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Berlin’s best vintage: finishing touches

From fin-de-siècle brooches and Art Deco earrings to leopard-print pumps and weaved leather handbags, these shops are the best of the best when it comes to vintage accessories.

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Photo by Maia Schoenfelder

From fin-de-siècle brooches and Art Deco earrings to leopard-print pumps and weaved leather handbags, these shops are the best of the best when it comes to vintage accessories.

Memory €€

This store should be your go-to for well-priced vintage knickknacks.

The obligatory fur coats (€60-120) and colourful eye-catching patterned dresses pale besides Memory’s leather bags (€18-45) in the shapes of suitcases, totes, briefcases and messenger bags, assorted jewellery (€4-30), vintage manuscripts, houseware and hats.

The cluttered shop right off of Schönhauser Allee, situated next to the wonderful Memory café (extra points for the nearby caffeine fix!), is filled with treasures, like beautiful silk handkerchiefs, brass brooches and pattern magazines from the 1940s-1970s.

And unlike some vintage joints that have the starchy stuck-upness of a Schöneberg antique store, Memory’s welcoming homey vibe is akin to looking around your mum’s closet – only with way more options.

Schwedter Str. 2, Prenzlauer Berg, U-Bhf Senefelderplatz. Mon-Sat 14-19.

Calypso €€€

Enter shoe heaven. Calypso’s Prenzl’Berg branch is much more organized than its Mitte counterpart, but no matter: each contains endless racks and walls filled with shoes.

From a huge collection of men’s work boots and leather brogues, to heels (€20-200) in more varieties, sizes and colours than we have ever seen (with a price variety to match!). The collection is big enough to satisfy any shoe maven.

We personally loved the Spice Girls-esque 1990s platforms (€40-70), sleek Italian loafers (in men and women’s sizes), and men’s white and black oxford brogues (€150). Walk in, announce your size, and get ready to fall head-over-heels.

Rosenthaler Str. 23, Mitte, U-Bhf Weinmeisterstr. | Oderberger Str. 61, Prenzlauer Berg. U-Bhf Eberswalder Str. | Mon-Sat 12-20

Optiking €€€€

With a name like Optiking, you would expect nothing less than an eyewear collection fit for royalty – and that’s exactly what you find.

This huge collection starts in the 1940s and sports a vast selection of glasses and sunglasses frames, from designer labels such as Christian Dior (€99-250), Valentino (€60-150) and Nina Ricci (€70-170), to sport labels such as Carrera (€70-230), Ferrari (€150-250) and traditional German label Menrad (€100-150).

Go expecting to find everyday frames and leave a changed person, thanks to Optiking’s treasure trove of rarities, like some bitchin’ cat-eye frames and a few 1800s gems. Not your average eyewear… thank god. Long live Optiking!

Eberswalder Str. 34, Prenzlauer Berg, U-Bhf Eberswalder Str. Mon-Sat 12-20

Lunettes €€€€

What started off as a search for a good pair of vintage shades turned into two stores, a huge collection of unique and great-condition vintage glasses and a line of new vintage-inspired frames.

The new frames are designed and handmade in small-batch factories in Austria and Italy and come in cases based on soap and chocolate boxes from the 1920s (200-300€). The real finds though lie in the vintage collection (available at both stores), which boasts a huge spectrum of styles (think patterned librarian glasses and rhinestone-encrusted cat-eye frames) from as early as 1900.

A pair of rounded leopard-patterned Kent glasses or some black Yves Saint Laurent sunnies will put you back €169, but the buttery leather cases are almost all under €40. Eye candy in more than one sense of the word.

Marienburger Str. 11, Prenzlauer Berg, U-Bhf Senefelderplatz | Torstr. 172, Mitte, U-Bhf Rosenthaler Platz | Mon-Fri 12-20, Sat 12-18

No Socks No Panties €€

While the clothing here might be more of a second-hand selection, the bags are to die for. The soft leather totes, tartan suitcases, doctor’s bags, wonderful-condition briefcases, school girl satchels, and leather backpacks from beige to black fill multiple shelves and reign over the accessories (€10-30).

That said, you should know that a pair of black patent leather Chanel ballet slippers have been spotted here. With most bags under €50, this should be your go-to place for vintage leather.

Stargarder Str. 10, Prenzlauer Berg, U-Bhf Schönhauser Allee, Mon-Fri 12-19, Sat 12-16