Take a piece of Lyon’s rich Gallic and French history home by stepping into a multitude of the city’s best vintage and antique shops. From top-quality pre-loved designer clothes to old movie posters, Lyon’s flea markets, antique stores and vintage shops hold a wide range of second-hand treasures.
Although Lyon’s rich history is evident on every street corner in the city, the markets, antique centres and vintage shops are a way to bring a piece of its storied history home with you.
Lyon has been a hub of France’s garment history for decades. The city is famed for its reputation for weaving beautiful silks for top brands, particularly Hermès and Chanel, which both have a presence in Lyon. As such, the city has attracted fashionable residents, and with them, excellent vintage clothes. A visit to one of the city’s vintage or consignment shops may unveil pieces from brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant and Hermès. If you’re willing to dig through the city’s thrift shops, you may snag these brands at a high discount.
As for antiques, Lyon pays equally as much attention to design as it does to its clothes, and the city has many flea markets and antique shops – all filled to the brim with everything from Mid-Century Modern chairs and exquisitely stitched fabrics to delicate crystal glassware. These are the best places for second-hand finds in Lyon.
For nostalgic ’90s vintage clothing, visit Elephant Vintage Store, which specialises in sportswear and streetwear, billing items such as Nike deadstock, Japanese souvenir jackets and Burberry trench coats. The staff here double as walking encyclopaedias and are happy to regale customers with titbits of garment history or drop knowledge about a designer.
In homage to Sex and the City’s fashionable lead character, Carrie Bradshaw, this boutique in the Opéra district offers playful, pre-loved designer garments. There is always an assortment of vintage haute couture to sift through; think sleek leather trench coats, Art Deco-inspired earrings and designer-labelled bags. The well-curated pieces are meticulously restored, so expect prices on the higher end.
With a little bit of digging at Frip’Attitude, in the residential Saint-Louis area, bargain hunters will find a trove of second-hand treasures. This thrift shop has racks and racks of pre-loved garments, but the true draw are the prices, with items sitting at around €5 (£4) for a shirt or trousers. Most clothes here are casual in style, so don’t expect to see anything haute couture.
No true antique-lover should leave Lyon without swinging by the Les Puces du Canal. This open-air flea market has several restaurants and bars spread across the venue, making it the perfect day-long destination for fans of all things vintage. On any given day, over 200 merchants peddle their wares here. It’s a trove for every kind of antique imaginable; pick up ornate French turn-of-the-century housewares, a vintage movie poster, Mid-Century Modern furniture or a striking sculpture. Smaller pieces on sale may include objects like handmade spoons and Art Deco bottle openers.
This luxury showroom doubles as a consignment shop and gallery. Find second-hand garments donated by Lyon’s fashionable residents, with many of the pieces being impressive enough to display in a gallery-style space. New items arrive daily, so it’s worth checking in often, even if it’s just to admire the designer threads. Stock leans towards vintage haute couture, with a small portion of contemporary designs on display to balance out the mix.
Head to Les Ateliers de Marinette in the Saint-George neighbourhood for smaller antiques, particularly for its extensive collection of antique signs and Polaroid cameras. Whatever your heart is searching for, avid collector-owner Thibault is happy to entertain you with stories of his favourite pieces and how he acquired them. Craft lovers take note, as the store stocks impressive 18th- and 19th-century papers and other DIY accoutrements.
When passing by, FripesKetchup looks more akin to a hip designer flagship store than a vintage shop. That’s because owner Olivier carefully curates everything, from the layout of the store to the pieces (each meticulously treated and restored) put on display. Each item is carefully selected and displayed to match themed sections of the shop (think nudes, the ’60s, Scandinavian and beyond), and standout pieces are hung via wire from the ceiling. Keep an eye out for the beautiful window displays that rotate regularly.