International model, Lizette Croes really enjoyed her time in working in Cape Town for the fashion season. One of her absolute favourite places to visit was Lower Main road in Observatory.
Fortunate enough to travel and experience vintage stores all over the globe, she said that this street is by far her favourite in the world.
It is for this reason that she decided that she wanted to give these shops on Lower Main more attention, by doing a shoot in each store – styled by the people working there.
Nevernew (since 2015 – three years)
15b Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town
The store has been here for three years, which is the longest out of all the vintage clothing stores in the street. Nevernew is known for their massive amount of stock that changes every week. You have to dig through piles of clothing here, and it feels like an accomplishment when you find a gem that fits your style.
The store has a very distinct smell of incense as you walk in, and there will usually be an old-school record playing that really creates a vibe.
The cheapest items sold here are about R30/R20 ZAR when there are sales (they happen often, so check). Fur coats are the most expensive at R500-R900.
Grand funk vintage (since 2014)
26 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town
Grand Funk Vintage has been on Lower Main for about three and a half years. The items here are handpicked and selected by the owner. You’ll find a mix of old and new pieces, and you won’t be looking through piles of clothing to find a unique item; here that is done for you.
The store itself is really worth the visit; bright colours and decorations, with posters from old movies and comic books, are plastered on the walls. Don’t forget to check out the upstairs with the all-new mens section here as well.
Postcards are 15 ZAR, little leather pouches go for R65, and most expensive item on sale is a decorative lamp – an art piece made from a mannequin costs R1500.
Bang bang vintage (Since 2017)
65 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town
Bang Bang vintage originated from an online trading group which would hold pop-up events to sell their items. The store itself has only been on Lower Main since 27th of December 2017, making it the newest addition to the street.
This store is unique, in the sense that it looks and feels like a market. It has 12 different traders, each with their own specific taste. Bang Bang has a section dedicated to steampunk, for example, but you’ll also find delicate girly pieces and true vintage pieces in the same room.
Expect to pay R20 for certain clothing items, while fur items can go for R1500.
Maids of honor (since 2015)
40 Lower Main Road, Observatory Cape Town
Maids of Honor has been here for about two to two and a half years. This store always has something unique, even the mannequins in the storefront are changed on a daily basis. Walk by here next week, and the place will not look the same.
Maids of Honor also houses an in-store tailor; who created his own line of jackets. These one of a kind pieces are manufactured in the store, while you shop. You have to be quick to grab one of these showstoppers though; he only makes 8 per season. Most garments sold in Maids of Honor are one-offs, they’re not mass produced items.
Cheap items can be found in the bargain box at R30 per item; the most expensive item, which retails for R1,600, is a vintage wedding dress.
Duke and the dolls (since 2016 )
90 Lower Main Road, Observatory, Cape Town
Duke and the Dolls is a sister-store to Grand Funk Vintage up the street. The clothing items are located all throughout the store, these pieces are hand-selected as well. No pile digging here either- just casual browsing through a clothing rack with stunning vintage garments that will take your breath away.
Duke and the dolls not only sells clothing but also furniture pieces, poetry books, posters and all sorts of big and small vintage items that simultaneously act as beautiful decoration.
The most expensive item spotted was a Walnut table that was priced at R6000, while cheaper items like books and posters run at R30 each.