October 15, 2021

After we went vintage shopping at Mishka Boutique, we had a conversation with this lovely vintage store’s owner Sandra Zamberlin. After she quit teaching, Sandra opened this charming vintage boutique and turned her passion into business.

Mishka boutique is a relatively new vintage store in town, and yet everyone knows it and shops at it. It is the first vintage store in town, considering there are only thrift shops in Split where you buy clothes by kilo and Mishka, on the other hand, offers selected and authentic vintage clothing. Sandra told us about the idea and the beginning of Mishka: – I opened up Mishka Boutique in June last year, right after lockdown. I decided to open it because I felt a boutique like this was missing in Split. Mishka is second hand and vintage store, because I like both vintage and contemporary fashion. People in Split, especially women, have a good sense of style, but sometimes I think that good sense of their style is fading, especially among younger generations. They are following trends without finding their own style. But in general, people in Split care about dressing well and I like that – concludes Sandra.

Since Mishka is the first authentic vintage store in Split and we all know how sceptic people in Split can be, we were curious about reactions Sandra had after she opened Mishka boutique. – Being first at something is always both good and bad at the same time. I had to break many preconceptions about preowned clothes because a lot of people here still believe those clothes are worn out, démodé and poor quality – explains Sandra. – For my shop I choose items that are in great condition, I carefully wash and iron them. I always look for good brands, attractive designers, and quality materials, carefully choosing interesting and stylish things. And that is how many women learned that second-hand shopping can be great! I'm so happy that Mishka Boutique became shopping place for many young and elderly women who like fashion, each in their own way. I like being first because, even though it's challenging, I wouldn't like it other way – she adds in laughter.

With mass-produced fashion designs nowadays, vintage and second-hand stores are a great alternative, especially for those who are getting more conscious about fast fashion and its exploitative business model. We asked Sandra did she notice a growing trend of vintage-shopping. – There is a trend of buying preowned clothing, but it definitely has room to grow, and I believe it will. At the moment, trend of buying fast fashion is much bigger. Also, I believe one doesn't exclude the other, not everything can be bought second hand – adds Sandra. She commented on overconsumption and consequences of fast fashion: –. Fashion industry went too far, we can't talk about fashion of the decade anymore, we can only talk about short-lasting trends. It is confusing and wrong on so many levels - it causes pollution, animal exploitation, makes people lose their identity and feel frustrated if they can't keep up. Sustainability is how we can “fight” this, and choosing preowned clothing is probably the best way to be sustainable. We noticed Mishka offers a selection of pieces from different fashion epochs. When it comes to Sandra’s favourite’s fashion era, she says she is passionate for interesting fashion items, whether they’re vintage or not. – But vintage things are often more interesting – laughs.

­– Every epoch and style have something I really like, but I think 80's fashion is WOW! When talking about styles, I like mixing classic and extravagant; blazers, loafers, silk scarfs, white shirts - cowboy boots, sequin jackets, ugly Christmas type of sweaters ­– explains Sandra how she styles her outfits. – Also, and this might sound strange, but I like a lot of things that I personally wouldn't wear because they don't fit my style. But this is very useful when choosing items for my store.

For the end of the interview, we asked Sandra to give a message to our readers you haven’t discovered yet the joys of vintage-shopping. This is what she said: – Those who are sceptic should know they are missing a fun game of discovering unusual styles, cuts, materials, patterns, and brands. Other than that, they can save some money this way and buy higher quality items.

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