Fanny Moizant may have been born into fashion, but the path to founding luxury resale site Vestiaire Collective was not a straight one. Chloe Street meets the woman taking the guilt out of luxury shopping
Fanny Moizant, founder of Vestiaire Collective, takes the guilt out of luxury shopping
anny Moizant has fashion in the blood. She grew up working in her mother’s clothing boutique in Montpellier, honing a love of fashion—and fashion commerce. But loving it and living don’t always go hand-inhand. After graduating from business school, Moizant interned for fashion brands including Galliano—but thanks to a poor job market, she was forced to take a full-time role at an interior decorating company, marketing tablecloths. “It was completely boring!” she says. “That’s the French way, though. Once you start in a field it’s hard to switch.”
But after six years, it was time. “I knew in the back of my mind that I wanted to change something,” says Moizant. She made the big move, enrolling at the French Institute of Fashion in Paris. Three more years, a fashion degree and two children later, Moizant felt ready to launch her own business. “I knew it had to be in fashion, and I knew it had to be my own thing,” she recalls.
The year was 2008, and she had noticed many fashion bloggers—or “recessionistas” as they were known at the time—were reselling clothes on their blogs to finance their next purchase. “I spotted this trend and was fascinated by how we were consuming fashion differently,” she says. “We are not like our mothers and grandmothers who used to buy an investment piece and wear it for a lifetime. Now we love to buy something for one season, enjoy the piece, then let it go. There’s less commitment and attachment these days.”
Determined to capitalise on the trend, Moizant teamed up with five others with experience across tech, logistics, business development and styling to launch Vestiaire Collective; a marketplace for buying and selling pre-owned luxury clothes and accessories. Products sold on the site all go via a central warehouse, where a team of experts authenticates them. It’s this business model that set Vestiaire Collective apart from the competition, and ensured buyers had full confidence when purchasing on the site. Now five million members worldwide shop from a curated mix of 25,000 vintage items posted each week—from US$50 Zara dresses to $125,000 Hermès Birkin bags.
Despite having thousands of luxury products at her fingertips, Moizant has a tightly edited wardrobe. “I’m the opposite of a hoarder,” she says. “I love beautiful pieces but I apply the rule of one in, one out— every time I buy something I have to get rid of something first. That way the size of my wardrobe and my financial balance both stay the same, so I have a happy husband!”
And that’s the beauty of Vestiaire Collective; mistaken purchases can be recouped, while splurges become investments—one man’s trash is, after all, another man’s treasure. It’s essentially guilt-free shopping. Or, as Moizant puts it, “an investment state of mind.”
An expert at the Vestiare Collective offices authenticates a handbag before it is sold