Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Remember that time when your grandma or mum asked you if you would like to wear their old clothes which they liked back in the time when it fitted them? The thing about fashion is that, at some point, everything comes back as a trend. People who nowadays wear pieces that were hip in the ‘60s, ‘70s or ‘80s are considered having a great sense of style and high self-confidence since they stand out in the group of others who are more or less, wearing the same pieces from high-street brands.

Vintage and second-hand are terms that became often pronounced over the years. It’s something retro, something worn and old but, yet something that had a predecessor and that will have a successor. Vintage and second-hand clothing stores can be found in all big cities around the world – Zagreb offers many like those – from ridiculously cheap ones to the ones that offer vintage pieces from some of the world’s most known fashion brands. 

While walking in the center of Zagreb, you can easily find many vintages and second-hand shops. Laura, a 21-year old architecture student and vintage lover, says her favorite is Ulični ormar (Street closet) in Jurišićeva street, just two minutes from Zagreb main square: “It’s a store that has the best offer of vintage clothing in Zagreb,” she said while having a big smile on her face. “Once I bought there silk red and white shirt from the ‘70s and it’s definitely one of the best pieces I own”. Laura has been buying clothes there since she discovered it in 2015 and loved it ever since. “The difference between this one and other shops with similar offerings is that this one offers garments that are well preserved and without any stain,” she claimed and added that sometimes she thinks the clothing is brand new. 

Many vintage lovers share her satisfaction with Ulični ormar since it is one of the most famous in Zagreb. The second you enter a store you can smell the smell of vintage and hear Little Richard songs, and suddenly, you feel like you got lost the 1950s. Andreja Latinović Kler and Radmila Grba, two friends who opened Ulični ormar together in 2011, say that their clothing comes from the western world. “From glamorous dresses from the fifties, suede shirts from sixties to seventies Levi’s jeans, we try to have all pieces mostly new or at least not worn many times,” says Radmila while showing some of her favorite catches in the store. Both of the founders are really positive about the fact that Croatians are starting to buy and wear vintage clothes: “Our clients are women of all ages, even though men are starting to be more numerous.” 

Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Besides Ulični ormar, must-go address for vintage lovers in Zagreb is Bazar store in Martićeva street. Bazar offers a bit cheaper garments than Ulični ormar, but from the second you come in you could see those garments are more likely to be just a two-year-old second-hand piece than vintage. Marijana, a 23-year old student who enjoys second-hand shopping, prefers Bazar since it has a good price range for the quality they offer. “I bought there a really good pair of jeans, which can’t be found so easily nowadays,” she said and happily added, “for only 50 kunas!” She claims that Bazar is her favorite since it is so spacious and bright: “Everything can be found so easily there. For example, all the shirts are sorted on one wall, from the brightest to the darkest colors you can imagine.” 

Laura, on the other hand, prefers Textil house as a second-hand store. Textil house has ten different addresses in Zagreb and it’s the cheapest store you could find. “Once a month they get a new collection,” says Laura. However, she doesn’t like to buy it immediately but likes to wait for great deals: “At the end of the month everything in the store costs only 5 kunas which means I can buy the whole outfit for only 20 kunas.” Actually, she was wearing a piece which was bought there. “Imagine that!” added Laura pointing on the beige blazer. “You’ll never find something like this in Zara or H&M, or even if, it would be hundred times more expensive.” 

Since the number of vintage lovers is increasing every day, in the last few months Zagreb got some online vintage and second-hand shops. Some of them, which are doing their business through Instagram, are Mango Sticky Rice, M.O.T.H. vintage, Deee Vintage, Iz ormara u ormar and Buried Clothes. They are offering statement vintage pieces which they find all over the world on the flea markets. And the real vintage lovers’ paradise is a joint flea market which is once a month organized by these Instagram shops somewhere in the city. 

If you would like to experience this kind of shopping, remember that high-street shops are the same all over the world while vintage ones are unique, just like every garment is. Laura says her favorite part about buying vintage and second-hand clothing is that you never know who was wearing that garment before and what was the story behind it: “I love it! I feel like I’m giving a new life to my clothes”, she concluded. 

Author: Iva Marušić