Alice Saunders’s Best (Under-the-Radar) Sources for Crazy-Good Materials

A flea market fanatic’s dream come true.

“My favorite part of my job is being able to spend so much time hunting for fabrics. That’s really the core of Forestbound—the textiles themselves,” says Alice Saunders, the designer behind the so-sick bag line. “The fact that going to the flea market every weekend is a crucial part of my job is something I can’t complain about. Being self-employed means that it’s easy to take a Friday morning off in order to be the first in line at the good estate sales!” So where does this Boston-based designer source the best stuff? Here, three of her top spots. —alisha prakash

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Todd Farm Antiques & Flea Market – Rowley, MA: “This is the best leather bag—$3 at Todd Farm in Rowley, Massachusetts! It’s a pretty popular flea market in Massachusetts because you can always find something nice and old for a reasonable price. Plus, I’ve been going there pretty much every weekend for six-plus years, so a lot of old grumpy vendors have become friends of mine. They put canvas aside for me.”

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Davisville Flea Market – Davisville, NH: “My all-time favorite flea market is in Davisville, New Hampshire—the town next to where I grew up. I started going there, hunting for treasures with my neighbors, when I was an adolescent, and it very much shaped the aesthetic of Forestbound. This is an old handmade photograph album cover and laundry bag with incredible printing I found there.”

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Renninger’s Antiques Market – Adamstown, PA: “The majority of the flea markets I frequent are in New England, but I’ve also spent a lot of time hunting around Pennsylvania with my vintage textile partner-in-crime, Aaron Ruff of Digby & Iona. This is one of my all-time favorite bags—it’s a Royal Air Force duffel bag I found at Renninger’s flea market in Adamstown, Pennsylvania. It’s really hard to find—it has a drawing of Popeye! It’s definitely going in my duffel bag archives—I’ll never cut this one up.” 

Alice’s killer edition—made with WWII camo—is here! Get this stellar tote while you can.

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Hare+Hart Knows Buenos Aires

And now you do, too.

As we imagine it, Jennie Engelhardt and Emily Harrison of Hare+Hart spend all of their time eating medium-rare steaks, cracking open bottles of Argentine red, and tangoing until sunrise. But when the design duo is in Buenos Aires—they both also do time in NYC—they have to get work done, too, as they produce all of their line’s elegantly simple leather goods just outside the capital city. Here, the nine places you’ll find them when they’re not hanging out at factories. lydia woolever

imageThe bar at Milion.

Milion
Emily: “It’s a bar in a huge, old, three-story mansion in this chichi neighborhood—like the Upper East Side—called Recoleta. Argentines aren’t huge drinkers—so it’s not like the New York cocktail scene—but they make these amazing basil cocktails here. And there’s this beer called Quilmes, which is definitely cheaper to drink than water.” (Paraná 1048)

La Cabrera
Jennie: “This is a special-occasion parrilla, or grill. Emily gets their bife de lomo (tenderloin), and I like their ojo de bife (rib eye). We usually share an order of mollejas (sweetbreads) and provoleta (grilled provolone). We’re definitely not vegetarians.” (José Antonio Cabrera 5099)

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Domani
Jennie: Medialunas, or ‘half-moons,’ are the Argentine version of a croissant. They’re smaller and sweet—they have a little bit of honey on top. They’re everywhere, but the best are at Domani. It’s a block from Emily’s apartment, so we go there and do work a lot. It’s like a weird sort of IHOP or American diner.” (Salguero 3006)

Bosques de Palermo
Emily: “Bosques de Palermo is this big park with grassy areas and paths and lakes not far from my apartment. Jennie goes running there; I walk my dog.”
Jennie: “People are always having maté with each other in the park. It’s like tea-slash-marijuana. You drink out of the same straw and pass it around like you pass a joint. If people invite you to share maté, it means they like you. It has more significance than just sharing a drink.”

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Kansas
Jennie: “This place is hilarious. It’s trying to be really fancy, but it’s also trying to be very American. It’s like a nicer Chili’s. They have nachos and french fries, but my personal favorite is the fingers de pollo—the chicken fingers. We go for happy hour a lot. The Argentines love it so much—from fancy, older people to these trendy, mulleted hipster kids, all hanging out at this suburban American chain restaurant in Argentina.” (Del Libertador, Av. 4625)

Palermo Soho
Emily: “We both just love shoes. Palermo Soho is a neighborhood near my place that has great boutiques Jennie’s been in Buenos Aires less than 24 hours, and she’s already been to Mishka, our favorite spot.”

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Campo del Fiori
Emily: “After steak, Argentina’s big food is fresh, homemade pasta. It’s a staple. We go to Campo del Fiori for this amazing pre-fixe lunch. You get a drink, appetizer, fresh pasta, and then a dessert, all for like 12 bucks.” (Venezuela 1401)

San Telmo Antique Market
Jennie: “Every Sunday in San Telmo, this neighborhood downtown, there’s a huge fair with all these arts and crafts and antique vendors—jewelry, furniture, clothing, trinkets, these amazing lights and chandeliers from all centuries. I got some really cool old glass apothecary bottles there. It’s hard to transport stuff back to the U.S., but it’s a great place to just walk through and look around.”

