sec­ond Chances

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

Hong Kong Tatler - - Contents -

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

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