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:
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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.
Read: What you need to know about investment pieces and pre-loved shopping
The Luxury Closet
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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.
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