Whether it's the Sunday street flea markets, the plethora of Humana chain stores, or the abundance of vintage shops across the city, Berlin is a treasure trove of second-hand and vintage gems. The German capital is known for its freedom of creative expression, effortlessly cool style and innate fusion of culture and history that seems to permeate everything about it, including its vintage shopping scene.

Until recently, Berlin — and Germany for that matter — was never considered a leading European fashion hub, yet the Berliner style is distinct and often echoed in other parts of the world. The city is infamous for its clubbing scene, laidback lifestyle, and “cool” edge, all of which feed into its unique sartorial aesthetic. It’s perhaps best described as vintage meets streetwear meets off-duty raver with—more or less subtly—elements of the city’s unique persona such as fetish- and industrial-inspired pieces.

This recognizable style is the result of Berlin’s chequered post-war history, which is unlike that of any other city. After the war, Berlin was divided in two, and the East became a state of control and scarcity while the West was contrastingly vibrant, artistic and unrestrained, and fashion in both parts reflected the conditions. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of East and West, the aesthetics merged into the famous Berlin rave style that still lives on in the city's vintage shops.

woolrich-vintage-guide-berlin-08
Highsnobiety / Julien Tell
woolrich-vintage-guide-berlin-06
Highsnobiety / Julien Tell
woolrich-vintage-guide-berlin-04
Highsnobiety / Julien Tell
woolrich-vintage-guide-berlin-010
Highsnobiety / Julien Tell

While vintage shops are plentiful and widely spread across the city, it is in the bustling districts of Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg, and Mitte where you'll find shop after shop, each filled with one-of-a-kind, pre-loved pieces, and their own individual character. Shops range from overfilled and cluttered to carefully curated, but unique pieces from local and international designers of the past decades can be found in all.

Brands like Woolrich, with their durable jackets, wool flannels, and utilitarian elements are often spotted not only on the streets of Berlin but also in the vintage shops. Founded nearly 200 years ago, Woolrich is America's oldest outdoor apparel brand and has become an iconic heritage name over time. The brand’s strong focus on durable and purposeful design, authenticity, practical style and consistent quality has made Woolrich a timeless wardrobe staple.

We took a trip with Berlin-based, photographer and collector Massimo Iannone and Highsnobiety’s collaboration and flagship manager Anders Schans to explore a couple of the city's vintage spots and hunt down some classic Woolrich gems.

Repeater / Vintage Shop: Repeater is a small, well-organized shop located in Neukölln in what was formerly a pharmacy built in the ‘40s. The store is named after one of the owner's favorite records from the American band Fugazi, and the Americana inspiration is definitely evident in the store's flag-decorated walls and JFK posters. Overflowing with a wide collection of handpicked pieces, Repeater's selection ranges from band shirts, baseball caps, and leather jackets to coats and knitwear. While browsing the store, we found various Woolrich flannels and jackets and a super rare pair of red tartan Woolrich hunting pants.

woolrich-vintage-guide-berlin-015
Highsnobiety / Julien Tell
woolrich-vintage-guide-berlin-016
Highsnobiety / Julien Tell
woolrich-vintage-guide-berlin-011
Highsnobiety / Julien Tell
woolrich-vintage-guide-berlin-017
Highsnobiety / Julien Tell

Vintage Wholesale Berlin: If you’re looking to really stock up on your vintage, this is the place to go. Located in a warehouse in the city’s Eastern district of Lichtenberg, Vintage Wholesale Berlin is a one-of-a-kind store that offers a huge selection of carefully chosen, unique vintage apparel. While there is a minimum order of 50 pieces, that number becomes less of a challenge considering the racks and piles of goods available. Oliver Helbig, the owner of Vintage Wholesale, provides guided tours of the warehouse (that’s how big it is) and assistance with finding the right items, customers can also book an appointment to select items via video chat or place a mixed batch order with specific requirements. Digging through the warehouse, we came across exceptionally well preserved Woolrich knits and fleece, a 160th anniversary tee and an early ‘80s plaid utility vest.

If you're not one for treasure hunting though, you can always head straight to the source. Woolrich's Berlin flagship store in the Fasanenstrasse 74 is huge and will set you up with all the Woolrich goods you need, which you can turn into tomorrow's vintage.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Amidst the 'Renaissance' Ticket Chaos, Beyoncé Lets Loose at a Pre-Grammys Party

    Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    The Château Royal Wants You to Know You're Sexy

    Culture
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    These AJ1s Might Cost You a Month of Rent

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    All the Details: Tiffany & Nike's $400 Air Force 1

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    And Just Like That... Gucci Birkenstocks

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Even Stüssy's 8-Ball Nylon Jacket Didn't Stand a Chance

    Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.