Milan, East Market is back. The post-Covid vintage market? The founder speaks

Milan, East Market is back. The post-Covid vintage market? The founder speaks
Milan, East Market is back. The post-Covid vintage market? The founder speaks

East Market he’s about to come back. The expected date of June 20 it is getting closer and closer for the Sunday market which has been gathering for years thousands of people from the Milanese capital and beyond (enthusiasts, professionals, onlookers), the result of many years of experience. Garments, accessories, objects, vinyls, are the treasures of every appointment, for a range of fashions and styles that go back to roaring twenties. The password is vintage. And together recycling. East Market has always paid particular attention to the ecological aspect, raising awareness of the environmental issue among its public. L’inspiration came from the atmosphere of the London markets of East London. In view of the “welcome back”, in a week, interviewed Linda Ovadia, founder and organizer together with Gianluca Iovine.

East Market nasce…

In 2014 in Lambrate, in the Lambretto Studios space, then it evolved into via Ventura, which has been our headquarters for years. In via Mecenate 88 / A we have been there since September 2018

Sunday 20 you will return after a long break.

Tragically, June 20 will be the first appointment of 2021, instead of January to June, practically at the end of the season, even if in reality the season did not really exist. We have been closed as an event since last October. This date is Welcome back, so we called it. The return after the closure due to the covid, hoping to give continuity to the project as it has been in recent years, with one date per month (often even more), special editions, etc.

Your activities.

We have our fixed shop, the East Market Shop, in via Ramazzini 6 (Porta Venezia), opened 3 years ago, to give a fixed reference to vintage lovers. The market, being on a monthly basis, often means a limit for tourists arriving in the city at another time. In the headquarters we offer a limited selection of items, from clothing to objects and home decor, but which are also the result of our research that goes beyond the market event, therefore a 360-degree vintage offer. And then there is Retrograde, (Corso di Porta Ticinese, 105) which will last a month. A specific format designed for a younger audience

Has the pandemic also revealed some weaknesses in your case, so to speak structural?

No, no weakness. Indeed, it has actually brought out new strengths. During the pandemic period, not being able to hold events and having the shop closed and open according to the colors of the areas, we dedicated ourselves to our online project,, which we inaugurated in December 2020. It is a platform that aims to be an East Market open 24 hours a day all over the world at the same time. It includes a part of our historical exhibitors, who have always frequented the physical market, however, having the expansion of an online platform, and therefore hosting enthusiasts from all over without time or geographical limits.

Another example, yours, of post covid digitization.

Absolutely yes. Then it is clear that two different projects remain. Both talk about vintage, and also on the site you can find collectibles, modern antiques, used, design and crafts, precisely because we tried to re-propose the offer of the event. But the physical market is also a real experience. This makes it fun to come here just to go for a ride, meet people, spend a Sunday

When it comes to markets, the question of regulation arises.

Ours is a huge event. 300 exhibitors to date, in the pre-covid period it welcomed 20,000 to 22,000 people in one day. In what we do we are professionals. Ours is a market, if you intend to look for vintage, but it is in effect an event with a gigantic organization, from safety to professionals who guarantee its regularity from all points of view. With the Municipality of Milan we managed to obtain a special permit for the East Market, different from all that already existed in the municipal and regional protocols. It is not a market on public land, it is not a fair, it is a model that did not exist before and that then everyone tried to imitate. On this we have been forerunners. We have also cleared the idea of ​​vintage. Before us, events with this theme were for a niche of people. If you went and didn’t have pin-up hair you felt weird. We tried to make vintage contemporary

For East Market, “vintage” has always meant also “Recycling”. Not only aesthetic and functional value to objects but also to raise awareness on the ecological. Today a central theme in the environmental debate, but also of political and socio-cultural impact.

Yes, there is a commitment from the point of view of recycling and sustainability. With the second hand, prices are lower, and a garment is given the opportunity to live more lives. Our Food market section, where we offer a choice of international food, has also been plastic free for two years. Our invitation to teenagers is not to buy vintage, and used, only for a matter of fashion but with the awareness that we are also doing something for the environment

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