Where once the cavernous Anxi Market was the only place to find vintage gems, Shanghai's retro scene is now blossoming, with more vintage boutiques and pop ups opening up throughout the city.
Time Out presents nine of the best vintage boutiques and markets in Shanghai where you can shop for unique pieces, second hand items and one-of-a-kind retro fashions, accessories and jewellery from the 1920s-1980s, as well as army surplus supplies for the guys.
Lolo Love Vintage
The third location from the undisputed queen of Shanghai's vintage scene, Lolo's sprawling space is dripping with nostalgic glamour with kitsch trinkets, such as typewriters and toy dolls filling classic armoires, while standout pieces adorn mannequins or decorate the walls. The plentiful rails of retro stock here are the fruits of stylist Lolo’s sourcing from Los Angeles, with a new focus on the ‘20s-‘40s period. Read more
Annata's small but well-edited collection spans the 1940s-1980s, with many items handpicked during trips to Istanbul, Trieste, Amsterdam and London’s Brick Lane. Lining the walls are rails of tea-dresses (from 250RMB), embellished denim jackets and funky print shirts (each item is neatly labelled with the decade to which it belongs), while shelves groan with cage coin purses (50-60RMB), cats’-eye sunglasses and costume jewellery. Read more
William The Beekeeper
One of the 50 best shops in Shanghai, this charming, cluttered space appeals for its alluring mix of high-end yet affordable second-hand clothing (gorgeous retro dresses go for around 300RMB) and local indie designers like punk jeweller Josie Chen, Snoozer Loser and in-house label Kaileeni. Read more
: this shop is now closed.)
One of Shanghai's original vintage treasure troves, a rummage round this sprawling second-hand clothing market never fails to yield some dirt cheap retro gems. Stalls come crammed with kitsch jumpers (think ski patterns or '80s cartoon prints) and classic coats – all for a tenth of the price of many vintage boutiques in town. Read more
An army checkpoint sign above the cash desk sets the tone at No 3975, while the whitewashed walls are adorned with black chain-link panels hung with all manner of military bags, from canvas duffles to first aid kit boxes and leather tripod cases - this shrine to military memorabilia is strictly one for the boys. Read more
No 3975 Lane 39, Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Xinle Lu
Dreams & Fleas
If you want to rummage around for your vintage threads, then Anxi Market (1335 Anshun Lu, near Kaixuan Lu) offers plenty of jumbled stalls to search through for kitschy sweaters and battered leather jackets. But if you’d rather browse an expertly curated selection of bygone goodies, the Dreams & Fleas pop-up in the basement of Xintiandi Style (on an extended run until Saturday 15) is the place to head to. The people behind the long-running Dreams Flea Market have transformed a sparse concrete bunker into a cosy cavern chock-full of retro loot. The great range of indie stalls includes jewellery makers Hydrangea Handmade, whose studio we’ve featured on page 19.
Dreams & Flea Basement, Xintiandi Style, 245 Madang Lu, near Fuxing Lu, Huangpu district
Mulan Huage Furniture
This Pudong junkyard, with teetering towers of wooden furniture looming over Cultural Revolution era figurines (from 40RMB), old tea and biscuit tins (from 40RMB) and birdcages (from 100RMB) is the messy cousin of Dongtai Lu Market. To some, the cluttered layout only serves to reinforce the impression that the large space is full of junk; to others, it’s worth sifting through the dusty jumble in search of something unique.
Although Shanghai’s pre-loved clothing scene is growing apace, high-end vintage is still thin on the ground. Old Lyric bridges that gap, showcasing an enviable back catalogue from some of the most avant-garde names in fashion, including Comme des Garcons and Maison Martin Margiela. Unusually for a Shanghai vintage store, there’s also a reasonably strong menswear selection.
Old Lyric Second Floor, West Building, 368 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Fuxing Lu, Huangpu district
This quirky store hosts retro furniture, toys and electronics and was originally set up to showcase owner Ray Kong’s personal collection of ’70s and ’80s boomboxes, record players, cameras and radios. Everything from 1970s radio alarm clocks (from 130RMB) to vintage Polaroid, Canon and Rollei cameras (680-980RMB) is on offer. The jewels in SYSH’s crown, though, have to be the ghetto blasters.
SYSH Bldg 4, 100 Wukang Lu, near Wuyuan Lu, Xuhui district