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.
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:
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.
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:
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.