Shopping vintage & antiques in Reykjavik, Part 1

Don’t miss my Shopping vintage & antiques in Reykjavik Part 2 post for even more vintage places in Reykjavik.

I have been living in Iceland for almost 2 years now and as any respectable girl who is into fashion, I have had more than enough time to analyse all the shopping options available in Reykjavik. But one of the things that you will probably hear immediately when asking anyone about shopping in Reykjavik, is that it is quite pricey, there is no competition between stores because options are not endless, there are no H&M stores, no River Island or J.Crew. Shopping online is also quite a bother given the fact that the taxes added to the initial price, once your package is in the country, are sometimes insane and they will most probably make you reconsider your options. You won´t find most of the high-class brands here in Reykjavik but you do have the option of choosing Icelandic Design. Icelandic Designers have a very scandinavian style as you would have suspected, which means a lot of structures, a lot of unique pieces and intriguing fabrics. I would love to have my closet full of their creations but each piece is an investment, so I, together with many other Icelanders turn our heads towards vintage and antique shops, the best way to keep a unique style and get as further away from “uniforms”. Second hand shops have quite a huge influence on Reykjavik´s fashion giving it more personality and turning a stroll downtown into a constant “where did you get that” moment. That being said, here are two of my favorite places to shop vintage & antiques in Reykjavik:

1. Fríða Frænka – Antiques Shop

This place is awesome and as I got there on Saturday I was very pleased to see I came at the perfect moment for discounts – my favorite! Fríða Frænka is one of the only antique shops in Reykjavik that have everything, from old watches to old buttons to cutlery, vintage fabrics, furniture, jewellery, amazing lamps, baby strollers, everything. Going there is like getting lost in your grandma´s huge attic, that is if you grandma was an avid collector of everything, a fashionable lady in her day with exceptional taste. I love how very precious pieces lay together with plastic doll shoes, how the paintings and mirrors set in no apparent order still give the impression of a particular harmony, how the shop keeper is wearing great antique clothes mixed with modern accents and most importantly I like that this place is perfect for when you get nostalgic and want to feel like home.



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I, of course, had to take advantage of the discount and since furniture/home accessories required a bit too much decision-making, I decided upon some antique brooches. One is a butterfly/bug brooch. I have been in search of some good bugs since Lanvin´s 2011 Spring collection and now I have one which is also quite big, can´t wait to accessorize my jackets with it! I also picked up a more delicate butterfly which is elegantly resting on the grey spring jacket that you can (almost) see in the picture, another cameo-like brooch with a black stone that is not in a very good condition reason for which I like it even more. And two pairs of cufflinks, made in Czechoslovakia:


Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 4.32.37 PMAll in all, I highly recommend Frida and I cannot wait to get there again. I will try to keep you posted with the new stuff that they bring in.

After we finished with antique shopping, the next obvious step for any Saturday or Sunday was the Flea Market.

2. Kolaportið – Reykjavik´s Flea Market  Kolaportið is a great option for when you are in the mood to add some pieces to your wardrobe but don´t want to clean your bank account. It is very common for Icelandic girls to sell here the clothes that they are not interested in, don´t fit them anymore or just see this as an opportunity of getting back a small amount of what they invested in these pieces and putting it to good use in newer ones. I think it´s a great, sustainable idea and it definitely benefits all parts.

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Kolaportið is definitely the best place to buy an affordable, handmade Lopapeysa (Icelandic traditional sweater) and one should not leave the country without at least one of these:

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Lately I have been going to Kolaportið whenever I was in the mood for weird clothes, interesting shapes and designs, for pieces that would become part of a particular costume, Halloween or Óskudagur (Icelandic Halloween). I try to look for things that are out of the ordinary, things that I am not sure will fit me or I will get to wear a lot but that are affordable enough. This time I only got a grey sweater that is more like a tent/poncho but that will fit perfectly on top of black pants, with a shiny necklace. I will hopefully show it to you in a next post.

Until then, I hope you got a better understanding of Fríða Frænka (in Icelandic the word “frænka” reffers to a female relative, it can be a aunt, cousin, niece, all are frænka) and also Kolaportið, Reykjavik´s Flea Market. In the second part of this article, which will come soon, I will tell you a bit more about Vintage shops in Reykjavik, which to visit and why and what you can get there.

Don’t miss my Shopping vintage & antiques in Reykjavik Part 2 post for even more vintage shopping places in Reykjavik.

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4 Responses to Shopping vintage & antiques in Reykjavik, Part 1

  1. Lesley says:

    Hi there!
    I will be visiting Reykjavik for a few days in a little over a week, and I love vintage items and antiques. Frida Fraenka looks amazing, but when I google it, some sites say that the store has closed. Is this true? I still see there’s a Facebook page with recent posts, so I’m not sure.
    Are there any other similar vintage/antique shops around (I won’t be there on the weekend, so won’t be able to go to Kolaportid, sadly). I’m looking for objects other than clothes…

    Thanks so much!

    • armina says:

      Hi Lesley, there are two best and cheap options in Reykjavik. First, for objects, I highly suggest Goði Hirðirinn (find it on Facebook) this means the Good Collector and it’s a lot of furniture and big objects but also a lot of smaller ones like frames, paintings, mirrors, even kitchen ware and honestly you never know what you’ll find but one thing’s for sure: everything is super cheap. It’s a charity shop. They add new stuff every day and they open at 12PM so make sure to be there few minutes before 12 so you can get in as soon as thy open because that’s when you’ll find the best stuff. You’ll see many people queue there. It’s a lot of junk but also a lot of treasures. Then for clothes, there is my favorite shop called Gyllti Kotturinn (find it on FB also) it’s right downtown Reykjavik and they have their ground floor with vintage and second hand stuff, usually on sale and pretty cheap. This is hands down the best in Reykjavik. They also have new stuff but don’t let that confuse you, just go for the basement 🙂 I hope this helps, let me know how it goes and what treasures you find! Cheers! Armina

      • armina says:

        And yes, sadly Friða Frænka closed down meanwhile but the owner still has some antique goodies and she is selling them from a garage so if you follow their facebook you’ll see exactly when that is.

  2. Midge Prybyla says:

    I will be visiting Iceland in Sept. I have several Fur coats that I would like to sell. Is there any interest? Fox and mink.

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