Living in Warsaw you might have noticed that the city is filled with thrift shops and second-hand stores. But finding something of real vintage quality and value is rare. But, the other day, while walking through Powiśle, I came across the Vintage Store. And though the name sounds banal, it is exactly what it claims to be: a store dedicated to real vintage clothing.
The shop owner prides himself on having been involved with vintage fashion for over 15 years. Back in the ’90s, when it was hard to find ANY clothing stores in Warsaw, the owner bulls-eyed the niche in the market by opening the Vintage Store. The business model was simple: import clothes from the US, and sell them to the fashion-deprived Poles, who (back then) had very limited access to branded clothing. Vintage Store was one of the first shops in Warsaw to offer brands like Levi’s, Fruit of the Loom, Champion and Wrangler. Granted they were second-hand, but they were so much more ‘exotic’ compared to the grey, black, white or knitted-by-your-grandma garments that were on offer in Poland at that time.
Since its inception the store has grown in many ways – now, brands like Burberry, Barbour, dresses from the ’70s, Hermes scarves, snakeskin handbags, or original Adidas sweaters from the ’60s and ’70s (the owner is an avid collector) are not an uncommon find in the shop. You can also buy fashionable accessories like leather ties, or a chic toque with Marabou feathers.
The store’s clientele is varied – fashion doesn’t discriminate… The Vintage Store offers so many interesting pieces that even theater costume designers show up when in need of something different: be it a colorful shirt from the ’70s or a leather jacket à la Donnie Brasco – if it is to be found anywhere in Warsaw, it will be in the Vintage Store. Find it on the first floor of the University of Warsaw’s library building, though do facebook them for news on any seasonal garage sales (which take place at ul. Lipowa 5A). (ID)