One of my favorite activities to do when traveling is going to markets, antiques, fleas, food and beverages, all sorts of them. Buying vintage things always gets me excited, I enjoy the whole process. First I research the place, locate it, start the hunt ( to be honest bargaining I dont enjoy much), find a hidden treasure, something forgotten, ask many questions about origin and history, take it with me while imagining it’s whole story, where it’s been, who it belonged to. I also think about where will it go after me. So my closet and house are decorated with all the halves stories I was told and made up plus the mistery they enclosure, which makes me love them even more.
Vintage vs Antique: The main distinction between those terms is time. In order to be considered vintage the piece must be at least 20 years old. To be considered antique it must be a 100 years old. In fashion, the majority of the things offered are vintage or simply second hand. Another term that is important to understand is “retro”, this things are manufactured in the present but with a nostalgic feeling or style to them.
Advantages of shopping Vintage:
- It is a form of sustainable living, complying with the 3 R’s Reduce, Reuse and Recicle ( the tree hugger in me talking here)
- It’s unique. At times where everything is produced in large quantities, you get something special, different and with history.
- Great quality. Not only many things in the past where handmade and with better quality than now, but a vintage ítem has already passed the test of time.
- Support the independent business and entreprenours. Also, many times second hand stores benefit different charities and NGOs.
- Save money. Usually vintage items are priced 20% or less than brand new.
If you are shopping for small things, with low prices I think the best approach is to go with what your heart desires. Let your self go and choose the things that you like the most. But if you re going to make an investment in a special ítem, is better to be well informed, to avoid counterfeit objects.
My advice as follows:
– Know the brand you are buying vintage. I try to buy only brands that I am very familiar with.
-Buy from a well know and stablished seller. This places usually have experts to detect counterfeit objects. In my post “Vintage Shopping Address Book” you will find a list.
-Once you buy the ítem, bring it to the brand store and ask them to inspect it, most of them will. Also if your item is in less than perfect condition, many of them will give it mantainance for a small charge.
-Some brands have a security code. In my post “Vintage Shopping Address Book” you will also find this important information.
Among my favorite places to shop for vintage things are Saint Ouen Market in Paris and Alfies Antique Market in London. Make sure you check their maps before going, because they are huge.
In Japan, stores have the best variety of items in great condition. I love Amore Tokyo and Rag Tag.
When in Madrid, my usual place is Corachan y Delgado, is a wonderful store owned by Pedro Almodovar movies’s stylist.
You can check the complete list in the address book that I posted, and if you know a place worth sharing, please write me to include it.