Vintage shopping may be all the rage across the West, but the trend is yet to catch on out East. Like the rest of the Balkans, Serbia is trying to focus more on the present and future rather than the past, but there are a few excellent stores that have popped up with their eyes aimed squarely at the ageless and enduring.
Every scene has to start somewhere, and Belgrade’s vintage scene got its start with Jane Doe in 2012. Located in the heart of Dorćol, the original vintage shop now has a concept counterpart close to Belgrade’s only mosque a few streets away, but the quality has not been dulled by being stretched over two locations. Everything from vintage clothes to jewellery via home decor and accessories can be found here.
Antique shops are surprisingly common in the Balkans, but not many make quite as strong an impression as DUB. Located in the immediate vicinity of Skadarlija, the shop is a timeless accompaniment to what is considered to be Belgrade’s Bohemian Quarter. You can get everything from accessories to old postcards here, as well as lighting and no small amount of vintage clothing.
There is often a nagging feeling that vintage stores should be aggressively willing to embrace all things quirky and kitschy, and the denial of that is not something that can be levied at Šmizla. This small store is a utopia for those who feel as though they have made a mistake by entering the 21st century, a little slice of heaven for those who didn’t want the last century to end. You won’t find many Serbs who actually wanted the ‘90s to continue, but you get the point. In Belgrade, it doesn’t get more vintage than Šmizla.
Located in Belgrade’s hugely underrated Design District, YE YE is a nod to the past in a part of the city where it is what’s new that counts. Jewellery, bags, clothes and more are available, and the patterns of the past well and truly dominate. YE YE also caters for kids, if you’re interested in dressing your children up from the long, long ago.
Not exactly a vintage store per se, but Dorćol Platz is a must-visit market that takes place in Lower Dorćol every Sunday. A flea market in miniature, the tiny set-up is home to an impressive collection of creatives selling vintage clothes, books, lights and all the rest. Be sure to stop by the Fatamozgarije stand for some for the most fascinating ceramic display in the city.
The focus as Šlic is more on the alternative side of things, but this city centre store is another place for local artists to bandy together and put their work on the shelves for people to buy. Everything here is unique, meaning the items you buy will be yours and yours only (although that is surely made clear by the use of the word ‘unique’ there). This is real community design and real community production, and the mainstream trends of the present can wait at the door.
A gift shop with a difference, Remake is the place to go if you’re looking to deck out your home with beautiful vintage decor. Most of the gift shops in the city veer into unfortunately gaudy territory, but not so here. The class here is tangible, although the shop definitely has a leg up thanks to the presence of hugely respected Serbian designer Ana Ljubinković. With her in your corner, it would be disappointing not to produce something special.
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