GO: POP SOUK ON OCTOBER 23

Anyone who has ever been to a Souk (an Arab market) knows what true treasure-hunters’ troves they are: wafting spicy smells, bright colors, the din of venders hawking their wares, the clanking of all sorts of exotic finds. Sadly, in New York, the Souk experience is all but nonexistent…that is, until now. Nightlife icon Lady Fag is known internationally for her legendary fashion sense and unfettered creative spirit that has given rise to such NYC institutions as Clubber Down Disco. But now Lady is bringing her magic touch to the Souk. “The goal was two-fold. On one hand I wanted to provide my friends and peers with a space to sell their old but still fabulous treasures or showcase their designs. It’s nice for all of these artists to have a chance to have their own store, display things their own way, and personally get to talk to people. It’s as much about whom the sellers are, as what they’re selling” she explains. “On the other hand it’s also about the shoppers. It’s a real mixed bag, and there’s sure to be something for almost everyone. They can all come and shop from friends or people in the community they might know or always wanted to meet. It’s really about community interacting; bringing together all these people who enjoy fashion their own way.” All in all, it’s a place where downtown folk sell, not sell out. OAK was so excited about Pop Souk that we decided to get on board with our own booth and sell selected pieces from our staff’s personal wardrobes as well as vintage pieces and samples from the development of our in house collection. Other vendors will include Amanda Lepore, Asher Levine, Chromat, Chris Habana, Patricia Field, Telfar, and Ms. Lady Fag herself.  Pop Souk is taking place Sunday, October 23rd, from noon to 6pm, on both both floors of the majestic Hiro Ballroom. Below, Pop Souk in Lady Fag’s own words. We’ll see you guys there.

Describe a typical day and night in your life.

I’m a party promoter, so chances are I can be found at a party. If not I’m probably in my dressing room trying to figure out what to wear to the party!

What is Pop Souk and how did it get started?

The seed for Pop Souk was planted back in Toronto where I sold vintage clothing for over a decade. I used to do shows and markets and always felt that there were only a few vendors who sold things that would appeal to my friends. I also have an overflowing closet. I felt like Hoarder’s was going to call me to do an episode. I knew lots of my friends had similar problems. When you’re in nightlife, or a performer, you need to have lots of things to work with to constantly keep changing looks. Bank accounts aren’t always as forgiving! Pop Souk seems like a happy solution…although I’ll probably end up buying as much as I sell!

How do you mix the traditional Arab souk culture with New York Pop culture?

My dad’s from the Middle East so I grew up going to souks. I have childhood memories of winding through aisles of these magical, festive places. I loved being fully surrounded by all sorts of treasures and the sounds of people chattering everywhere. You could shop, hang out, and it seemed like a meeting place where everyone knew each other. Coming home to Western-style shopping seemed like such a bore. There’s no community, you’re greeted by sales people who don’t usually want to be there. You never get to really meet the person who made it or who knows the history of the item. Souks are such a lively passionate place…that’s what downtown NY is about.

What treasure are you personally hoping to buy at Pop Souk?

I’ve learned when it comes to markets to not have something specific in mind. I love finding things I never knew I wanted. That said, Fall makes me wistfuly romantic. I’m hoping to find a floor length Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman skirt in a muted wool tartan. Hey, I’ve read The Secret…it can’t hurt to put it out there!

In what ways will Pop Souk be growing in the future?

There’s a lot of really amazing people who wanted to sell at Pop Souk but found out about it to late and there were no more spaces left. Hopefully we’ll be able to grow so more people can join us. That said, I hope the show never changes too much. Our motto is where downtown folk sell, not sell out. Enough said.

Make up your own question and answer it.

Is it strange to be starting a shopping market during the same time as Occupy Wall Street?

I think this is the perfect time for Pop Souk! Shopping isn’t the problem, it’s HOW we shop. I think Pop Souk’s a great community-based model of how people can help support each other and make the money they deserve without ripping people off. There’s no mega corporations, no sweatshop manufacturing, not to mention the recycling environmental aspect. It’s all very DIY…It’s anti-capitalist capitalism.

What are you looking forward to at Pop Souk?

It’s as if I called every friend I know and said ‘Hey let’s all hang out, have some drinks, listen to music and shop together in each others closets!’ Pop Souk is my ultimate shopping dream date come to life.


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