In the streets surrounding our apartment in the Fifth District in Vienna, and across the Linke Wienzeile, the street that runs parallel to the Naschmarkt, in the neighbouring Sixth District, there are literally dozens of vintage clothes, design, and furniture shops. This part of Vienna is retro heaven if you’re a lover of all things vintage!
As I was doing the rounds of the shops, deciding which I should write about, I began to wonder what it was about vintage clothes that appealed to the locals.
“Vintage clothes are unique. They have different cuts and colours that can be a little strange. They’re inspiring,” Christoph, owner of Polyklamott, told me. “You can mix and match them in interesting ways to express your individuality in a way that the mainstream brands you find all over the world can’t.”
Christoph says he has enjoyed seeing the rise in popularity of vintage clothes. He remembers when very few people wore vintage – only poor students – because they didn’t want to wear second-hand clothes. Now he sees well-known local designers coming to his shop for inspiration.
“Vintage fashion is also very sustainable. We are repairing and re-using old clothes, we’re saving energy so it’s good for the environment, and we know we’re not exploiting workers in poorer countries.”
Here’s a guide to my favourite vintage gems in Vienna.
VINTAGE CLOTHES & ACCESSORIES
Hofmühlgasse 6, 01 9690337, www.polyklamott.at
This 11 year-old vintage store specializes in clothes from the 1960s to 1980s. Owner Christoph has been passionate about vintage clothes since he was a kid and regularly travels all over Europe on scouting trips to find the retro clothes, shoes and accessories in his shop.
Schleifmühlgasse 15a, +4315860773 www.vintageflo.com
Ingrid Raab’s distinctive store specialises in elegant and glamorous vintage clothing, shoes, handbags, hats, and jewellery in mint condition, from flirty and fun 1920s flapper dresses to fitted post-war Dior suits to show off those curves.
VINTAGE FURNITURE & DECOR
Kettenbrückengasse 15, 0664 3129449, www.bananas.at
Just minutes from our apartment, Bananas specializes in vintage furniture, lighting and home décor from 1950 to 1980. You’ll find anything and everything here from a funky Arne Jacobsen ‘Ameise 3100’ chair dating to 1966 or a cool Georg Jensen wall clock. You’ll also probably find owner Ernst and his lovely wife and a friend or two chatting over coffee or a drink. They’re happy to answer any questions you have.
Operngasse 32, 0676 5254407, www.michaelabauer.com
Looking for an Eames chair? The focus here is rare furniture and interior design products from the 1950s onwards, especially Scandinavian and Italian furniture, along with lighting, rugs, paintings and prints.
Ramsch & Rosen
Neubaugasse 15, 01 586 0520, www.lichterloh.com
You’re taking a serious step back in time when you enter this cluttered store specialising in antiques, bric-a-brac and retro pieces – anything and everything – from 1870 onwards quirky glassware to strange ceramic ornaments.