Like many vintage aficionados, Madeleine Thomson spent her teen years scouring through op shops. It was the ’80s: Lady Di was rocking the drop waist, shoulder pads were soaring high, and it was a lot easier to find second-hand Australian-made clothes in op shops. Thomson would buy pre-loved ’60s and ’70s frocks and alter them into more contemporary styles. By the late ’90s, she was selling her lines of upcycled vintage dresses at markets in Glebe and Bondi and, eventually, opening her first bricks-and-mortar shop in the latter suburb. And so, the enduring Miss Brown Vintage was born.

Thomson has expanded Miss Brown’s stock offering over the years; she regularly travels to the US, UK, Europe and Japan to hand-pick garments. While many vintage stores sell a medley of vintage pieces, Miss Brown stocks vintage garments in bulk. That means you’ll always find a rack full of Levi’s jeans, Harley Davidson tees, denim overalls, Japanese-made silk blouses and the odd drop of Burberry trench coats. You’ll also find vintage from brands such as Nautica, Lacoste, Calvin Klein and Guess, right through to high-end designers like Prada, Yves Saint Laurent and Hermes.

Much like its stock, Miss Brown has travelled far and wide. It has had vintage treasure troves at various locations across Perth and Melbourne, as well as coastal Queensland and NSW. Today, you’ll find its reams of high quality vintage at its stores in Byron Bay and Fitzroy. And in every store, a rack dedicated to upcycled vintage day dresses – a mainstay from Thomson’s earlier days selling at flea markets.

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Updated: March 12th, 2024

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