An Insider's Guide To Vintage Shopping in Melbourne, Australia
An Insider's Guide To Vintage Shopping in Melbourne, Australia

An Insider's Guide To Vintage Shopping in Melbourne, Australia

Words by Clare Ferra

As the cultural and shopping capital of Australia, Melbourne is known by many as a haven for vintage shopping and home to a thriving independent retail scene where niche brands rule supreme.  Being our home turf, we thought we'd provide a curated list for the best places to shop vintage and second hand in Melbourne.  Most small retailers are centred around a few areas, being the inner city suburb of Fitzroy, the city centre with a small selection of stores aroud the south side in Prahran and Windsor.  The main hotspots for independent shopping within Melbourne are Brunswick and Gertrude St Fitzroy, the Nicholas building on Swanston and Curtin house in the CBD, Chapel St in Prahran/Windsor, there is also a small amount of vintage stores along Sydney Rd Brunswick.  Independent vintage stores within Melbourne change often with new stores appearing all the time so we've limited this list to curated picks rather than a comprehensive list of all.  We've listed them in order of location so you can go from one to the other on a shopping tour.  


Bruce - 157 Gertrude St Melbourne


Bruce stocks high end pieces by Japanese and European designers.  Here you will find Yohji Yamamoto, Comme Des Garcons, Issey Miyake Pleats Please, Margiela, Marni, Raf Simons Undercover; sometimes there will be a piece or 2 from brands like Hysteric Glamour and Kapita.  The angle of the store is refined and sophisticated.  Bruce is a consignment store and the products on offer are not restricted to vintage with the majority of the pieces being contemporary.  We love the way this store is merchandised, everything is very wearable and goes well together. Bruce has two locations in Melbourne, one in the inner northern suburb of Clifton Hill and another in Gertrude St Fitzroy.  The merchandise varies between the two and we prefer the selection at Fitzroy.  Prices range from $300 to $1000+.


Lune Selects - Upstairs, 69 Gertrude St, Fitzroy 


Further down the road from Bruce is Lune selects, a tiny store above Sonido, a south American cafe on Gertrude st.  There is no street signage and the store is very much if you know, you know. The selection of pieces on offer are not designer, rather the pieces are handpicked and laundered trend leaning vintage pieces. Every week there is a new selection of pieces.  We recommend checking Instagram prior to going as it is a small business and hours sometimes vary.


Lost and Found Markets -  288 Brunswick St, Fitzroy


Lost and Found is a second hand megastore in Fitzroy that houses concessions from a large amount of vintage sellers.  The store is over 900m2 and stocks vintage clothing bags and accessories as well as furnishings, homewares and art.  It has a the feeling of a flea market and you really have to take your time digging, on occasion when we have been here we have been able to find a few designer pieces but the majority of items there are unlabelled.  


Rose St Artist Markets - 60 Rose St, Fitzroy


Every Saturday in the inner city suburb of Fitzroy, the Rose St Artist markets are held in a graffiti filled carpark.  The market is an artisan market that stocks a lot of home made goods and jewelry.  Here you can find independent wares such as pottery, candles and prints.  There is a vintage section in the carpark which is a mixed bag depending on who is selling their wares that particular week.  


Reina -  Level 3/252 Swanston St, Melbourne 


Reina is located in the famous Curtin House building.  The building also houses Dot Comme and PAM store as well as a independent bookstore that sells art books and zines so the area is worth a visit.  This store focuses on designer vintage from brands such as Miu Miu, Prada, Marni.  The angle is very 90s and the offering is beautifully merchandised and sparse.  The store has a small selection of books and zines as well. 


Dot Comme -  Curtin House, Level 3 & 4/252 Swanston St, Melbourne


In the same building as Reina is Dot Comme.  Dot Comme is a small store that stocks Yohji Yamamoto, Comme Des Garcons and Walter Van Bierendonck.  This store boasts one of the larges Comme Des Garcons collections in the world, the store has an international reputation and is known by many avid collectors of Japanese fashion.  The store features a mix of menswear and womenswear and consists of two levels.  Downstairs features the more accessible ready to wear pieces, however if you are on the hunt for something particularly special you can ask to view the upstairs collection which consists of the most rare and collectible garments.


Mused - 127 Greville St Prahran


Once you head over to the south side we highly recommend visiting the Mused popup on Greville St Prahran.  The store is an Aladdin's cave of vintage, housing decades worth of designer pieces from many brands.  If you are serious about vintage ask to see the pieces that aren't on the shop floor.  Dean and Jc have the biggest collections of Courreges and have many museum grade pieces that have been immaculately kept.  The pieces all have a story with many of them being flown over from faraway places picked up.  This store is a long term popup so we recommend going there soon before it closes.


Shag - 130 Chapel St Windsor


Shag is an institution in Melbourne, there is one on Brunswick St Fitzroy and there is another in Windsor.  As Windsor is our local, we recommend the Windsor store of the two.  Overall the focus is not on designer here, the majority of garments here are true vintage so if you're looking for a retro style dress from the 70s this store is the right place. Pick throug the rails here and occasionally you may get lucky and find one or two designer pieces by Dolce and Gabbana or Hussein Chalayan!


Chapel St Bazaar - 217 Chapel St Prahran


Chapel St bazaar is a similar feel to Lost and Found markets in Fitzroy.  There is a smattering of clothing and jewelry here but the majority of the items stocked consist of homewares, art and furnishings.  The store is huge with many stallholders you can really get lost here for hours.


IRVRSBL - address undisclosed


We couldn't write a list about where to shop vintage in Melbourne withpout including ourselves.  IRVRSBL offers one of the only one on one archival shopping experieces currenty in Melbourne.  Booking will give you access to our treasure trove of rare vintage pieces and fashion forward styles by Roberto Cavalli, Blumarine, Dior and more as well as designs from brands such as Plein Sud, Gaetano Navarra and Viktor and Rolf.  If you are lucky with your timing you may be able to try never before seen pieces that haven't yet hit the shop floor.


Camberwell Market - Market Pl Camberwell


Last of all we recommend Camberwell market which runs every Sunday from 7am to 1230 pm.  This is a flea market further out from the CBD in the suburb of Camberwell that has been around forever.  If you are determined and want the best then get in super early, a lot of the items are being sold by individuals so you may be lucky and sometimes they are willing to haggle.

June 21, 2024