The West Hollywood Design District is going global, throwing A Street Af(Fair), a European-style street fair on April 30 that aims to bring the city’s East Side and West Side designers together. Darren Gold, board chair for the West Hollywood Design District, tells EAL all.
How did the idea for the fair come about? Are there particular European markets or experiences that you drew influence from?
The “market”/”design fair,” craze is really big in Los Angeles right now, but we thought, How come it hasn’t happened in the West Hollywood Design District, which is filled with luxury goods, creative minds and unique spaces? We asked ourselves, Why are most of these markets inside warehouses or soundstages, not actually on the street? It’s always a downtown or Venice thing, but why couldn’t we do the same thing here in the West Hollywood Design District? We really wanted to do an event that would be open to the public and also showcase our focus on design, and a market really fits that bill.
Everyone loves a street fair…and a curated one with a theme? It seemed like a no-brainer. As for inspiration, of course, Marché aux puces, the ground zero of European fairs, but also the many markets and bazaars of the Middle East that are part of everyday living there and not just a weekend recreational event. L.A.’s own Parachute Market was also a big influence, because we loved how they took the idea of the street fair to the next level.
What do you hope to achieve with the fair?
Like everything we do, we want the fair to be a conduit through which people become more aware of what we have going on in the West Hollywood Design District. In addition, we want to reiterate how the district remains relevant amongst all of the other developing areas in Los Angeles that are breeding grounds for many of the up-and-coming designers, makers and artists. We want to honor both and show how they both are important parts of the design spectrum, as the West Hollywood Design District is a destination where all forms of design culminate. Of course, at the end of the day, we want everyone to have a good time and be exposed to some great design and hopefully take home a few things.
How did you select exhibitors and vendors?
We have engaged the folks at Parachute Market, Coryander Friend and Cory Lashever to curate the market with us. They have such amazing taste and relationship with vendors and we are really excited to be working with them on this first A Street Af(Fair). We love what they have done at the various Parachute Markets and we wanted the same kind of unique and thoughtful vendors here. We loved that Coryander always chooses vendors through the lens of a theme, which makes it more than “Let’s see who wants to come out and set up a booth, and hope it all works together.” Our theme, “East Meets West,” is the perfect way to showcase the amazing design we have right here in the West Hollywood Design District and bring in some emerging makers from other parts of town who will appeal to the same audience.
A Street Af(Fair) will run down North Almont Drive, between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, on April 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are necessary. Learn more.