Iconic Five Points store goes out in style

Hip Wa Zee throws one last party before closing their doors. Allen Wallace photos.

For two decades, Hip Wa Zee has been the place to go in Columbia for anyone needing a costume. The store is going out of business, and marked the occasion in the most fitting way possible: a costume party.

Owner Leslie Minerd and her staff made the best of the end of the Harden Street store’s long run selling costumes and vintage clothing, going out in style with a big sale and an afternoon of live music to go with the costumes.

The Wage Slaves, Brandy and the Butcher, Damn the Sun and Dead Spring performed for a crowd as diverse as the store’s clientele has been, from children to college students to those who may already have had grey hair when Hip Wa Zee opened its doors for the first time in 1999.

“I remember coming here when I went to USC,” said Claudia McLaughlin Saturday. “Then I brought my kids to buy Halloween costumes. We’ll miss it for sure.”

Minerd accepted an offer last year to sell the building to California-based developer Campus + Main. The company has also purchased several other buildings in the 900 block of Harden St. and plans a mixed-use property. That project will likely involve demolition of the existing structures.

The closing is sad news for fans of Hip Wa Zee, but Saturday afternoon, they made the best of it, celebrating the store’s 20 years in Columbia and making vintage and modern come together in one place.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Business, Columbia, Richland County