Luxury pieces are almost universally liked for their delicate craftsmanship and outstanding design. The expensive price of every luxury piece, especially those from the old French or Italian fashion houses, belie only the best materials, often specially sourced just for the house. And they also have the highest quality, with some even being hand stitched by masters. Though all of us may adore luxury pieces, the price is always a burden. Some of these pieces can go for thousands of dollars. How, then, can one find a good piece for cheap? Here’s where vintage or second-hand shopping comes in.
Second-hand shopping has recently seen a rise in popularity, owing to its cheaper prices and benefits to the environment. Some also cite the excitement in finding and wearing unique pieces as a reason why they love shopping second-hand. These plus-points are only amplified when it comes to shopping for luxury items. As the seasonal approach typically taken by most fashion houses while releasing products mean that certain products are only available for purchase in their own stores for a few months at a time before disappearing from the racks. It’s become common for the most fashionable of shoppers to comb vintage stores to look for particular pieces they loved and couldn’t get their hands on. It is the charm and the thrill in second-hand luxury shopping.
Being a shopping haven in its own right, Seoul has no shortage of respectable second-hand luxury shopping options. A particular area that houses many shops of this kind is Hongdae in Mapo-gu. This area is known as a neighborhood with a strong artistic culture, it’s the perfect place for shops like this. Though vintage luxury shopping via the Internet is also readily available and convenient to many, the upside of being able to check every piece and try them on in person is one that cannot be ignored. Here are our top places in Hongdae to check out for vintage luxury pieces.
Located on Wausan-ro, Today’s Vintage is a two-storey shoplot that houses carefully curated pieces from a wide selection of high fashion brands. From Chanel pieces in good condition to Burberry and Prada bags from seasons past. There are many treasures to be found here. All kinds of pieces are available for purchase here, including bags, clothing, accessories and even small leather goods. The row of branded silk scarves on the corner of the second floor is especially eye-catching, and boasts lower prices than most luxury goods do.
The owner of the shop is a luxury appraiser, so customers are free to purchase without worrying about the authenticity of the products there. They will also send a product to the Korean Appraisal Institute of Luxury Goods upon request by a customer.
This shop in particular does plenty of transactions online, and holds regular Instagram Lives to show off products in greater detail to their customers. They update their product selection often, so keep a lookout in case something you like comes up on their feed.
Located in a small alley off Yeonnam-dong, Brooklyn Vintage is a quaint little shop seemingly straight out of a magazine. With bags hanging haphazardly all around the walls and even from the ceiling, as well as clothing lining the racks, delving through the shop really gives off the feeling that one is searching for treasures.
With plenty of bags from old Celine, Louis Vuitton and even rarer Chanel pieces, this shop is not one to miss if you enjoy unique pieces. They come in more colors than is typical – a bright, mustard yellow Prada shoulder bag in particular commands the attention of everyone who steps into the door.
Besides the selection of clothing pieces and bags, Brooklyn Vintage also carries a fair amount of accessories, most of them being colorful costume jewellery pieces meant to make a statement. The ethnic, hippy look some of them have aren’t necessarily meant for everyday wear, but if you enjoy subculture style, they’ll be right up your alley.
A small underground store on the busy street near Exit 9 of Hongdae station, the stairs leading toward Vintage Salon is lined with hangers and hangers of pieces like Chanel tweed jackets and Burberry trench coats. The mannequins on ground level right outside the store are also smartly dressed, enticing customers to come in.
A coat hanger inside the store displays a lot of rare vintage items, such as a pink Dior saddlebag from seasons past. And also there are Louis Vuitton items in the classic monogram print and even a baby pink Chanel towel bag. Though Vintage Salon may not carry as many luxury bags as the other stores do, the clothes are the main focus here, as they carry lots of interesting vintage pieces for a considerably cheaper price tag.
Vintage Salon also upcycles clothes, remaking old ones by sewing various pieces of fabric together into a new, haphazardly chic style that is sure to be loved by the most fashionable of people.