Your local guide to luxury vintage: Where, what and how to get it
Old is the new “new”
Due to a shift towards smarter and more eco-conscious consumption, the market for vintage and pre-loved luxury is booming. In their annual resale report, online consignment store ThredUp revealed that secondhand commerce is projected to double over the next five years, reaching US$77 billion. And while it's currently more mature in the West, luxury re-commerce is also gaining traction in this side of the world. SCMP reported that luxury resale site Vestiaire Collective saw its order volume double in 2020, an increase that comes largely from the rise of new sellers in Asia by 98 per cent.
It’s a no-brainer: buying vintage or resale omits the production of new products, keeps old ones out of landfills and makes for great fashion investments. Existing goods gain longer life cycles and new homes, while our wardrobes grow in value without us having to put a huge dent in our wallets, or on mother Earth. Stepping away with this “new” buy, we also step closer to a more circular model in fashion.
Then, there's also the thrill of stumbling upon a unique vintage piece––scouring the internet far and wide to then find your hands on something one of a kind, full of history and with a story to tell. And as we all know, brands often revert to their old vintage collections as inspiration for new ones. Fashion is, after all, always being recycled, and since old styles and trends are on the rise like Y2K, '90s grunge or what have you––there’s no better time than now to invest in some vintage luxury.
Digital platforms like Vestiaire Collective and Fashionphile are leading the change in the way we shop. Though the stigma of buying secondhand still exists—largely in part due to the fact that the space remains un-policed—these luxury marketplaces have pioneered a way of shopping that puts verified, authentic products forward with convenience and a more affordable price point. More and more brands are also amping up their verification processes to fight the growth of counterfeits; some with the help of Entrupy, a tech company who's found an AI-powered, on-demand solution to verify physical goods with a 99.1per cent accuracy rate.
Below, we list a roundup of luxury resale stores both online and around KL to help you shop vintage and past-season designer items, with a little less guilt:
Vestiaire Collective was founded during the recession of ‘09 to “offer customers affordable luxury and the opportunity to transform clothes into an extra source of income”. Fast forward to today and the online marketplace is undoubtedly a leader in the luxury resale field with a massive community of 11 million users (and growing) across 80 countries. The company also recently became a "unicorn"––finance talk for a privately held start-up valued at over $1 billion––having raised a new investment round earlier this year, which also saw Gucci’s parent company Kering acquire 5 per cent ownership.
With a rigorous authentication process and an expertly curated website, Vestiaire Collective is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to offload or procure pre-loved goods. Their in-house curation team reviews every listing before it goes up and ensures each item passes quality control before it can be shipped to the buyer. Unlike other consignment stores, the platform also allows buyers to choose the price of the item being sold. For shoppers, there are plenty of gems to be discovered, whether you’re looking for shoes, bags, ready-to-wear, or even pre-owned products from celebrities as part of their charity sale.
Asia-based luxury resale site The Luxury Closet is the go-to in the Middle East. The online boutique started its journey in 2011 with the sale of its very first Hermès Birkin. Today, it buys and sells both new and pre-loved designer goods that span handbags, clothes, watches and fine jewellery. From Chanel and Louis Vuitton to Rolex and Van Cleef & Arpels, each item is meticulously curated and authenticated by a team of over 80 experts to help you transform your closet into assets (or cash). The platform has also expanded to include a dedicated VIP concierge service (sadly only available in the UAE and Riyadh at the moment) as well as an online blog that shares industry knowledge on spotting Hermès fakes to the top five investment-worthy handbags.
Europe's leading second-hand online market Collector Square offers authenticated luxury bags, watches, jewellery, art and other collectables––each carefully curated by an expert team for its quality and desirability. The platform also works with recognised specialists across luxury, as well as the Artcurial, to further appraise the quality and value of items for accuracy in pricing. Insights into iconic watch models and luxury bags can also be found on their site, with the option of having full analysis reports on the value of a product sent directly to your inbox. On top of clear and transparent return policies, they also promise worldwide shipping in 24 hours.
