Szputnyik Shop is a key player among the city’s vintage boutiques for several years now – in addition to their store on Dohány Street, Szputnyik is found on Király Street as well, so now we have another place to go when looking for high-waisted jeans or Woodstock-inspired sunglasses. For the most unique pieces, it is worth following them on social networking sites and keeping an eye on the webshop, too. We visit both their stores to learn about their styles before Sziget.
A long time ago we were delighted to discover this boutique named after the first Soviet satellite, which we found especially intriguing because they sold clothes and accessories vastly different from the usual secondhand assortment. This first store at Bakáts Square is long gone, and was replaced by two spacious, stylish shops on Dohány Street and Király Street. Since then, we also learned that the store was actually named after the novel Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami. In the story, the main character calls his love and companion Sputnik – and the “parents” of the vintage treasuries would like their products not only to be sold, but also to become part of similarly engaging and precious tales.
The treasure hunters of Szputnyik travel abroad a lot, since they collect their goods from far-flung places ranging from Asia to France. They have well-established places where they choose the best products individually, but if one day they get a tip about some especially awesome clothes/accessories/shoes in stock in a certain country, they do not hesitate to set off right away.
We are very fond of their shirts, tops, and sweaters with funny, surreal, and strange patterns, which do not represent the secondhand line of the store. We also love the wonderful backpacks: decorated with little bananas, Inca patterns, or just a robust khaki fabric bag. The real curiosities, of course, are the vintage products that have their own history, about which we can ask the staff, as well. Incidentally, the staff was refreshingly attentive and friendly every time we visited the stores of Szputnyik – the brand and fashions are very important to them, which is reflected in their attitude.
It is important to note that they have a rather wide selection of used Converse and Vans footwear – let’s face it, we would rather buy the cultic, but not-so-high-quality shoes for a few thousand forints, since lately they cost ridiculous amounts in official stores. At the store on Király Street, even Tom’s slip-ons are available – of course, these are new ones. It is worth following Szputnyik’s Facebook page, as well, since they share many sets and unique pieces every day – so we can buy things expediently instead of wandering around the actual shops for hours. In addition, the webshop works fine too, and is also a more ideal option for customers with little time on their hands.
It is particularly nice to drop by Szputnyik during festival season, because we can even assemble some Coachella-esque outfits for Sziget. Experienced vintage fans like to go after specific brands and labels, but we can also make up our own story for that newly purchased, but well-worn jacket. For example, we can fantasize about how many ‘80s parties it survived as we make our way to Sziget, with a Guns ’n’ Roses hit blaring from the speakers in the background. There are no stains on the clothes whatsoever, since they undergo careful cleaning and refurbishment if needed – but if we accidentally spill some beer on our new piece, we can still tell our friends that it was dirtied by the guitarist of Nirvana during an MTV Unplugged recording.