Some of Newcastle’s top vintage stores
The Newcastle Vintage Kilo Sale is coming to town this week to give shoppers the chance to score some bargain buys on winter jumpers.
Shopping vintage is more trendy than ever as looks from the 80s, 90s and noughties have once again hit the mainstream.
Not only is vintage shopping a great way to look stylish, but it’s often a much more environmentally friendly way to shop than big department stores.
For lovers of retro fashion, Vintage Vera will be at The Gate this weekend.
If you can’t make it, or don’t fancy the crowd, there are plenty of smaller independent boutiques in the centre to browse too.
The Vintage Vera Kilo Clothing Centre
The Vintage Vera event is coming back to The Gate this winter.
At the store, shoppers don’t pay per item and instead pay by weight - just like a good old fashioned pick n mix.
Each kilo over vintage clothes costs £15 and there are brands including Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Puma, Nike, North Face, Levis.
A kilo of clothes comes out at about two sweatshirts or three flannel shirts or even seven summer dresses.
Vintage Vera isn’t a normal shop and is only open on specific days from 10 am to 5 pm.
Those are; Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October; Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st October; Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st November; Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December; Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th December.
If you can’t make the Vintage Vera event, or want to shop local, here are some of the top picks in Newcastle.
2 High Bridge, Square, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1EN
Hidden away just off the Bigg Market is a treasure trove of vintage goodies at the appropriately named Retro.
The cosy store spans two floors and has been a fixture in Newcastle for nearly 30 years.
Store manager Owen said: “The business came about back in 1992 and we were first in a building on Northumberland Street.
“We moved here 10 or 15 years ago and it’s always been run by the same people, Dave and Kath.”
The store prides itself on knowing its vintage and Owen is keen to explain the true meaning of the word.
He said: “Vintage keeps moving. Vintage actually has to be between 30 and 50 years old, so some 90s stuff you can get away with. Retro can be anything up to 10 years.
“We’ve actually got some things all the way back to the 1910s here so we are one of the only true vintage shops in the North East.”
As to why people should be shopping at stores such as Retro, Owen said: “It’s environmentally conscious and cheaper, believe it or not.
“Primark, for instance, you’re getting bargain prices but it’s bargain quality.
“I’ve had so many trousers from Primark that just fall to pieces. But these Levis I’ve had for probably five years and they are fine.”
The Yesterday Society
Unit 9, Alley 1, The Grainger Market, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5QG
When it comes to shopping independent, all Newcastle locals know that Grainger Market is the place to be.
For vintage clothes fans, many will have browsed the rails of The Yesterday Society.
Owner Rachel said: “I studied Human Geography at Uni and my dissertation was on vintage clothing.
“I’ve always been into vintage clothes and wanted to stand out from the crowd.
“I went travelling after Uni and I was working at the Tyneside Cinema. I met a friend and we both got chatting about what we wanted to do and we both wanted to open a vintage shop, so literally on my lunch that day we came over and looked at the units in the Grainger Market.”
The Yesterday Society has been a success ever since and has now been serving customers for eight years.
Just as for many, the past 18 months have been a testing time for the store, but Rachel used that period to capitalise on online sales.
She said: “It was tricky. It was the not knowing what was going to happen.
“I closed and took all of the stuff home and listed it on Etsy. It was a chance to get that running and it’s been really successful... I send stuff all over the world to Hawaii and Israel.”
For those who might not be thinking of shopping locally this festive period, Rachel said: “I think Christmas is a big issue with everything that gets bought and is a bit tac.
“You can get those stocking fillers from independent shops and vintage shops which are more environmentally friendly.”
104 Westgate Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4AF
To get to Flip’s vintage clothes you squeeze through a single doorway on Westgate Road and climb the stairs to the first floor.
Once there, you’re greeted by rail after rail of vintage American clothing.
Flip is another of Newcastle’s longstanding vintage stores, having opened in 1978.
Owner Nick said: “My father John was a musician in the 1970s and travelled frequently to London on buying trips for his local store ‘Frisco’. “He struck up a business relationship with Paul Wolf of Flip in the King’s Road, London and Paul wanted John to adopt the name “Flip of Hollywood” for John’s proposed new store on Cross Street, Newcastle. “Similar to a franchise arrangement, John agreed to this providing the shop remained independent and so we’ve been importing American vintage clothing to the Toon ever since.”
Flip navigated the lockdowns carefully and Nick thanked his regular customers for supporting the store throughout.
He added: “Shopping at local independent businesses is highly encouraged for many different reasons. You’ll help boost local economies, support entrepreneurs and in turn help create more much-needed jobs. “You’re supporting individuals, rather than corporations, who really care about delivering great service and innovative products for a wide variety of customers.
“We live in a society where ‘fashions’ are churned out of third world clothing mills in the shortest amount of time possible.
“Buying vintage means you’re actively recycling and getting an item designed to last, be passed on to siblings and not fall apart after a month.”