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July 26 2014

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Designer Diary: Carrie Eddmenson’s Postcard From Pasadena

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Carrie Eddmenson (pictured, left), one half of our favorite new denim brand Imogene + Willie, just returned from a buying expedition to the Rose Bowl flea market, where she picked up one-of-a-kind pieces for the label’s Nashville store. Here, she shares some—not all—of her Bowl secrets. “Some things,” she says, “have to be kept sacred.”


The Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena, California, has been a long-standing tradition in our family. For the past 25 years, my brother has made the trek out west from Kentucky multiple times a year to buy from the best vintage denim dealers in the world. I started joining him about 15 years ago. I’ll never forget my first Rose Bowl purchase, made back in the nineties: a vintage Gucci overnight carryall. I still carry it today. The vintage clothing treasures were more of an underground secret back in those days. I still catch myself not wanting to tell anyone where [my husband] Matt and I go to scout and buy the things we sell in addition to our own collection back at our shop in Nashville. We’re fortunate to have inherited a deep archive of vintage jeans from my brother’s travels around the world over the past 20 years. Although we do add to this collection when we find a jean that screams out to us, we don’t buy as much as we used to. It’s just habit to peruse the racks at Rose Bowl, checking for pairs with good wear patterns that we might someday want to re-create. You can identify through their wear patterns how they spent their days, whether it was working in the fields and mines, at home in the kitchen, or on their knees taking care of the kids.


“Even if we don’t need them for the store in Nashville, I can’t stop digging for rare, super-worn T-shirts. The gentleman I’m standing with always has great ones buried like needles in a haystack, but I’m not releasing his name or what aisle he’s in. Some things at the flea market have to be kept sacred!”


“I think antique turquoise jewelry will always be relevant and timeless. Its production is an age-old (and dying) art that I’ve always been drawn to, and started collecting years ago. My personal style is very simple: Usually, you’ll find me in a white T-shirt and jeans or chinos, but an understated, comfortable dress comes alive after I throw on a heavy piece of turquoise. There’s always a fight when we get back to the shop as to which customer gets first dibs on the pieces that we sourced at the market.”



“We haven’t yet developed leather accessories for Imogene + Willie, so the shop in Nashville has become a go-to place to pick up a good vintage purse or tote. On this particular trip, we were trying to buy as many real snakeskin clutches as possible. We were happy with the outcome—and our customers will be, too.”


“I have to set some hard rules with myself to not come home with too many things for the house. I couldn’t pass up this collection of matches, though. My dad always collected matchbooks, and after negotiating for this bulk of colorful goodness, I am a second-generation collector, too.”

Photos: Carrie Eddmenson

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Comments

  1. Liang123 says:

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  2. JARZU says:

    We are there at the Rose Bowl once in a While, This Place Always has Great FINDS and when people come they leave happy feeling like they found Treasures in a Chest and its True Great Quality Vintage Fashion! Check out our Treasures Keepsake items at visit http://JARZU.com for more Cool Items!!

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