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London: Best Secondhand Chanel

"The local catchment area for charity donors is rich, often famous, very well-heeled (they like Manolo Blahniks) and so quite a good bet for vintage shoppers."

A short walk from Victoria London Underground Station in Pimlico, you will find a charity shop with a difference. Retromania sells secondhand Chanel at prices better than eBay and has a wonderful bargain basement. We’re talking non-famous labels as well, but from the classic 1940s-1980s era of Bond Street designer British clothing. Staff are pretty ruthless with slow-moving stock downstairs which is how you end up with the most stunning black frock from post-wartime London (rare) reduced three times.

Tucked away at 6 Upper Tachbrook Street, SW1V 1SH it is easy to reach and open from 10am to 6pm, seven days a week. The local catchment area for charity donors is rich, often famous, very well-heeled (they like Manolo Blahniks) and so quite a good bet for vintage shoppers.

Time Out “A quick gossip with the fashion-crazed staff reveals that Florence Welch has been known to come in and snap up handfuls of trademark whimsical pieces, while Joanna Lumley wore a Bianca Jagger-style pinstriped suit purchased at the store during her famous Ghurka press conference. And celebrities don’t just pick up designer labels here, they drop them off too– Laurence Olivier once donated his ’20s-’40s jazz record collection to the store.”

Yelp “Although there were now vintage clothing gems for myself, I did happen to meet a group of Japanese tourists who looked like they had died and gone to heaven.”

CNN is another admirer of Retromania, naming the shop in their very best in London. Essentially it has something for everybody, no matter if you want a multi-labelled old suitcase with a hard vinyl cover from the mid Seventies, or you’re chasing designer labels. The designer stock is near the door, at the front, and clearly marked by name and brand. The hard-to-find fun stuff is in tightly-packed racks which line the enormous top floor, and are crammed in even more tightly downstairs.

Stay updated on the latest designer stock (little Eighties silk jackets from Chanel, the very best of skinny-size Christian Dior, the wildly eccentric and collectable Vivienne Westwood) and flash sales by following Retromania online. If  you are on Instagram then Retromania staff put up photographs of their most interesting new stock (pictured throughout). You can also track other charity vintage stores in the same network and stay abreast of glittering new arrivals or huge discounts when you follow Retromania on Twitter.




Jessica Adams

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Retromania Manolo Blahnik


6 Upper Tachbrook Street, London SW1V 1SH, UK