Renegade Craft Fair brings hundreds of makers, vendors to Wicker Park

CHICAGO — Spanning a half mile, the Renegade Craft Fair packed 400 vendors onto Division Street over the weekend in Wicker Park.

Among them is Lydia Crespo, who started Argaman and Defiance to design one-of-a-kind fabrics and apparel.

"What I’m doing is I hand paint and dye everything, so they’re all going to be completely unique from one another. They’re super cozy and they’re perfect for a Chicago winter," Crespo said.

Since it started in Chicago 17 years ago, the Renegade Craft Fair has now expanded to 25 events in 12 cities. Each year the fair makes stops in Pilsen, Bridgeport and Wicker Park.

For vendors like George Schaefer of Norman Leigh — who doesn’t operate a typical brick-and-mortar shop — it’s an opportunity to connect to new customers.

"It’s a great show for us, we try to do all three in Chicago, it’s a great way for us to get our products out and meet new customers," Schaefer said.

While the fair goes until 7 p.m. Sunday, it will return to Bridgeport in December.

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