Used, but not abused – Secondhand stores

LAGERFELD: Loves H&M;, loathes vintage. (Billboard tastefully plastered over the Humboldt University law school building in November 2004). Photo Credit: ddp
Used, but not abused – Secondhand stores

Where to find vintage glasses, lamps, clothes, and more

(tbp, 18 Sep 2006)

Designer Karl Lagerfeld once made the now-dated remark “I would never wear vintage clothes! Someone could have died in them!” Today, however, vintage is mode, and this is no less the case in Berlin, where stores selling used wares do brisk business.

Take Martin Rey. He started calling himself “a vintage dealer” 20 years ago, and as a kid wore clothes from the 1930s. He now stocks stores like Rock-a-Tiki in Prenzlauer Berg with rare bomber jackets, cabana shirts, and jeans from the US (with vintage prices to match – expect to pay from €89-220 for items in the “Alex und Annika Graalfs” display).

Then there is Uta Geyer, the city’s used glasses queen. She runs “Lunette” in Prenzlauer Berg, and shares Ray’s view of secondhand – just because something’s old doesn’t make it vintage. It needs to be individual.

“There are tons of secondhand stores in Berlin, but an old t-shirt from Humana isn’t vintage,” she told Der Tagesspiegel.

She sells high-end frames from €45-130 and stresses individuality in her inventory.

Here are some other secondhand stores that do the same. Dolores Kummer, TSP

Lunettes - Photo: Doris Klaas

Lunettes Brillenagentur

Uta Geyer (left) troves the world for vintage frames so you don’t have to. Hard-to-find, Jackie O-era “no pictures please” sunglasses sit beside models from the golden 1920s, all of which you can purchase or rent (as do some movie studios) if the price is right.Marienburger Strasse 11, Prenzlauer Berg, +49 (0) 30 3408 2789,

Rock A Tiki store - Photo: Doris S. Klaas


Elvis would have loved Rock-A-Tiki, whose product mix includes vintage Hawaii shirts, Eisenhower-era hair products, Ace-brand denim, and all things 1950s. Store hosts live bands first Friday of the month at Delicious Doughnuts.Eberswalder Str. 26, Prenzlauer Berg, +49 (0) 30 4373 9760,

VEB orange store - Photo courtesy of the store

VEB Orange

Well-situated store carries everything from 1960s schlock to must-have East German light fixtures and chairs. Second location on Schliemanstrasse 46 sells clothes from 1950s onward.Oderberger Str. 29, Prenzlauer Berg, +49 (0) 30 9788 6886,

Women in high heels - Photo: ddp


Highly selective Bellybutton carries clothes from 1920-70s, almost-new designer fashions, and anything you bring in for the owner to sell (she will keep your goods for five weeks and split the profits of anything sold 50/50).Stargarder Str. 10, Prenzlauer Berg, +49 (0) 30 2327 2234,

Schuhmann's Company in Prenzlauer Berg - Photo: Courtesy of the store

Schumann’s Company

Both brilliant and tacky, this neighborhood store carries 1960-70s denim with the occasional new item thrown in for good measure. A bit of digging can reveal gems.Danziger Strasse 48, Prenzlauer Berg, +49 (0) 30 441 5950,

East German fashion - Photo: ddp


It’s communism all over again at this cute store specializing in 1970s clothes from the former GDR.Grünberger Str. 63, Friedrichshain, +49 (0) 30 2977 0778, [email protected]