By Ellia Flinn, Florence
Stazione Leopolda is a uniquely beautiful converted train station and an easy fifteen-minute walk from the center of Florence. (For me, it was about a 25 minute walk, but let me tell you, it was well worth the trek.) After World War II, the station was converted into a versatile space for events of all kinds. From January 28th to February 1 of this year, the station housed Vintage Selection. Vintage Selection is essentially an indoor vintage market, which is held in conjunction with Pitti Filati, the leading international trade show for yarn and textiles, drawing thousands of buyers for designers and brands from around the world. "For five days, the strong and unique synergy between the two fairs will transform Florence into a huge fair-event dedicated to quality yarns and vintage clothing." (Stazione Leopolda website)
From 10AM-9PM, the enormous space is bustling with exotic, fabulously-dressed people, looking to find amazing vintage treasures at equally amazing prices. Over 50 vendors bring their beautifully curated finds to the fair, and you could easily spend four hours just looking at the fur coats, dresses, shoes, sunglasses, handbags, etc.
In addition to the amazing shopping, there's also food, cappuccino, an art installation by Giuseppe Restano, and DJ set every night from 7-9PM. The best part: it only costs five Euro!
I was introduced to this event by the striking Tamara Evans, CEA Florence's Fashion Marketing and Merchandising professor and all-around fashion guru. As part of study abroad program in Florence, she took us to Pitti Filati, and then over to Vintage Selection. We got to rub elbows with the coolest buyers in fashion, and then hop on a shuttle bus over to the most gorgeous vintage fair you've ever seen. I had no idea that when I registered for Professor Evans' class that I would be getting to experience these once-in-a-lifetime events. As a matter a fact, Pitti Filati is not open to the general public. We were only allowed in because Professor Evans knows everyone there is to know and also because we're university students. Unless I become a buyer for Chanel, I'll never again get the opportunity to experience the trendsetting trade show. And when I say trendsetting, I'm not kidding. The textiles, yarns, and color palettes we saw are for the Spring/Summer 2016 season. My classmates and I have essentially peeked into the future, and between you and me, it looks blue, vibrant, and eye-catching. Going from the cutting edge Pitti Filati over to the throwback sophistication of Vintage Selection was an incredible, visually-stimulating experience.
For anyone who loves hunting for one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, I would highly recommend that you check out Vintage Selection. It's fun, casual, and you can spend as much or as little as you'd like! Or you can sign up for Professor Evans' class, and she'll be more than happy to take you around. (Sign up for Professor Evans' class. Just do it.)
Ellia Flinn is the Spring 2015 CEA MOJO Blogger in Florence, Italy. She is currently a junior at Cedarville University.
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