Out with the new, in with the old: Vintage in Florence

Out with the new, in with the old: Vintage in Florence

A brief glance at Florence's flourishing vintage/secondhand clothing scene.

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Wed 03 May 2023 12:48 PM

Art direction + words: Serena Isaac
Photos: Gaia Serru & Francesca Moore
Production Assistance: Sophia Cerullo
Models: Andrea Facchin & Melissa Perpunja

It’s not an unknown fact that fashion is seeing its fastest trend turnover to date. Over the last couple of years, microtrends have dominated consumer interests, giving rise to the appropriately demonized fast fashion industry. Algorithms flood our for you pages with thousand-dollar unboxings and our Instagram feeds seem to imply that outfit remembering (queue the Katie Sanders to Lizzie McGuire side eye) is back in vogue. As a result, clothing production is at an all-time high, creating increasingly frightful problems for the environment and the labor ethics of clothing production. While completely disparaging fast fashion would be a privileged hill to die on as it does serve a purpose for inclusive sizing and prices, I’d like to shine a light on a hero amongst the Shein masses: the vintage fiends, the thrift girlies, the secondhand connoisseurs. These people seem to be magnets for the hidden gems found in unsuspecting mothballed bins and are often prone to finding the perfect 100% silk French camisole sandwiched between a stained nightgown and an offensive graphic tee. These tag savvy experts should feel right at home in Florence as the vintage/secondhand scene is impressively vast and growing. Here is a brief but mighty list of some well-curated places to shop for your next pay day. All photos were shot on both film and digital cameras.

Loft

ph. Francesca Moore
ph. Francesca Moore
ph. Gaia Serru
ph. Gaia Serru
ph. Francesca Moore

Mati and Gio of Loft carry a gorgeous selection of vintage and pre-loved clothes. They started out their business in their own personal loft where they lived and worked. The intent was to sell clothes that were vintage and secondhand, but still looked modern. People can book private appointments in their showroom to try on in person and get the full shopping experience. For those ready to commit, people can also buy pieces through their Instagram stories, where they constantly update followers on their newest collections. With worldwide shipping, this power duo has created a vintage empire that expands outside of the city’s walls and is reflected in their cool girl curations. 

Soufois

ph. Francesca Moore
ph. Gaia Serru

Soufois: Souvenirs d’autrefois was named after founder Sofia Agliati and one of her favorite pieces of classical music from Carmen. As a university student, Sofia started out her brand intending to support herself through her passions. She also felt there was an importance in spreading consciousness about sustainability while trying to influence people to consider shopping outside of the rapidly growing world of fast fashion. She finds that the vintage world is vast and chooses not to stick to a specific style when curating her shop.

The focus is on material and beauty, which has resulted in a selection of fresh, girly, colorful and zany pieces. Her main desire is that, when people view her page and shop, they see her not as a brand but rather as a young girl looking to share her passions (and cool wardrobe) with others. 

Fango

Fango Vintage Florence
ph. Gaia Serru
ph. Gaia Serru
ph. Gaia Serru
ph. Francesca Moore
ph. Francesca Moore

Pietro and Giulia believe that vintage is the glue that binds art, beauty, fashion and sustainability. That’s why they started Fango Vintage. They aim to curate their shop with unique garments and want to give a new life to everything they choose to sell. In their search for interesting pieces, they look for garments that stand out from the crowd and appeal to those who have a genuine love for all things vintage. 

Humana

Part of Humana People to People Italia humanitarian organization, Humana Vintage has become a Florentine hotspot for quality secondhand finds. Their message extends far beyond the unbelievable discounts and retro branding. This worldwide non-profit prioritizes environmental wellness as well as ethical practices, with profits going to charitable projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

ph. Gaia Serru

For the Italian branches, donated articles of clothing endure an intricate selection process where items are evaluated for age, quality, brand name and the best location to sell the item (remembering that Humana has branches all over the world).

via delle Belle Donne 4/6R

All the photos were shot at Manifattura Tabacchi’s new development, The Factory. Our thanks to the team at MT and especially to ZOO Hub for their hospitality.

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