Net-a-porter's spin-off little sister The Outnet offers past-season designer fashion at steep discounts. Thanks to strong relationships with leading luxury brands, the platform offers over 350 designers including high-end collaborations and limited-edition exclusives alongside in-house label Iris & Ink. Though their pieces are more recent, it's the ultimate destination for "the ones that got away" while helping brands deal with leftover stock.
We first learned about Deluxe Life through the recommendation of fashion It-girl Nana Law. The online retail shop specialises in authenticated luxury bags that range from Chanel and Hermes to less available brands like Anya Hindmarch and Moynat. While the bags take centerstage on their Instagram, there's also a handful of Chanel jackets, smaller leather goods, accessories and shoes available to browse on their website. There, you'll find detailed descriptions behind the history and style of each product, as well as a rating of its condition.
Fun fact: A rare Louis Vuitton Alzer trunk circa 1990s showed up in their hands two weeks ago in the largest size and in new condition. Sadly (and unsurprisingly), it's already been snatched up but we're keen to see what other surprises they've got up their sleeve.
Contact: 014 667 2042
Vintage Sac was born after one Malaysian took the courageous leap of leaving her job in 2019 to kickstart a business sparked by her passion for vintage luxury. Today, the online consignment store has expanded to become a trusted and curated destination for authenticated goods that include bags, watches and the occasional jewellery piece. The team behind the brand have taken the time to explain various facets of their business on Instagram, from their verification process to brand origins, as well as the terms and conditions of purchase (which include a money back guarantee in the event of a fake). Though they're primarily online, Vintage Sac currently operates out of a physical showroom in Tropicana Avenue, which is available for visit via appointment.
Contact: 016 610 9849 (WhatsApp)
Established by entrepreneur and fashion lover Nur Nadia SM Nasimuddin, Portluxe is a multi-label designer boutique that buys and sells pre-owned luxury goods. Catering to both men and women, it offers a selection of authenticated luxury shoes, bags, clothes and accessories ranging from secondhand to vintage. Each item comes with detailed descriptions of its condition and images of any signs of wear. The team behind Portluxe have also put together a customer care guide to distinguish the quality of their products, rating their products across a spectrum of unused (brand new with original tags or packaging) to fair (heavily used with obvious signs of wear).
If you're looking to declutter your wardrobe, their buying process is fairly straightforward. After contact, all you need to do is make a trip to their showroom to drop off your items and they'll take care of the rest with an agreed payout quotation.
Address: B-0-2, Plaza Damas, 60, Jalan Hartamas 1, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 036 211 2556 or 013 204 0646 (WhatsApp)
Approved by local influencers like Kittie Yiyi, designer consignment boutique Glampot has been offering a wide range of new, preloved and vintage items since 2007. Founded by siblings David and Gabriena Lee, the marketplace focuses primarily on bags that range from Louis Vuitton, Hermès and Gucci. However, a selection of eyewear and accessories for both men and women can also be found.
In addition to e-commerce, Glampot currently operates at two physical locations––a Damansara flagship, alongside a store in USJ––and also offer consignment and concierge services if you're looking to sell (or seeking something in particular).
Address: A-1-02 Block Allamanda, 10 Boulevard, Jalan Kenanga, 47400 Kayu Ara, Damansara, PJ, Selangor
Contact: 035 888 7887
Based primarily on Instagram, The Lux Find is an independent reseller that specialises in buying and selling authentic luxury products, with established operations around the region. Focusing on pre-loved designer bags, their offering spans both new and vintage goods that are presented in visually appealing flat lays and come with receipts (and in the cases of some, the original packaging too).
Address: Unit 21B / 05 / 06, Level 2, 1 Mont Kiara Mall, Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur
Contact: 019 208 2323 or 013 533 1937 (both via WhatApp)