We don’t know what it is… the colourful atmosphere? The scent of leather? The feeling of walking into your grandma’s teen closet… but we love vintage shopping, and if you’ve read our blog you have probably heard it before: Milan is known for its hidden secrets. Vintage shopping in the city is probably the epitome of this phenomenon.
Although most people focus on the big brands, it’s often these smaller stores that end up holding all of the most sought-after gems. Having been a fashion capital for decades, this city has accumulated many old-school treasures.
Aside from vintage shopping we also love letting you in on our tips and tricks so have a read of the best places for vintage buys in the city!
my room Vintage Shop
As the name implies, ‘my room’ is a cosy and almost fantasy-like store. Even if vintage shopping isn’t on your to-do list we recommend you pop by to have a look at the lovely set up: colourful shoes, clothing, and even suitcases all seamlessly blend. However, this is no surprise, the boutique was created by TV stylist Susanna Ausoni. The main prize point of originality in here is that she shows you how to blend vintage and modern finds – a sort of ‘play time’ in a room, much more than a simple store.
Via San Maurilio 24, 20123.
This tiny store is hidden around the XIX Marzo area. Despite being small, it is one of the best-stocked vintage luxury accessory stores we have come across. Bags, keychains, hats, scarfs from a variety of high-profile designers can be found here. If you’re looking for an original, well kept and certified item this is the place to go. Don’t let the big names scare you, if you’re sure you want an item but can’t afford it, the store offers PAGODIL, a safe monthly payment scheme with no added cost.
Via Fratelli Bronzetti 11, 20129
Lo Specchio di Alice
This second-hand store has been open since the 90’s. Loyal customers haven’t stopped visiting it for a reason. This store contains the more ‘traditional’ items you would expect to find at a vintage shop: bomber jackets, Levis jeans, floral dresses and all on a budget. This store is loved by many as it caters to diversity – if you love your vintage check it out.
Corso di Porta Ticinese 64, 20123
Cavalli e Nastri
Cavalli e Nastri was so successful that Milan now counts three of them. However, they are not to be confused as the same thing: the Gian Giacomo Mora 3 focuses on men and antiques only, things such as Hermes tailored suits, the Gian Giacomo Mora 12 one centres around strictly vintage female items dating up to the 1800 and the Brera location holds a selection of emerging designer pieces. They all share one characteristic: the scent of leather as you step in. Cavalli e Nastri also purchase clothing but only accept it in perfect conditions!
Via Brera 2, 20121/ Via Gian Giacomo Mora 3 20123/ Via Gian Giacomo Mora 12, 20123
Although it has only sold under this name since 2009, Serendeepity has been a Vinyl shop for decades now. Jazz, rock, techno, new wave and tribal tunes are a few of the genres you’ll find in here. To note is the focus on detail in this record store: Nicola, the manager, chooses every disc that makes it into the store personally. The shop is divided into two floors: the upper level only focuses on new vinyl discs, while downstairs there is a vintage clothing section. Considering the latest boom of the music industry in Italy, we think its a must-go.
Corso di Porta Ticinese 100, 20123
In the city centre of Milan, between the busy streets of via Torino, you can find this niche vintage glasses store. You can find Ottica Veneta on the first floor of a 19th-century building, walk inside a door saying ‘Avanti’. This little treasure is nothing but unique, the store has been open since 1931 and has managed to preserve its atmosphere.
The owner, Giorgio, has been collecting glasses and optical objects since age 15. Even if you aren’t looking for a new pair of glasses this store is almost a museum, collecting spec’s from the 18th century onwards. The glasses are also affordable and you will find thousands of designs to pick from.
Via Torino 57, 20123.
Milan’s first resale vintage store is Bivio; now it has 3 locations around the city. We must admit, Italian’s aren’t used to buying what is not new. But this store aims to change that. Here items can be bought and sold, and you can find high-end vintage as well as resold affordable brands. Are you looking to swap some of your wardrobe items? Why not give it a try.
Via Lambro 12, 20129(Men & Women) / Via Gian Giacomo Mora 4, 20123 (Women) / Via Mora 14, 20123 (Men)
Vintage Delirium has been hailed as one of the best design showrooms in the world… And not for no reason. Designers such as Donatella Versace, Miuccia Prada and Giorgio Armani have scoured through the store to find inspiration for their collections. In fact, the owner Franco Jacassi, has modelled this store around his passion for contemporary art and fashion. Vintage Delirium, unlike any other vintage store, is divided into unusual themes like Martin Scorsese, Texas and Doping Club style. The store almost has a ‘costume’ vibe feel to it, with items dating to the 1920’s. If you’re an avid fashion-addict, this is a must.
Via Giuseppe Sacchi 3 20121
. (ph. Eastmarketmilano.com)
Last, but not least, this is perhaps the absolute all-in-one to visit if you’re a vintage lover. Inspired by East London market vibes, East Markets features over 200 stands in each edition, live music, murals and more… The market has gained a wide reputation and is usually held monthly. Here you can find anything vintage, and you can also easily apply to be a private seller. From Zara to Prada, if you love vintage, you’ll love it here! The market is open until 9 pm and also features a unique wall dedicated to street art that changes annually.
Via Privata Giovanni Ventura 14, 20134
If you’re ever visiting/living in Milan, vintage shopping is one of the best (yet most ignored) ideas! Hopefully, we have convinced any second-hand store snob to roam through these locations. So have a read on where to go to revamp (or retrograde… pun intended) your style! Don’t forget to tag us in your photos with the hashtag #themilanese!