Via @diffusionstudios on Instagram
Via @thesosomarket on Instagram
After decades of San Francisco and Haight Street being the center of Bay Area vintage shopping, Berkeley establishes new retail spaces dedicated to curated vintage and streetwear.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
Before Instagram, vintage shoppers and collectors visited local thrift and consignment stores to find their holy grails. They spent hours digging through the Goodwill bins or clothing racks on the hunt for unique vintage pieces. From a perfectly worn pair of Levi’s to rare band tees, finding these items was like looking for a needle in a haystack. As technology progressed and social media came along, vintage enthusiasts witnessed their community grow right in front of their eyes. The quirky and unique themed vintage shops that have lived on Haight Street in San Francisco are now inspiration for many fashion lovers looking to plant their own seed in the culture.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, many shops and small businesses were impacted by the restriction of indoor shopping. Without an internet presence and ecommerce platform to sell on, many vendors found themselves struggling to support themselves. The Soso Market was founded in the midst of COVID by Indigo Vintage as a place for vendors to showcase their inventories and make sales in person. What started in a small parking lot in Berkeley and has since grown to become one of the most visited vintage markets in the East Bay. Once a month over 50 local clothing vendors, artists, and makers gather to provide the best finds and deals to fashion and streetwear lovers. From Y2K clothing and jewelry to sneakers and masculine styles, there’s something for everyone at the Soso Market.
The traction and popularity of the market has given small businesses on Depop and Instagram a chance to thrive and become something more than they have imagined. Since Soso Market has popped up onto the scene, many vintage curators have taken their hobbies to the next level. Within the last few months, two new vintage shops have opened on Telegraph Avenue. The Sneaker Shop features a wide selection of Nike, Jordan, Yeezy sneakers and more. They also have a collection of vintage clothing closer to the masculine end of the spectrum. This includes items like vintage Nike hoodies, Carhatt jackets and pants, and Levi’s denim. Just a couple doors down is Diffusion Studios. This store heavily focuses on clothing trends that appeal to both feminine and masculine styles.
After the openings of these new stores, Soso Market found its permanent brick and mortar on Telegraph as well. The in-house version of the outdoor market is called Soso Supermarket and follows the same structure as the original. Now, shoppers are able to shop local businesses throughout the entire week with special themed three day events throughout the weekends. Soso lovers no longer have to wait for the end of the month to see their favorite vendors.
To find more information about these shops, check out their Instagram pages.
If you’re looking for a new place to explore, be sure to check out Telegraph Avenue and the city of Berkeley. If you love fashion and finding rare, unique pieces, the vintage community is continuously expanding in Berkeley. Just 30 minutes away from campus, you can find aesthetic retail stores and restaurants to enjoy with your friends. Take a break from large corporations and fast fashion and shop locally owned, second hand clothing. You’ll be giving new life to pre-loved clothing while supporting small business owners and their goals to open up their own shop in the future. Vintage shopping is becoming more and more accessible and Berkeley is one of many examples that the culture is growing.
Melanie Moyer '22,