Millennials and Gen Z are driving a vintage fashion frenzy, and it’s easy to see why: when it comes to an advantageous price-quality ratio and a strong dose of nostalgia, vintage styles can’t be beat. Plus, they offer the flexibility to change outfits frequently for social media while maintaining an eco-friendly ethos. And what better way to ensure your look is absolutely unique than to mix the latest designs with pieces from fashion moments past?

Thankfully, vintage and retro fashions are available virtually anywhere in the world (and online), however, some destinations are worth a special mention. From Los Angeles to Johannesburg and back, these are the vintage shopping cities to explore whenever you plan to be in town.

Los Angeles

Glamorous Los Angeles is abundant with vintage shopping, from the myriad garage, yard and estate sales on weekends to fine vintage boutiques catering to industry stylists and everyday fashion lovers alike. The Way We Wore highlights every era, with couture and designer apparel, as well as accessories adored by the likes of Iris Apfel and Karla Welch; you’ll find one immaculately maintained look after another. Resurrection Vintage is another inspiring shop to add to your list, with everything from vintage Schiaparelli and favourite ‘80s styles to goth, punk, Old Hollywood and much more.


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Berlin is one of those cities where you’ll see no shortage of casually cool passers-by sporting at least a few vintage accessories as part of their look (if not their entire head-to-toe outfit). Trendy Germans have their fingers on the pulse, celebrating international influences for truly modern style. Swing by Razzo Second Hand on Goltzstraße in Schöneberg; they offer an inviting atmosphere, exciting selections and impressive prices. Ironic Gallery on Flughafenstraße in Neukölln is another great option in a city chock-full of vintage stores, thrift shops and flea markets; expect plenty of colourful and quirky styles.


As one of the major European style capitals, Milan is naturally home to a plethora of ritzy vintage boutiques, with an emphasis on the shops in Brera, a bohemian neighbourhood in the historic city centre. With a reputation as an inspiration for notable designers and stylists, Cavalli e Nastri (translation: “Horses and Ribbons”) offers a rotating stock of creations from the late 1800s through today. To uncover fabulous accessories for men and women, visit Urzì Vintage Selection; you’ll feel inspired to take classic Milanese elegance home.


Miami is a newer city in the grand scheme of things, and yet it’s a wonderfully satisfying destination for vintage shopping. Head to South Beach to browse the designer-fashion-filled Consign of the Times, or venture inland to style oases like Fly Boutique and Miami Twice. Whether you’re searching for a couture evening gown, a rare designer label handbag, period pieces for costumed events or just regular updates to your wardrobe, you’re likely to get lucky in Miami.


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London has long been vintage central, retaining its title over the decades and through many a fashion movement. In fact, the longtime fashion capital has been responsible for a number of global trends. From authentic punk mode to teatime-ready accessories and designs from fashion’s most legendary creators (Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Mary Quant…), make it your mission to find your heart’s desire. You’ll encounter vintage stores and flea markets around the city, but the height of vintage shopping takes place in Notting Hill; spend your Sundays at Portobello Road Market, one of the best vintage fashion markets to be found.


A vintage shopping mecca awaits in Johannesburg, as the international fashion industry is witnessing the emergence of a great influx of fashion brands and designers from the largest city in South Africa. Whenever you’re in town, make a beeline for the neighbourhood of Melville, a must-visit district for vintage shopping for those in the know. You’ll find hip shops like Reminiscene, which specialises in ultra-vintage fashions from the 1970s and before.

San Francisco

California is home to yet another extraordinary vintage shopping destination: San Francisco. The coastal city plays host to an eclectic mix of denizens spanning luxury shoppers who favour old-school designer fashions, to men and women who gravitate towards unconventional, even rebellious looks (it was the birthplace of the hippie movement, after all). On the subject of the ‘60s and ‘70s, if you desire objects from those eras, go straight to the source: Haight-Ashbury. For luxury shopping, Sui Generis Consignment shines with designer looks for men and women, while ReLove offers stunning pieces from sought-after labels. Not planning to be in town soon? Book a virtual styling appointment for a personalised online shopping excursion, with your selection shipped straight to your home.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio may not be the first South American city that comes to mind on the topic of fashion, but it’s a surprisingly rich resource for vintage clothing, furniture and other irresistible finds. Yes, Rio de Janeiro has a lot more to offer than sexy Brazilian swimsuits and the crowd favourite beach day footwear, Havaianas. In fact, if you’re here on a Saturday, you’ll have a chance to combine sightseeing, history lessons, an architectural walk, cocktails and more into a day of vintage shopping. Every Saturday, Feira do Rio Antigo in Feira do Lavradio draws trendy crowds in search of everything from rare vinyls to antique furniture, handicrafts and yes, loads of vintage fashions.


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Barcelona is the rare city where every corner seems to hold a spectacular world wonder, a creative feat or a fabled piece of history. Certainly such attributes are unsurprising for an important global tourist destination like this, but the fact that Barcelona is also filled with amazing shops might be less expected – especially when you’re reminded that Madrid is Spain’s fashion capital. In Barcelona, you’d be hard-pressed to find yourself on a street that doesn’t feature any fashion at all, and vintage treasure troves are scattered around the coolest neighbourhoods. Pay special attention to Mercat dels Encants, the largest (and one of the oldest) vintage flea markets in the city.


Considered by many to be the most beautiful city on the planet, Paris has preserved much of the remnants of its incredible past in the form of its landmarks, architecture and cultural attractions. It is also still one of the big four fashion capitals, continuing the craft of couture in the 21st century. Of course, Paris is also an amazing place to shop vintage! Whether you’re searching for bygone creations by Schiaparelli, Balenciaga and Poiret, or newer looks like ‘90s John Galliano and Dior, the City of Lights offers the greatest wealth of options. And it’s not all designer fashion: you’ll also encounter outfits from the post-war era, a bohemian aesthetic, and more chic Parisian looks throughout the decades. Concentrate your efforts in Le Marais, where you can purchase fabulous fashion by the kilo.

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