You’re looking for some new, fabulous clothes? But you’re not looking for the usual boring H&M attire, that your mums best friend is rocking? Let me guess, you want something unique and creative. You want to be stopped walking through your suburban neighbourhood or seaside village. Then come join me on a (virtual) walk down my TOP 5 Vintage Shops on Brick Lane.
If you’ve lived in London for a while or you’re a regular visitor, you probably already know all of what Brick Lane has to offer (or at least I hope you do ;)), because Brick Lane is so much more than curry and Jack the Ripper. In recent years Vintage Shops have been popping up, nestling in between the Indian and Bangladeshi restaurants, framing the most famous street of East London.
1. Blitz Vintage
BLITZ is one of my absolute favourite stores in London. And I’m not alone! It has been named Time Out London’s best Vintage Shops and Vogue.com has listed BLITZ in their Top 10 Things to Do in London. BLITZ is located in a warehouse on Hanbury Street, just off Brick Lane. There’s no way you’d miss it, as there’s several employees handing out 10% off flyers on and around Brick Lane.
BLITZ claims to be the largest Vintage department store in all of Europa with over 20.000 hand-selected pieces spread across two floors. You’ll find mens & women’s clothes, shoes and accessories from the 60s onwards as well as Brands such as Nike, Adidas, Barbour, Burberry and Ralph Lauren. But it doesn’t stop there – BLITZ has it’s own label, BLITZ REMIX, specialising on creating new items, you’d want to wear, out of old vintage garments. Besides the amazing clothes and accessories you’ll find at BLITZ, what really makes the difference to my shopping experience there in comparison to other stores, is the interior, presentation of merchandise and decoration.
55-59 Hanbury Street, London E1 5JP
2. Vintage Market
Thursdays to Sundays part of the Truman Brewery turns into one of the biggest Vintage Markets in town. Vintage specialists from all over the place display their merchandise which dates back to as far as the 1920s. Funky sunglasses, glam fur coats, bridal wear, suits, cowboy boots or maybe an old record? – there’s something for everyone at the various different stalls.
Block F, Old Truman Brewery, 85 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
Rokit started out 1986 as a stall in Camden Market as a specialist in vintage denim thrifted from American cowboys. Due to high demand, the stall moved to a shop within a couple of weeks. Since then, 3 other Rokit stores opened – 2 on Brick Lane and 1 in Covent Garden. In Rokit’s stores you’ll find a wide variety of hand-selected vintage clothes from the 50s to the 90s. Under the label “Rokit Recycled” new trendy clothes are created from unusable styles.
The 2 stores on Brick Lane are rather small, but packed with colourful vintage clothes, accessories and shoes. On a Sunday, they get quite crowded, which annoys me a bit to be honest, but still, Rokit is a mandatory pit stop for everyone strolling down Brick Lane. Oh, and what’s the difference between the 2 stores? I have no idea, one is even smaller than the other one. I read another website describing the 2nd as “more boutiquey” – whatever that means… Just check out both of them when you’re in the area.
101 Brick Lane, London E1 6SE
4. Brick Lane Vintage
Brick Lane Vintage (The Vintage Store) on the corner Brick Lane/Cheshire Street is the sister store to BLITZ. It’s much smaller but has similar merchandise, although the store focuses more on high fashion vintage clothing, shoes and accessories. Definitely check out the website before you visit the Brick Lane Vintage, as you might be lucky to get a 10% off voucher.
182 Brick Lane, London E1 6SA
5. Beyond Retro
After you’ve been to Brick Lane Vintage, walk a bit further down Cheshire Street and you’ll end up in front of an disused dairy, that, since 2002, houses Beyond Retro. At Beyond Retro you’ll find clothing from every era of the 20th century. The clothes in store started as donations to charities and were bought by Beyond Retro directly or through recycling companies. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, isn’t it? And trust me, at Beyond Retro you’ll find a lot of treasures. The “hideous” glitter dress someone got rid of on the other side of the planet 20 years ago, could be the perfect dress for your next birthday party.
As well as BLITZ and Rokit, Beyond Retro has it’s own label, recycling old clothes to create something new. Especially their bags are amazing – every time I walk into the store, I’m struggling to not buy a new one. On Instagram, they even show you how they make cute little rucksacks, bags etc. Oh, and besides the Cheshire Street store, you’ll find Beyond Retro in Dalston, Brighton, Sweden and of course online.
110-112 Cheshire Street, London E2 6EJ