Shopping the Rose Bowl Flea With Steven Alan

It is great to be in L.A. for the second Sunday of the month when they hold the Rose Bowl flea market. Luckily, my last few trips to the West Coast have coincided with the Rose Bowl Flea weekend and I have been able to shop all of the vintage goodness. This past weekend I knew Steven Alan was in town and I asked him if he would mind letting me tag along with him at the Rose Bowl. Being the nice guy that he is Steven agreed, so we got up early on Sunday morning, grabbed a couple giant duffel bags and headed to Pasadena.

Steven is a soft spoken, introspective and polite guy. He’s someone I very much admire for his great style and ability to make something as simple as a button down shirt interesting and cool. No one in menswear is as multidimensional and talented as Steven, which makes spending the morning shopping vintage with him an awesome experience for someone like me who is a big fan of his work.

Walking up and down the aisles we chatted about everything from Steven’s love of cameras (he owns several including a Rolleiflex, a Canon 5D Mark II, a Canon S90 and a host of other digital and film models) to hs upcoming trip to Japan and everything in between. We spoke about trends, what is emerging and what is coming next. We spoke about Americana and the joy of discovering a company that has been making something the same way for a long time and how great that is and how enjoyable it is to support that company. We spoke about heritage and where the world is heading on that front. (He gave ACL six more months of being relevant, I gave it one. Just kidding, we both know it has long been irrelevant.) Steven and I looked at vintage watches (which is something he has a lot of experience with) and what we thought was the next big vintage watch style.

While we didn’t find too many great things to buy (Steven picked up a few inspirational items), we did have a good conversation and saw a lot of cool folks a relaxing Sunday amongst the vintage. I think I can check that off things to do before I die, shop the Rose Bowl flea market with Steven Alan.

Steven tries on my recently acquired Sierra Designs 60/40 parka.
It was slightly too big for him.
Some sort of US Navy cooler type bag.
Steven checks out a vintage geology set in unopened condition.

Pay what you owe.

Comments on “Shopping the Rose Bowl Flea With Steven Alan

    ESE on October 11, 2010 10:04 AM:

    I hope ACL stays relevant longer than that. And I hope that ACL stays relevant because I think – I hope – that the trend toward heritage or what I recently heard someone describe as “heirloom” brands evidences at the very least a kind of mindfulness regarding environmental and economic sustainability without which it seems we might not survive all that long. That being said, the famed Rose Bowl Flea Market looks kind of bogus in the above shots.

    unitedstyle on October 11, 2010 10:33 AM:

    Well, if you stick around LA for the third Sunday of the month, the Long Beach Antique Show is like a mini-Rose Bowl. Good stuff but small enough to actually walk the entire show.

    kenyan on October 11, 2010 10:33 AM:

    Steven Alan is my Hero…..!

    Larry on October 11, 2010 12:06 PM:

    I hope those duffels you loaded up were J.W. Hulme…

    Ryan on October 11, 2010 12:42 PM:

    the pay what you owe shot is awesome, so true as well. good write up. on October 11, 2010 2:59 PM:

    Great parka! I spent a semester in Vienna and my dad gave me that exact same Sierra designs parka (even the same color) for backpacking around Europe. You’ll love it, especially when it gets colder and you layer a cable knit sweater under it.

    Small Town Boy on October 11, 2010 3:47 PM:

    THAT’s a parka?? Maybe in LA!

    enzo the baker on October 11, 2010 3:58 PM:

    pay what you owe, is brilliant, love the patina on it.

    Jakob on October 11, 2010 5:41 PM:

    Why does Steve Alan of all people have a shirt on that doesn’t fit him?

    Jojoba on October 11, 2010 6:52 PM:

    Unfortunately the Rose Bowl flee market has been so overrun by locusts that unless you’re a Japanese buyer for a vintage store in Tokyo with a few grand in your pocket it is pretty hard to scavenge anything good at a good price.

    david on October 11, 2010 7:54 PM:

    i hope he knows that the enamaled pot he was holding wasnt for soup, but to be kept under your bed for a more personal function !

    Andy on October 11, 2010 10:00 PM:

    Did you pay a visit to Craft on LaCienega, a store you praised last year?

    I have been there several times, and have always been impressed with their great customer service which includes a man sitting at a laptop and whose eyes never leave his screen. I walked in and browsed their $200 sweatshirts, and without being greeted, I walked out without buying anything.

    CWW on October 11, 2010 11:04 PM:

    What a great bunch of comments! Congrats brethren, you are all so much cooler than ACL, The Rose Bowl Flea, Steven Alan, parkas, bed pans, duffel bags and mens boutiques. Did I miss anything?

    Elias on October 12, 2010 12:07 AM:

    @ Jakob… maybe baggy is the new trend they were discussing. We will have to wait and see.

    jacob on October 12, 2010 3:39 AM:

    @Jakob the sleeves are a little long (plus the cuffs are undone), but it fits otherwise, on the shoulders and all. this is the way i like my shirts to fit, especially in summer. obviously more dressy shirts should be more “fitted”.

    Diego on October 12, 2010 11:17 AM:

    “Why does Steve Alan of all people have a shirt on that doesn’t fit him?”

    Maybe that’s just how he likes them to fit? I have one of his label’s shirts in my usual size (XS) and it’s pretty long in the sleeves and body. “Relaxed,” I suppose.

    Joseph on October 12, 2010 1:20 PM:

    Michael, what was the consensus on the next big vintage watch style? Thanks!

    Andy on October 12, 2010 5:51 PM:

    And Steve Alan has some great clothes. I forgot to compliment his product and stores.

    Ramalhoni on October 12, 2010 6:49 PM:

    I would love one of those US Navy Bags !!!!!!!! …. please someone send me one to Portugal…

    Ethan-T on October 12, 2010 7:13 PM:

    @ Diego, eat something! Just teasing ya…

    John on October 12, 2010 10:01 PM:

    I really am into this blog. Thanks for imparting such fashionable ethics into my mornings. Do you know of any great American craft or outfitters in the West Villiage maybe near Christopher? I mean I could travel but if it’s right there then why load the car if nobody’s taking the ride?

    I also have blog: An Outfit For Every Season


    lawrence on October 12, 2010 11:07 PM:

    Mr. Williams
    Those are my legs in the photo of the navy soft coolers — my old Dickies work jeans patched with vintage Japanese indigo cloth, which i bought from that same vendor last year. he always has cool and interesting items and is a real nice guy.

    I was in Mr. Alan’s Soho shop last week lusting after a blue LVC jacket. Other sartorial sightings that day were Rin Takana (My Freedamn! books) and Larry McKaughan (Heller’s Cafe). Great day at the rose bowl even in 100 degree weather. I feel there are still deals to be had at the Rose Bowl, depending on what you’re into and your ability to hunt for it is. I’ve always found something interesting to buy there.

    Looking forward to your next post.

Comments are closed.