The vintage-lover would appreciate The Née Vintage Store. Tucked away within Chinatown, the store sits in a charming shophouse, akin to a treasure trove waiting to be unearthed. In passing conversation, the thrifting aficionado might have already heard of The Née Vintage Store. But for newly minted vintage shoppers, and those slowly getting into the groove of thrifting for secondhand goods, the store is no longer a secret—thanks to a viral TikTok video that showcased an impressive range of hard-to-procure Dior Saddle bags at a lower retail value. The person behind the explosive video? Camira Asrori.
Heading The Née Vintage Store’s marketing and content creation team in Singapore, the 27-year-old is well aware of the brand’s niche. “We are not a consignment store. We simply specialise in bringing in vintage, second-hand designer bags that are of excellent condition and quality,” Asrori mentioned. Part of its unique experience includes offering a physical space for anyone to have a good feel of the items. In fact, it seems even more inviting now that the store has just recently undergone a rebranding—from a large-scale rehaul of its showrooms to procuring a wider range of vintage selections for shoppers.
Amongst shelves of neatly arranged designer bags, the overall ambience of the store feels similar to a museum—neat and filled with precious gems. Several variations of the Dior Saddle bag rest upon the wall. Just adjacent to it, a range of Fendi Baguettes are displayed like mantelpieces. In the far corner, belies a rack of vintage designer pieces as well as an archival Christian Dior mini dress on a mannequin.
A curated selection
“The Dior Saddle bags are not the only brands and bags we carry around here,” pointed out Asrori. “We have vintage Fendi, Gucci, Celine, Prada, Loewe, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, and Cartier bags in high-quality condition, to name a few.”
According to Asrori, the store’s qualifier for ‘vintage’ is that it has to be at least 10 years old. Each bag and item they bring in, sourced from Japan, is unique and undergoes several rounds of rigorous checks to ensure the best quality. Street style references from Japan were also taken into account when selecting the bags, inspiring The Née Vintage Store’s team to bring in more eclectic, experimental pieces. While Asrori has mentioned that locals tend to prefer more classic and timeless silhouettes, the market for more unique, under-the-radar bags is growing exponentially popular. As such, The Née Vintage Store aims to offer rarer designs that are just as special and stylish. And this is exactly the premise the humble vintage store hopes to cement.
“Many people come here for a few iconic silhouettes such as the Dior Saddle, the Prada Re-nylon, the Gucci Bamboo, and the classic Chanel double flap. We also try to educate the consumers on other understated bags that have done well in the streets of Japan, but may need some awareness here in Singapore,” shared Asrori. “For instance, the Gucci Bamboo handle bag was a hot item in 1947, but is now slowly getting back in trend again. So, we try to find vintage pieces of the Gucci Bamboo to import into Singapore—the same goes for all our bags here.” With forgotten brands and bags like the Fendi Baguette having crept into the mainstream, the store is always on its toes to bring in more well-loved pieces.
The discerning and attentive shopper will also notice an impressive offering of luxury homeware. For those looking to spruce up homes and living spaces, The Née Vintage Store carries a wide range of luxury bowls, plates, tea cups, and tea sets from the likes of Givenchy, Hermès, Frank Muller, and Wedgwood. “They’re all very boujie,” Asrori quipped.
A private experience
Communal shopping spaces aside, there’s another level to The Née Vintage Store that feels even more like a treasure trove. Its third floor is dedicated to a private and intimate shopping area. A few steps in and one will notice the rows and shelves of vintage Chanel and Hermès.
The curation boasts a wide range of classics. Here, they offer the vintage Chanel Vanity case, Chanel Classic flap, Chanel Micro bag, and Chanel brooches, belts, and necklaces. The nooks and crannies are just as decorated too. Pressed-down Hermès scarves are framed on walls, Givenchy ornaments fill up the spaces, and vintage Chanel pins jazz up the glass cabinets. Be it a Chanel Premiere watch or Celine blazon logo earrings, everything is within reach. The arrangement, too, is reminiscent of thrift stores abroad.
“We also take inspiration from thrift stores in Europe where vintage items are not stowed away in cabinets, so you can physically touch them. We want our consumers to learn more about the history and antiquity of vintage designer goods through a thoughtful selection. Because these are also pre-loved, the stories behind each piece make it even more special,” Asrori commented.
With a large fitting room in tow and large body-length mirrors in every corner, there’s nothing more gratifying than feeling the quality and craftsmanship of vintage designer items. In line with the store’s sustainability ethos, The Née Vintage Store’s Maintenance Department, too, restores bags that have been purchased from the shop itself.
To Asrori, being able to present a physical space is a meaningful way not only to shop pre-loved and eco-consciously, but it also sparks more appreciation for the items one so willingly scours for. And to the store, rightfully so, sometimes old really is gold.