Made By Legacy
Bangkok's New Old Community
by Ken Jenie
On the weekend of 10 -11 January, 2015, an old lot of the Hua Lamphong Station was transformed into one of Bangkok’s best pop-up flea market: Made By Legacy. Already the fifth event since its inaugural event in December 2012, Made By Legacy (MLB for short) is known as a collective specializing in vintage as well as enewly crafted goods. Visitors will be greeted by everything from fashion items, art, home accessories, local food, music, to taxidermy.
Its founder, Vudi Somboonkulavudi, first thought of the idea of Made By Legacy as he returned to Bangkok after having lived in New York City for about 2 years. During his stay in the Big Apple, Vudi had the chance to visit the many flea markets and vintage shops scattered through out the 5 boroughs, and wanted to bring those types of markets to Bangkok. Having and making new friends in Bangkok who were collectors and distributors of antique items, Vudi and his friends gathered them and created an event with under the Made By Legacy name in December 2012.
This New York influence makes perfect sense when you are at the event. The location and general atmosphere had a Williamsburg market-esque feel to it, with a revitalized space as its venue, mostly independent retailers and DIY designers as tenants, and the event packaged with a hip twist to it. It is no surprise that amongst the crowd many were stylish and, based on appearances, seem to follow the current trends of youth culture. Made By Legacy succeeds at positioning itself as a cool event, but most importantly, it is a pop up flea market that is executed well and features many interesting quality products.
Hua Lamphong Station provided a great setting for the event. A tunnel-like entrance where visitors pay 100 Bahts (around 30,000 Rupiah) shortly reveals a courtyard surrounded by 3 brick facades and a working railway created a thematic enclosure. The architecture, though still in use, is obviously an old section of Thailand’s State Railway, and its presence provided an unobtrusive decor and background appropriate for the festivities. The size of the courtyard provided enough space for many booths, and during the event’s peak hours enough room for the many visitors to easily navigate through the booths.
The main attraction was, of course, the tenants and their curiosities, and needless to say there were a great many items for one to gawk at. Immediately after entering the courtyard, visitors were immediately greeted by a number of food stalls situated along the railway’s walls. There were a great variety of dishes available including pullpork sandwiches, Italian sausages and chorizos, burgers, ribs, rotisserie chicken, pastry, desserts, etc. The food at Made By Legacy was, for the most part, quite hearty and barbequed, and also complemented the antiquated-theme of the event. One of the highlights was a stall whose specialty was a 3-sausage dish served with a piece of baguette and a selection of mustards customers can choose from. The drink of choice for many visitors was Amber Ale, a beer by Made By Legacy and Udomsum Brewing. The ale was quite sweet, went down smoothly but was dry enough to have a good bitter aftertaste – an excellent accompaniment to the modest heat of that day.
Weaving through rows of booths, visitors will notice that there are more than a few shops dedicated to apparel. Denim and blue-dyed fabrics seem to be very popular, with many shops being dedicated to blue jeans, denim jackets, and denim shirts. Patterned shirts was also quite popular, with booths displaying their floral, checkered, polka dots, stripped-patterned apparel. There were plenty of shoes, sneakers, bags, army gear, and surprisingly winter coats for sale as well.
As Made By Legacy was formed by antique enthusiasts, there were plenty of relics and rarities for sale. From typewriters, cash registers, picture frames, furniture, to tea ware, army base barrels and taxidermy. An expert of antiques can perhaps spend the whole day rummaging through the furniture, statuettes, cutlery, trinkets, stamps and signage’s at the event. One of the antique booths that stood out was the toy store. The first day of Made By Legacy coincided with Thailand’s National Children’s Day (January 10), and an addition to the market was a vintage toy store. With everything form action figures, dolls, tin robots, to statuettes, and familiar characters like Kamen Rider, Betty Boop, Popeye, Flintstones and Batman on display, the stall provided childhood nostalgia for the casual visitors, and a treasure trove for the collector.
The event, though, isn’t just limited to vintage and antiques. There were plenty of shops that brought their own array of items to the flea market. One shop featured tote bags made of salvaged fabric from army goods, another fishing hats with colorful floral patterns. There were hand-made watches, furniture, stationary, to hair products there as well.
For the music enthusiast, the fifth Made By Legacy had a number of record shops selling mostly vinyl. There was a wide selection of used and new records to be found, with the W_Music team finding everything from hip hop club bangers from Camron, free jazz dirges from the ESP label, to newly packaged Sonic Youth box sets and recent Grammy winners Arcade Fire records. Two booths specialized in instruments, one featured mostly wooden percussion, and the other had vintage synthesizers.
The range of items on display at Made By Legacy is staggering. Visitors who enjoys browsing thoroughly can spend hours rummaging through the items and appreciating the details, while collectors of specific antiques will probably have a good time observing and perhaps get to know the dealers. Made By Legacy, isn’t just for product hunting, though. The atmosphere is friendly and accommodating for those who are looking for an event to spend the weekend in, and with DJs spinning through out the day and band performances during the night, the casual visitors will have a great time basking in the market’s atmosphere.
The following is a short interview we had with Vudi Somboonkulavudi, founder of Made By Legacy:
Is Made By Legacy a regular event?
We recently started trying to make it a semi-annual events. We try changing the vendor lists – some get tired of showing the same collection. So the team discuss who will be the vendors in each event.
How did you come up with Made By Legacy?
I have many friends who love collecting or wear vintage stuff, so we formed this idea together. I am the founder, but I have many partners and a co founder. All of us have the same background, we love New York City, and are crazy about the new flea markets there.
Did you live in New York?
I lived there 2010 to 2012, for two years. New York have cool and interesting flea markets. I wouldn’t say it has the best flea markets, but it has very cool movements.
Everything here is inspired by flea markets in Brooklyn. I wanted to make a similar market here because I miss living there so much, so I called my friends, researched who could be good vendors and who sells the best products in the city.
So we can expect the best vendors of their fields here in Made By Legacy?
I wouldn’t say the best, but all of them have their own charms and collections. I don’t want to say who’s better than who. When I first started I did have my own preferences, but now I can see that people have similar approach – a vintage perspective, meaning :“don’t throw away things easily.”
Also now people are making things, so not everything are second hand. We love people making good quality things. Perhaps some of the designs duplicate what already exists, but their approach is one similar to ours.
Are all the vendors here from Bangkok?
About 90 percent of them are. There are vendors from other places such as Singapore and Japan.
What was the public’s response to Made By Legacy?
When we first started, there were only about 700-800 visitors who were all friends – they were all in our circles. Now we have new vendors, new people – it rapidly grew, and right now it has reached its maturity.
The location here is very interesting here, how did you choose this location?
I was born nearby and passed by this building since I was little. I never walked in here until two years ago, and I thought “wow, this place.” The train station has never let anyone rent this place, so it took me six months going to their office to get the permission.
Is it still in use?
Yes. It is the oldest part of the station, but people still work here.
This is the second time we have done it here.
What other places have you done Made By Legacy in?
We did one of them in a TV production studio, and the first time we actually did it was on a rooftop.
Right now, I am looking for another secret place to do Made By Legacy in.
It seems like the Made By Legacy brand is doing very well, are there any plans to expand it beyond the event itself?
We have some products, but we don’t really focus on it because it isn’t our jobs. Our job is to create a community and an experience.
What can we expect from you guys in the future?
We’re going to do smaller but more international. Bring something crazy to Bangkok.