, popular culture and things of the street – the real and the now, the old as much as the new that we create in Cape Town every day,” explains Goosen.

Usually the market runs every two weeks on Saturdays, with the next two on February 12 and 26. Watch the website for news: http://www.youmeandeveryoneweknow.co.za

Published by the Sunday Times, 5 February 2011

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