We’ve all suffered from buyer’s remorse: that coral coat is suddenly a lot more orange than you’d like it to be or you’ve realised that even on a discount, green is so not your colour. Or perhaps a radical new diet is working wonders and that beautiful Prada dress from S/S’10 just doesn’t fit right anymore. What to do with these beautiful items, once so cherished but now taking up valuable real estate in your closet?
Co-founders of StyleTribute, Stéphanie Crespin and Camilla T have come up with an ingenious way to help you move no longer needed items in your wardrobe to happier homes and perhaps along the way, to fill it in with something from seasons past you thought you’d never get your hands on. Read on to find out how.
How does StyleTribute work?
StyleTribute offers two options for selling your designer wardrobe. If the seller wants to make room in her closet immediately, she can request the “white glove” service, where a courier picks up the clothes and delivers it to our headquarters, where we take care of the photography and the descriptions of the product. Once the item is sold, 25% is deducted by StyleTribute and 75% is transferred to the seller.
Alternatively, the seller sends us pictures of the items and we manage the entire process. Our team prices it, writes the editorial and beautifies the pictures to put online. Once sold, we send a courier free-of-charge to a seller’s home/office to pick up the items. Our team then quality checks everything, packages and ships it to the buyer.
Our team has travelled this summer to bring back some items from Brussels, Paris, Milan, Parma and London. We bring back a mix of vintage pieces, unavailable on the market anymore or pieces dating from the past couple of seasons. Some items have been never sold in shops within this region.
What inspired you to start StyleTribute?
I have always been passionate about vintage and unique designer pieces. In Paris and Brussels, there is an array of brick and mortar stores where I could sell my idle designer pieces and uncover incredible luxury pieces. However, with work life becoming increasingly demanding, I was left with no time to hunt original pieces or sell items to shops. I then turned to EBay and experienced a frustrating experience: selling was a hassle and finding a fashionable piece on EBay was like looking for a needle in a haystack. I was also concerned I would end up purchasing fakes or pieces that were in poor condition. StyleTribute was then born out of my vision to create a premium, safe and hassle-free solution for high-end fashion connoisseurs to sell and buy luxury and designer items.
How do you source your stock?
StyleTribute answers the needs of many women who have a wardrobe full of amazing, unworn pieces but don’t know where they can get a good price for them. If you’re a stylish dresser but for some reason aren’t getting the wear out of an amazing designer piece, then StyleTribute probably wants it!
The motivation of each of our sellers is different. One of our first clients was moving to a black and white colonial house and was concerned that the humidity would damage her gowns. Another client had accumulated beautiful and unique Louis Vuitton vintage pieces but lost her passion for the French label and wanted to sell them for a decent price. Our latest client experienced an event invitation change and the S$3000 dress she bought specifically for that occasion was no longer appropriate.
On the other hand, many of our loyal sellers and buyers are young corporates, passionate about fashion. They are smart shoppers: they know how to find a good deal, enabling them to wear a maximum of stylish designer items. They now how to get the best return out of their wardrobe, selling the pieces that they barely wore to buy new pieces on the website.
How do you ensure that what you are selling is a genuine article?
The authenticity check is a critical expertise we hold in-house. We assess authenticity by drawing on the experience of our in-house specialists, working with outside product experts, and in some cases by partnering with vetted third party luxury resellers or retail stores.
What would you say to a customer who is perhaps a little reluctant to own pre-loved?
There is a misconception about second-hand items. People immediately imagine a horrid thrift store that smells of dust and moth repellent, packed with a mix of retro styled and fast fashion pieces for a couple dollars. Now think of it this way, an expertly curated assortment of coveted, pristine condition pieces, many with tags still on and all from the most desirable luxury brands. Prices range from between 50% to and 90% off retail. Not only will you score amazing pieces from the latest collections at unmatched prices, you will also be able to find pieces you missed out on! Be tenacious and you might find amazing deals like a Vera Wang dress for RM580 or Louboutin heels for RM800.
What is the most cherished item in your wardrobe?
All my boots! I’m a Nancy Sinatra kind of gal 😉
If you could raid the closet of a historical figure, who would it be?
Talitha Getty, the perfect personification of boho-chic.
The one thing you wish you had bought but missed the chance to?
Lulu Clutch limited edition from Yves Saint Laurent.
How has growing up in Japan and France influenced your take on fashion? How would you describe your personal style?
My style is vintage inspired with a touch of rock & roll. I like going back in time and getting inspired by the iconic and timeless fashion pieces or silhouettes: ’20s inspired art-deco jewellery, the French elegance of Dior in the ’50s, Indian batik blouses from the ’60s, high-waisted jeans of the ’80s (but not mum jeans), crazy painted/embroidered jeans or leather jackets from the ’90s. I don’t stick to one trend or designer. What’s important in the outfit is the attitude. Is it empowering?
What would you like to receive from Santa Claus this year?
Boots, an arm cuff, scarves, a vintage leather belt, too many rings, a bohemian kimono.
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