Shampoo
Emily: “This is a silly, fun club where we go dancing. Argentines aren’t big drinkers, but they’re big partiers. They’re really into techno. You don’t go out until 2 A.M., and everything’s open ‘til sunrise.”

Don’t miss out on Jennie and Emily’s made-in-B.A. edition: This black leather bucket bag is rockin’.

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A Month of West Coast Flea Markets With Workhorse

Shaking up your Sundays.

There’s a name for the euphoria that Zoë Chicco and Nicole and Amber Sutton feel when they approach a promising flea market. “We call it the antiques high,” Amber says. “It’s this feeling of knowing that you’re about to find something meaningful and gorgeous and unique.” Given that Workhorse’s line of handcrafted jewelry is brimming with old-world appeal, these guys ought to know. And these are the markets in and around Los Angeles that they dedicate their Sundays to. —mattie kahn


First Sunday of the Month:
Pasadena City College
Nicole: “We tend to head here more for décor objects than anything else, but you can really find all kinds of things here. A little while ago we scored these amazing antler-type horns, and I once left with basically a trunkful of glass decanter bottles.”  


Second Sunday of the Month:
Rose Bowl
Nicole: “You have to be careful here—it’s probably the most popular market in Los Angeles, so it can be a little overpriced. Still, it’s quite a scene and a fun way to spend a weekend. If you dig deep, you can find some great stuff.”  


Third Sunday of the Month:
Long Beach
Nicole: “Long Beach is awesome—just amazing. It’s definitely our favorite. The last time we were there, we got a whole bunch of little trinkets and things that we’ll incorporate into next season’s Workhorse collection. How many baby rings have we bought there? Too many.”
Amber: “On a great day, we’ll have gotten so much stuff that we have to go back with another car to just get the haul home.”


Fourth Sunday of the Month:
Santa Monica Airport
Nicole: “Santa Monica is smaller than the others, which is nice, because you can get there early in the morning and be done before lunch. The things that vendors sell there are usually a bit higher-end—really nice and kind of European, which we love. Going there is such a good way to wrap up the month, because it’s a little different than the others—a little quirky.” 

See what the trio’s flea adventures inspired them to make for us! This gold-and-diamond arrow bracelet is beyond.

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A Guide to Alex Bell and Shira Entis’s Favorite Flea Markets

These two New Yorkers know where to get all the good stuff.

It’d be downright cruel of us to feature Alex Bell and Shira Entis of Fleabags without asking them to put out on the flea-market front. After all, the two seasoned veterans started their bag line to satisfy a desire for well-designed, structurally sound totes to stow their finds. “We love the idea of discovering something that’s so valuable that it’s been passed over by several people and having it live on,” Alex explains. “And the negotiating part of it is pretty fun, too.” Check out this guide to the very best near-NYC markets that they’ve had the pleasure of digging through. monica derevjanik

Shira’s Brimfield haul.

+ Best Place to Satisfy a Food-Obsessed New Yorker: Brimfield Antiques Show in Brimfield, MA

“The last time we were there, we had a lobster roll, amazing cinnamon-apple donuts, and a Del’s frozen lemonade, which is a Rhode Island specialty. This is New England’s largest antique market, so you will have to fight the crowds. Since the vendors located near the streets are usually the most expensive, we like to wind our way away from the street to find the better deals.” —Shira

+ Best for a Weekend Getaway: Golden Nugget Antique Market in Lambertville, NJ

“This is perhaps our favorite market. It starts very early in the morning and is best on Sundays, so we love to drive down on Saturday and make it a full weekend trip because the town of Lambertville is adorable. Some of our favorite finds are a leather printer’s rolling pin that dates back to at least the 1920s, a wooden cash drawer from the 1890s that has a cool metal gargoyle drawer pull, and a diamond-shaped hole puncher that was originally used to punch tickets on the railroads.” —Shira

+ Best for Authentic Farmhouse Décor: Madison Bouckville Antiques Show in Bouckville, NY

“This market is quite a hike from Brooklyn, but it is worth visiting, especially if you’re looking for a great upstate destination in the middle of August! I bought a 19th century wood farm table and a 1920s hot-dog holder there.” —Shira

+ Best for Real Scores: Shupp’s Grove Antique Market in Adamstown, PA 

“Adamstown is an antiques destination, and you should try to coordinate your trip for one of the summer weekends when Shupp’s Grove is open. This is a real picker’s market: There is a lot of junk there, so you need to love to dig. Luckily we do! I bought these awesome vintage Czech rhinestones.” —Shira

+ Best Deals for Vintage Clothing: Chelsea Outdoor Market in New York, NY

“We can’t travel every weekend, so we frequent the fleas in New York City as well. Our favorite is the Chelsea Outdoor Market, an old staple that has been there for decades. We go so often that we have become friends with several of the vendors. A lot of the clothing is heaped in piles on tables or on the floors. Shira found a Chanel jacket, and I bought vintage Gucci loafers—both for prices that would make you too jealous if we revealed them.” —Alex

Get your hands on their latest flea-ready creation. This neutral clutch (with a hit of neon!) can go anywhere.

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