The chic duo behind Felix Rey, the bag and accessory line flying off shelves at Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel, are not just expert designers—they're virtuoso vintage shoppers, too. Iran-born Lily Rafii and native New Yorker Sulaika Zarrouk comb the world's flea markets and consignment shops in search of inspiration for their work, and they've picked up some savvy secrets along the way.
To do the famous St.-Ouen Marché aux Puces correctly, visit both the stores and the countless stalls, which are divided into "markets." St.-Ouen is great for old fixtures, and shipping to the States is easy. One of our favorite dealers is Daniel et Lili (stand 128 in the Dauphine market)—it stocks tons of vintage accessories (think seventies-era buckles and buttons, Deco jewelry).
La Frip, Tunisia's sprawling bazaar, may not be in the most glamorous neighborhood, but tenacious shoppers can find gorgeous Italian linens, turn-of-the-century dresses, and vintage Moschino and Ungaro.
Petite ladies should make a pilgrimage to La Place in the Pedder Building. Women in this town (the bulk of them small-framed) hate repeating a look, so much of the Prada, Gucci, Chanel, and Manolo on the racks at this high-end consignment shop has only been worn once.
It may be morbid, but you can't beat Florida's flea markets for estate goods, including jewels, china, and silver. The Delray Beach Antique Mall and the Hillsboro Antique Mall in Deerfield Beach are two of the best.
Every weekend hordes of furniture dealers head to the Golden Nugget Antique Market in Lambertville for antiques, which they then sell in Manhattan at a huge markup. And don't miss the north interior part of the market, which houses a few outstanding vintage clothing dealers.