Awesome vintage leather jackets, cute 1950s dresses, on-trend ’90s patterned shirts and classic mid-century tailoring, you can find it all at Maboneng’s Arts On Main (264 Fox Street), an art, shopping and design hub that is the cornerstone of this fashionable corner of downtown Joburg.
Here’s our guide to finding the best thrift threads at Arts On Main.
Cape Town-born fashionista Nosipho Mayosi’s, Arts On Main vintage boutique evokes the style and glamour of the 1940s and 1950s with period furniture offset by fresh flowers and brightly painted walls. The space reflects the charming Nosipho (aka VintiQueen)’s belief that thrift shopping can, and should, be both glamorous and fun. As she puts it the shop’s aim is to “bring back the sophistication of a bygone era”.
From 1980s power suits, to funky A-line skirts, chiffon blouses, tweed jackets and elegant dresses in the prettiest patterns, styles and colours, VintiQueen’s exquisite selection of vintage finds is eclectic, extensive and constantly being updated. The impeccably dressed Nosipho and her fellow thrift-loving staff provide helpful and honest styling advice and you’ll leave feeling positively regal.
Every Sunday the entire Arts On Main building is taken over by the popular Market On Main, an addictive Sunday market that highlights delicious street food and local vintage fashion and accessories. Downstairs you can pick up anything from gourmet burgers to freshly made paella, Greek souvlaki and dim sum, while one floor up is devoted to fashion.
There are usually up to a dozen fashion traders who set up stalls at Market On Main on Sundays, most of them specialising in vintage fashion, although you can also always find some great jewellery and designers specialising in clothing and accessories inspired by African prints. There’s always plenty of traders offering great prices on the latest retro vintage trends such as oversized 90s sweaters, shellsuits and bomber jackets plus cute dresses and a massive range of accessories.
One of our favourite Market On Main vintage stalls is the dapper Quiet Mnqali’s Urban Vintage. This is a must-shop stop for 1970s and 1980s leatherwear such as jackets and knee-high boots, plus distinctive hats and handbags and great men’s vintage fashion.
Also in the area
On Sundays the stretch of Fox Street outside Arts On Main between Berea Road and Kruger Street is taken over by a lively street market where dozens of traders set up shop on the pavement to sell an eclectic selection of artworks, souvenirs, Afro-chic jewellery and second-hand books as well as quirky second-hand clothing.
Two doors down from the Arts On Main entrance at 274 Fox Street is Gianni Vicente’s Dirty Pink, a small vintage boutique that specialises in high-quality one-of-a-kind vintage fashion from South Korea and Japan. Vintage in the strictest sense of the word, all Vincente’s items are from the 1920s to 1970s and include some gorgeous Japanese designer dresses and chic suits. Take note that as all the items are from the Far East, they generally come in smaller sizes than you may be used to.