East Lansing’s first-ever vintage festival hosted by More Than Vintage will take over part of Division Street downtown this weekend. The event on Saturday, Oct. 1, from noon to 7 p.m., will include vintage vendors, live music, food trucks and more. A portion of the proceeds from a raffle giveaway will be donated to the Haven House.
More Than Vintage (MTV) opened this spring at 108 Division St., specializing in vintage and pre-loved clothing and shoes of yesteryear. An MTV mural adorns the modern, minimalistic walls, and the racks are filled with hats, t-shirts, jerseys, crewnecks and Nikes. An espresso machine sits on the counter and chic gray couches adorn the floors, with a few retro arcade games tucked in the back. The store buys, sells and trades items from customers every Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m.
Louis Azor, Philadelphia native and owner of MTV, has had an entrepreneurial mindset ever since he can remember. After Footgear closed at that location, the MSU junior was walking downtown past the space and saw the “for lease’ sign. He was shocked that there wasn’t a sneaker shop or clothing store in the downtown vicinity of the type he envisioned.
“I knew it was a perfect opportunity at the right time,” he said.
Azor has worked on other business plans before, but was especially committed to this one given the rising trends of vintage stores.
“I saw this opportunity and realized this was one I could not let pass me,” he said. “From November to February, it was just hours spent trying to figure out how to get into that space. We signed the lease in February and were able to open up in March 2022.”
“I’ve always had a large love for the music and fashion industry because I think it drives a lot of what people do, the way we dress every day and what we listen to every day,” he said.
For the first festival, MTV is planning to shut down Division Street from the Grand River Avenue traffic light to the parking structure. (ELi reported on Monday that, just last week, City Council passed a policy allowing this kind of street closure and helping to fund it.)
“We plan on having Michigan vendors, fresh food from El Oasis and others, and local live music from noon to 7 p.m.” Azor said. “We’ll also broadcast the MSU game inside. It should be a fun family and student environment.”
Some of the vintage vendors include well-known regional small businesses like OG Vintage Thrift’s band and concert tees, 80s and 90s clothing from Back in Time Vintage, sports memorabilia from Graveyard Vintage and goods from Andy’s Archive.
Azor envisions the event as happening annually and hopes to start a sneaker exchange, too. He hopes the event can add to putting East Lansing on the map, beyond being known as a college town. The event is free and family-friendly.