Five of Cape Town's coolest vintage shops
For retro furniture, fashion and collectables – bypass the usual suspects and discover Cape Town’s most charming little vintage shops. They’re all around the Mother City, if you know where to look – little vintage stores selling everything from authentic and re-worked clothing to re-upholstered deco chairs and old paintings and collectables. You name it. Although a popular trend since the seventies, trading in vintage today isn’t confined to four walls any more – it’s become a high tech online business with a myriad of virtual shops, each punting their specific form of nostalgia.
In Cape Town too, and although they have physical stores, companies like Vamp Furniture, and Babette Clothing – who has, apart from their city outlet, opened a 2nd pretty little shop in Claremont – direct buyers to their Facebook pages for up to date products and prices.
Back on the street for a weekend vintage fix, and the Mother City markets won’t disappoint: few things lifts the anti consumerist’s heart like the classic and unique finds at the Milnerton market or the Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. Not to mention the monthly Truth Timeless Market, a vintage pop-up night event that happens at Truth coffee in Buitenkant street. But, it’s Cape Town’s small, off the beaten track shops, some unassuming on the outside, yet full of old-fashioned vintage-love on the inside that we were after, and found. Here are our five favourites.
1. Arigato Boutique
Owner and vintage fashion collector for over 30 years, Silvia Miedler relocated her Johannesburg business to a quaint, somewhat hidden-away little shop on Kloof Street in 2006. Here she sells all kinds of hand-selected period pieces dating back to as far as the twenties. Arigato Boutique is on Facebook.
Lembranças is a little shop that lives inside Beleza restaurant on Kloofnek Road. Here owner Alby Francisco stocks one of a kind, recycled and upcycled clothing. “Our clients are not mainstream fashionistas, they are after unique pieces.” With the focus on vintage South African fashion labels, like Woolworths’s Princess and Ronald Sassoon’s Sissy Boy, Lembranças is a must. Visit: belezarestaurant.co.za
3. Afraid of Mice
Afraid of Mice is a lovely shop on Long Street owned by two sisters, Bianca and Simone Brandi. It’s uncluttered and bright, and, “filled with clothes you wished your mother kept for you.” Each piece is hand picked, and the two are always up-to-date with what’s happening on the world’s catwalks, ensuring it reflects in their choice of garments. Look out for one-off pieces from labels such as Chanel, Oscar De La Renta, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney.
4. The Eye
The Eye on Loop Street is a retro-enthusiast’s dream. Owned by Hein Coetzee and Wentzel van der Gryp, it stocks a wide range of vintage wares, including clothing labels such as Betterhalf, Asseblief and Pereira. Looking for that elusive South African or African Lp? Try them. They boast the largest collection of vinyl, as well as other kinds of music formats in the country, not to talk of their range of collectables and pop culture memorabilia.
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5. Luvey ‘n Rose
Luvey ‘n Rose can be found up a little staircase along Loop Street. Owned by Ignatius Claassen, it has a sense of coming home to the place you wish were yours. Think leather chesterfield couches, old wooden benches and chairs, Walter Battiss, Cecil Skotnes and Sydney Kumalo on the walls, old Persians on wooden floors and beautiful views across the city through the large windows. It can all be yours, save the view.
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This content has been produced in partnership with Cape Town Tourism. Contents and photographs were sourced independently by the M&G’s editorial team.