In With the Old: The Luxury Brands Dabbling in Reselling Pre-Loved Pieces From Past Collections - Luxe Living

Beyond third-party platforms, brands are reselling their own pieces, which may change your mind about buying pre-loved.

Buying and selling used luxury fashion items isn’t a new concept. But in recent years, due to the rise of sustainability and quarantine–induced decluttering spells, its relevance is growing fast.

READ ALSO: Decluttering Spree: The Benefits Of Selling Your Luxury Items And How To Take Care Of Them To Get Their Best Price

In 2019, Forbes estimated the fashion resale market to be $24 billion. Today, Vogue Business reports it is worth $25 to 30 billion. Although about 75 percent of luxury consumers remain “strictly” new-product buyers, the rate may rise with brand involvement in the reselling process. 

Maximizing assets

For instance, if you were to sell a Gucci bag from multiple seasons ago, chances are you would use third-party online marketplaces like The RealReal, Thredup, eBay, and Vinted. 

In the Philippines, the Japan-founded resale platform Nanboya buys pre-loved items after specialized authentication. 

“Owners of luxury goods are also looking for ways to maximize the value of their assets. This is one of the main reasons why it’s easier for them to let go of their pre-loved items,” Nanboya PH owner Monique Borja-Gonzalez told Lifestyle Asia

“If repair is not possible, sell your luxury item,” Gonzalez advised. “Designer pieces deteriorate in value when they turn moldy or undergo leather peeling, so it’s best to sell them and upgrade to another piece if you find yours worn out.”

In contrast, third-party platforms may not cut it for you if you’re a discerning customer sourcing a seasons-old piece. With brand involvement, more luxury buyers dabbling in purchasing second-hand can be more open. 

Brand reselling

“In the future, I see the convergence of new and pre-owned products as a key opportunity and enabling other brands and retailers to enter the resale market, which third-party marketplaces have dominated,” Tom Berry, Farfetch’s global director of the sustainable business, told Vogue Business.

While brands like Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, and REI have offered resale independently for years, Stella McCartney, Burberry, and Gucci have partnered with The RealReal to ease consumers’ nerves that the items are authentic.

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Other company efforts to join the resale boom are Coach, which gave shoppers a (Re)Loved site to buy or sell bags and leather goods, and, surprisingly, ultra-luxury house Oscar de la Renta. 

Since buying used pieces isn’t the pinnacle of high-end, the New York-based heritage brand uses a different angle: to pay homage to its past.

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Launched last year, the platform called Encore by Oscar de la Renta offers items from jewelry and gowns through the decades. After pieces are unearthed from client wardrobes, collectors, and fine vintage boutiques, they’re reconditioned by the current atelier. In-house archivists authenticate every item.

Last month, Hugo Boss announced they’re launching “Hugo Boss Pre-Loved,” as a sustainability effort. The online process will allow shoppers to exchange used Hugo Boss items for store credit, on new or pre-owned items, in-store, or in e-commerce.

Heiko Schäfer, Chief Operating Officer of HUGO BOSS, said that the effort will let their “high quality” products have “several lives.” The platform will be launching next quarter. 

Modern shopper

Kering brands are also dipping their toes. Last September, Gucci included vintage items as part of its “experimental online space” Gucci Vault (their drive to catch Gen Z’s attention). And similar to The RealReal’s partnerships, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen tested collaborations with Reflaunt and Vestiaire Collective, respectively.

With these initiatives, Buying pre-loved designer goods is no longer seen as just a budget-friendly way to shop. Whether you’re buying resale items for the sustainable circular fashion movement or simply missed out on a fresh drop, it’s never been easier (or safer) than now.

Banner photo from @therealreal on Instagram.

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