Photo by Laurie Isola
The plight of the vintage shopper is a noble one, and there is nothing like the sense of satisfaction that comes from uncovering a real bargain after hours of rooting around in a musty old shop.
Grace, Friedrichshain’s latest vintage bag and accessories boutique, may not be big enough to swing a cat in, but it is a veritable trove of hand-picked, original leather handbags from each decade of the 20th century – there are even genuine items from such classic designers as Fendi, Aigner and Gucci.
Each bag is in impeccable condition and is so reasonably priced, it makes the vintage hunt almost too easy! Bulgarian-born Kalina Gaspodinova, who founded the hipster shop Episoda (also on Boxhagener Straße) three years ago, and her assistant Melissa Chung opened Grace in the summer of 2009; the boutique’s name was inspired by the outlandish style of the great Grace Jones.
Episoda stocks an interesting range of international designers – the likes of Snob, Bruuns Bazaar and Best Behaviour – and, Kalina says, “We got the idea to open Grace from watching our customers, who all like to mix new items with older pieces.” Lo and behold, Episoda’s empty storeroom became, with the help of a lick of gold paint, a vintage shop.
Amongst the handbags, there are silk scarves, chunky 1980s jewellery, feathery headdresses and bowls of colourful bangles. It is a one-stop shop for fans of one-of-a-kind accessories, but as each item is more covetable than the next, you might want to keep this address a secret.