The National - News - Luxury - - THE INSIDER - BY KATIE TROT­TER

Seth Weisser, the founder of the vin­tage chain What Goes Around Comes Around – with stores in Lon­don, New York and Hol­ly­wood – is the man be­hind a new spe­cial­ist col­lec­tion of vin­tage Chanel pieces at Har­vey Ni­chols, Dubai. “The idea of bring­ing a vin­tage Chanel col­lec­tion here came a er a small se­lec­tion of goods were brought by Har­vey Ni­chols in the au­tumn of last year that gained an amaz­ing re­sponse,” he ex­plains. “Dubai is one of the lead­ing fash­ion mar­kets but vin­tage does not ex­ist. We want to of­fer cus­tomers unique, one-of-a-kind col­lectable pieces.

The ex­hi­bi­tion has been metic­u­lously cu­rated by Weisser and Har­vey Ni­chols. Hav­ing started with more than 700 bags, they edited the col­lec­tion down to 100, and Weisser pre­dicts there will be a spe­cific de­mand in the re­gion for the more col­lectable items. “The bags that are most pris­tine re­tain the high­est de­mand,” he says. “Red bags are very rare and pop­u­lar with col­lec­tors as are some of the other more un­usual colours. Also pop­u­lar are the jew­ellery pieces with pearls and the cov­eted charm bracelets.”

Most of us love the idea of vin­tage but the re­al­i­sa­tion of in­vest­ing can be daunt­ing. Weisser ad­vises buy­ing the best you can pos­si­bly af­ford, and to look care­fully at the con­di­tion as it is crit­i­cal to the value. In­vest­ing in the masters is al­ways a good start­ing point un­til you be­come com­fort­able with the mar­ket. Ossie Clark, Dior and Chanel will al­ways have a world­wide au­di­ence and pro­vide the big­gest bounty; the rule of thumb be­ing the less that are made, the more the de­mand. Few de­signer brands can in­spire such abid­ing loy­alty as Chanel: “The qual­ity of the skins used in the bags is in­cred­i­ble,” Weisser says. “There is al­ways such de­tail in the hard­ware and fin­ishes used and the jew­ellery de­signs are truly in­spir­ing works of art.”

“As the high fash­ion mar­kets have ex­panded, unique­ness has be­gun to get wa­tered down,” Weisser says. “To­day a Birkin bag is com­mon. Un­less you have a dis­con­tin­ued colour or style, the sense of in­di­vid­u­al­ity – a key to high fash­ion – is get­ting lost in the global ex­pan­sion. Vin­tage is col­lectable due to the scarcity and unique­ness of the pieces. With many of the pieces made for just one col­lec­tion, they are quite rare and have a true col­lectable value.

Try to stick to the de­sign aes­thetic that is closely as­so­ci­ated with the fash­ion house. A Chanel 2.55 bag, for in­stance, will never lose value as it is con­sid­ered a clas­sic. Know your brand in­side out, and be aware that most col­lec­tors are only in­ter­ested in smaller sizes. A size 14 will make con­sid­er­ably less than a size 8-10 will do at auc­tion, so un­less you in­tend to wear it al­ways go for the small­est pos­si­ble size avail­able and try to stay clear of black or white, as col­lec­tors are al­ways look­ing for the more un­usual pieces. Know how to spot al­ter­ations. Look closely at the fas­ten­ings and make sure thay are orig­i­nal. Key ar­eas to check are around the col­lar and the cuffs where small miss­ing or faulty fas­ten­ings can be eas­ily hid­den. If there is a belt, make sure it is at­tached and the belt loops are still fas­tened. En­sure shoul­der pads are in their cor­rect place. With bags make sure to check the lin­ing thor­oughly to en­sure its orig­i­nal form and check the stones have not been re­placed in any jew­ellery. With this ex­hi­bi­tion as a start­ing point, Weisser hopes to open the Mid­dle East’s aware­ness of the vin­tage mar­ket: “The US and Asia are ex­tremely hot mar­kets for us and we hope to ex­pand this here. We have

‘Vin­tage is col­lectable due to the scarcity and unique­ness of the pieces. With many of the pieces

made for just one col­lec­tion, they have a true col­lectable value.’

been trav­el­ling the world for more than 20 years with our busi­ness, and our vin­tage col­lec­tion ranges from 1860-1990 and is a walk down fash­ion his­tory’s life­time. Our hunt has un­earthed so many in­cred­i­ble finds col­lec­tions from Chanel and the hunt goes on, so we con­tinue to come up with the most fas­ci­nat­ing finds.” the world can of­fer.”

IN­VEST­MENT PIECE The Chanel 2.5 bag is con­sid­ered a clas­sic and so won’t lose its value, says Weisser. PRE-LOVED LOVER

Seth Weisser at the Vin­tage Chanel ex­hi­bi­tion

in Har­vey Ni­chols.

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