Vin­tage at Your Fin­ger­tips

The Paris-based lux­ury fash­ion plat­form for pre-owned pieces, Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive, rock­eted to global suc­cess af­ter its de­but in 2009, and now it’s set­ting up in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Tatler - - Tatler Focus | Vestiaire Collective - Find out more about Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive on its web­site at ves­ti­airec­ol­lec­tive.com

We all day­dream about stum­bling on that quirky se­cond-hand store, hid­den down a cob­bled street in Paris, that sells half-price Cé­line blouses from 2016, JW An­der­son bags from last sea­son, Bal­main dresses from 1975 and Chanel jack­ets from 2006. While those stores do ex­ist, they re­quire de­tailed lo­cal knowl­edge and the luck of walk­ing past on the very same day as your fan­tasy Dior dress is dropped off.

But with the glossy web­site Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive, no such luck—or traips­ing around—is re­quired. Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive was launched in Paris in 2009 by a co­terie of the city’s most stylish women, with the aim of be­com­ing the world leader in on­line se­cond-hand de­signer shop­ping. And within months, fash­ion lovers from the four cor­ners of the globe were buy­ing and sell­ing pre­mium brands last seen at the Paris, Milan and New York Fash­ion Weeks in a trusted en­vi­ron­ment.

The site stands out from other plat­forms due to its knowl­edge­able cu­ra­tion team, and its au­then­ti­ca­tion and qual­ity-con­trol process. In the space of eight years, it has be­come in­te­gral to the cu­ra­tion of ev­ery Euro­pean fash­ion­ista’s wardrobe. In fact, in the years since its glam­orous launch, Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive has be­come Europe’s lead­ing trusted site for the re­sale of de­sir­able pre­mium and lux­ury fash­ion, and a cult favourite among style lovers, with more than six mil­lion mem­bers across 47 coun­tries.

Con­sumers in­clude su­per­mod­els, street style stars and mag­a­zine ed­i­tors—think Cara Delev­ingne, Ju­lia Restoin Roit­feld, Caroline de Mai­gret, Sarah Har­ris of Bri­tish Vogue, Emma Wat­son and Char­lotte Gains­bourg—which means you can be shoul­der to shoul­der with the most stylish women in the world, buy­ing and sell­ing your wares for half or even a quar­ter of the orig­i­nal price.

Part of the ap­peal is the sim­ple in­ter­face and the uni­form prod­uct shots that make shop­ping on Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive sim­i­lar to other lux­ury high-end fash­ion web­sites. The seller can de­ter­mine the sale price, sup­ported by ad­vice from the web­site’s ex­pe­ri­enced cu­ra­tion team, which means fan­tas­tic

bar­gains are avail­able to any­one us­ing the site.

The cat­a­logue in­cludes items sourced from re­cent col­lec­tions but the real finds are the lux­ury vin­tage items that are sure to im­press all avid col­lec­tors. As with lux­ury brands the world over, coun­ter­feit goods can be an is­sue, and Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive works tire­lessly to en­sure ev­ery­thing sold on the web­site is gen­uine.

“Fight­ing the sale of coun­ter­feit fash­ion on­line lies at the heart of the Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive model. Our au­then­tic­ity team are all highly trained coun­ter­feit ex­perts who metic­u­lously in­spect each item to en­sure it is gen­uine,” says prod­uct di­rec­tor So­phie Her­san.

In Fe­bru­ary 2012, in an im­por­tant step against fake goods, the Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive signed the Fight Against On­line Coun­ter­feit­ing Char­ter es­tab­lished by the French gov­ern­ment, an ini­tia­tive to pro­tect con­sumers from fake ac­ces­sories and cloth­ing—a move that has led to a dra­matic in­crease in on­line shop­ping in France. Other sig­na­to­ries in­clude Cé­line, Chanel, Chris­tian Dior, Burberry, Louis Vuit­ton, Marc Ja­cobs and Givenchy.

Build­ing on its im­mense suc­cess in Europe and the US, Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive is now ex­pand­ing its par­tic­u­lar brand of Parisian chic to Asia and Aus­tralia. It is es­tab­lish­ing a branch of its in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised cu­ra­tion team in Hong Kong this year, and they will be­gin vet­ting the web­site on an hourly ba­sis to en­sure only the high­est qual­ity clothes, shoes and hand­bags make it onto Ves­ti­aire Col­lec­tive’s glossy pages.

Which means Asia’s most fash­ion-con­scious shop­pers now have a num­ber of iconic col­lec­tions at their fin­ger­tips for a frac­tion of the orig­i­nal price. So, while that hid­den shop in Paris might be won­der­ful for an an­nual browse, it can’t quite com­pete with a web­site that keeps you look­ing like you be­long on the pages of a fash­ion mag­a­zine for 360 days a year.

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