Above: Central Northside organizers saw a large crowd at the first Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer. (Photo by Emily Riley).
The fitted bodices of the 1950s and the patches and frills of the 1970s hung from the ceiling and walls of the New Hazlett Theater this past Sunday for the first ever Pittsburgh Vintage Mixer.
Event co-coordinator and Central Northsider, Michael Lutz, was happy at midday when the event had already attracted over 600 visitors.
With bloody marys in hand, the crowd of vintage enthusiasts scanned the retro plates, scarves, tapestries and even wigs from the 21 local vendors.
For those who preferred to have first pick at the timeless items, 8 am to 9 am early bird price was $5 at the door. For the rest of the visitors, admission was free.
Lutz joined his fellow owners of the online vintage store, Red Pop Shop, Jason Sumney and Bess Dunlevy, along with AtomikRose online vintage store owner, Rachel Buckley in organizing the event.
The organizers shared a love for the artistic appeal that vintage items maintain.
“Personally, we just love old objects, fashion and artwork. These are things with a past and often a story, and there is a special quality to them,” said Dunlevy.
The event came together mainly to give different vintage shops and websites in the Pittsburgh area the opportunity to join together and share their fare, said Lutz.
All vendors were handpicked locally, a quality of the event that Lutz said was important for the organizers.
The choice of location and venue was important as well.
“We wanted to create a unique vintage experience, and we thought the Northside was a great place to do it,” said Lutz. “It is a beautiful and often under-appreciated area in Pittsburgh with a lot happening and a lot of cultural offerings.”
The New Hazlett Theater offered the organizers an already vintage atmosphere with its late 1900
’-s architecture and historic quality, said Lutz.
Though the space was aesthetically effective in creating the desired ambience, the small space at the theater’s main stage may hinder the expansion of the event in the future, said Dunlevy, who noted the theater was filled nearly maximum capacity.
Suzanne Snow-Helsley, owner of Mane Attractions Unlimited in Bellevue, a beauty salon and vintage clothing shop on, said the space was the tight, but was more than happy to be a part of the event.
“It is a good thing. It brings people out who enjoy art, recycling and beautiful things,” said Snow-Helsley.
As for the future, organizers plan on expanding with more vendors and other event developments.
“Once we set the ground work with this first event, we can maybe add live music and additional days,” but for now we are focused on the first event,” said Lutz.
The seven-hour mixer offered visitors the opportunity to relish in the past and maybe find a new piece for their vintage inspired style.
Alexis Shaw of Squirrel Hill came to the Northside on Sunday just for the event. With hotdog in hand, she explained her interest in vintage style.
“It is like living in an old house. It all has a certain fee. Energetically it just has a feel, a style,” said Shaw.
The event was an all-around success, but the highlight of the day came in the form of an unexpected guest, said Dunlevy.
“Biggest surprise: Rick Sebak walking through the fair. We’re longtime admirers of his documentaries, and were delighted to have him in attendance,” said Dunlevy.