In the continued exploration of second hand stores in the Inner North, a few weeks ago The Melbourne Critique caught up with Elsje Jordan, the mastermind behind ‘Sally’s Retro Fashion,’ one of the oldest and best known vintage stores. In the growing ‘up-market urbanization’ of inner Melbourne, this store is a vintage monument and a little promise of Melbourne’s undeniable bohemia that continues to live and thrive in the roars of a concrete jungle. Elsje shares her beginnings, visions and ideas with The Melbourne Critique.

Tell us about you, about this shop, your connection and history with it?

‘Sally’s Retro Fashion and Accessories’ has been around for about 16 years. Sally ran it for about 12 years and I took over around 4 years ago. I started my retail career working for Sally, I was, and am a massive hoarder. I had a fashion degree, fashion label and was ambitious and keen. Sally saw potential in me; I was overzealous and took over, when she was ready to retire.

You’re on Smith St, in the heart of the North and much of Melbourne’s art scene is based here; have you dressed any known artists and, if so, who?

I know that this is a part of Melbourne where artists, performers, music industry people and other creative minds mingle. Also, just generally expressive and creative people: “Fizroyalties” – in my opinion, the most originally dressed people in Melbourne.

What are your ethics around sourcing, using and selling fur?

Obviously, sustainability is an important and ongoing conversation when it comes to Slow Fashion and upcycling. The way I view fur is: once it is in my shop, the animal has already gone and we are recycling it and giving it a new life, so, hopefully, less animals are killed and less ‘new fur’ will be made.

Do you have any advice or messages to other vintage collectors and people trying to start ventures similar to you?

In my opinion it’s 50% hard work and 50% luck. Seize opportunities, be prepared to experiment and change angles if something doesn’t work.


For more info, click here.