Vintage shopping in New York
New York is a vintage paradise – the perfect place to browse thousands of small shops boasting some of the world’s most exclusive finds.
1 Williamsburg is hot
This is one of the city’s most sought-after neighbourhoods where avant-garde communities have carved out their spaces. Although it’s always had a strong industrial vibe, more and more pavements are now lined with thrift stores and street art. The hipster areas are filled with cool restaurants, street markets and places selling vinyl records, vintage clothing and antiques. On Saturdays and Sundays, Artists & Fleas sells pieces from upcoming designers working with recycled materials. Awoke Vintage is typically stylish and recently opened a second location in the neighbourhood, while Beacon’s Closet offers exclusive clothing, accessories and footwear at affordable prices.
Williamsburg is a place of contrasts: the area is shared by a large arty neighbourhood to the north and a Jewish community to the south.
2 East Village, vintage heaven
A neighbourhood of low-slung buildings filled with small businesses, East Village is far from the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas – ideal for young shoppers. There are all kinds of entertaining shopping options, from places selling Asian toys and lots of styles of glasses to Landmark Vintage Bicycles, where you can buy original models from the 1930s onwards. Tokio 7 sells classic, designer garments at excellent prices.
Tokio 7 has no mirrors, so it’s best to go with a friend or two.
3 The punk-rock movement was born on St Mark’s Place
The East Village’s main street is symbolic of New York and seems to be stuck in the 1980s, with its clothing stores, barber shops, tattoo parlours, and places selling designer and vintage clothing. Enz’s sells clothing in all sizes ranging from the alternative to the romantic. Despite its punk reputation, the shelves at Search and Destroy are stacked with second-hand clothing and one-of-a-kind pieces. And since 1975, Trash and Vaudeville, has had the neighbourhood’s finest footwear.
One of the area’s hallmarks are its street lights, which are covered with painted tiles, mosaics, bits of dinner plates, ceramics, coins and jewellery – works of art by legendary local, Jim Power.
4 SoHo, South of Houston
This is one of New York’s most characteristic neighbourhoods, where art and fashion rub shoulders among 19th-century buildings with cast-iron facades. There is shopping on every corner and it’s also where some of the big brands, such as Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney, have chosen to locate. What Goes Around, Comes Around is a favourite spot among young celebrities. With more than 100,000 items of vintage luxury, visiting is by appointment only. Just a few minutes away on foot is Chelsea Girl, queen of shops for bags and accessories.
SoHo is packed at weekends, so choose a weekday to shop here.