February 15, 2024

Top Banana was vintage before vintage was cool. It was on York Road before York Road was cool. But what actually is Top Banana?

I talked to Amanda, who has worked in the shop for over a decade, to find out what makes it tick.

Top Banana was founded by Kevin Lyne over 20 years ago in the heart of Kings Heath. His son, who lives in America, sends over authentic vintage clothing, sportswear and branded apparel from the States, including loads of US-exclusive designs of Converse and Vans shoes, specifically for the small (but bright) shop. As the only true vintage clothing shop in Kings Heath, Top Banana has kept its prices down compared to more expensive areas of the city, and the special connection in the USA means that their stuff is always authentic and high quality – including silk Hawaiian shirts all the way from, well, Hawaii!

In recent years, they have also expanded their selection of sportswear, with LA Lakers jerseys, NY Yankees caps, Chicago Bulls jackets and more. The sheer variety of colourways, patterns, and styles of their main products (Converse All Star and Vans shoes) on display is pretty mind-boggling, as are the low prices asked for their various styles.

An LA Lakers Jersey in Top Banana

Top Banana is a perfect addition to our wonderful part of Birmingham, perfectly encapsulating our eclectic mix of businesses and charming local feel. What Amanda really loves about the area is the sense of community, especially on York Rd, with all their neighbours including The Juke, The Vintage Stop, Grace + James, A Painted Room and more. The local support for independent shops and businesses is what really makes Kings Heath special and has allowed this niche business to keep going for two decades, and on to the foreseeable future!

Amanda’s Favourite Shops: Amanda loves lots of the independent businesses in Kings Heath – as with many others, she struggles to name just one! At the top of the list, though, were Harvest, Enki,  Antiques and Curios, Root13, The Early Bird and Biscotto Café.

Contact: Top Banana is located at 14 York Rd and open Wednesdays-Saturdays. You can contact them by phone at 0121 444 2749.

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