Walter is a writer, editor and broadcaster living on Kaurna Country.
The pop up fashion market makes a slow return at The Commons
Adelaide’s once-thriving community of art and fashion markets has begun to make its post-pandemic comeback. For Young Street fashion exchange The Commons, it comes with a renewed emphasis on buying thoughtfully and locally.
“Coming back into it, it’s been quite a gradual and slow process which I think we’ve really enjoyed,” she says of reopening The Commons’ physical shopfront. “[On coming back] we’ve been able to reflect on our approach to business; we’ve had a reduction in our hours, and we decided to do this little market as a way to encourage and invite a few of the artists and collaborators around town [into the space].”
With producers ranging from artist and jewellery maker Olivia Kathigitis and artisan shoemaker DONE by Matea to local leatherworks Stuff by Glad, Sheahan’s first pop up market promises an eclectic collection of local creators.
“I think it’s quite a mix; I really reached out to artists without anything specific [in mind]. It’s a chance to make a bit of money, and have some face time with the public given everything that’s going on.
“There’s been a big push with the food and wine industry here, but I feel like these guys get left out. It was also a chance for us to go quite broad; I know Olivia Kathigitis is doing not just her jewellery but a wide variety of art she made over the COVID period. Mineral Tufts are doing everything from ceramics to clothing, it’s a real mix.”
While South Australia’s COVID-19 outlook is currently looking optimistic, with the rising interstate caseload Sheahan is committed to ensuring the market caters to everyone’s level of post-lockdown comfort – including encouraging the wearing of masks.
“It varies – you have to be respectful of all peoples’ stages,” she says of easing customers back into physical retail spaces. “It would be silly to assume that now we’ve come out the back end everyone will be eager to try everything on. I think it’s just about taking it on a case by case basis, reading people’s personality, their behaviour and body language.
“For the most part, people just want a safer space to be in, and if you respect that distance and privacy, they’re going to have an enjoyable time. We’ve put in measures like face masks, and sanitiser at the door to encourage that safer kind of thinking.”