Balenciaga and Valentino, two high-end brands, join the resale fashion trend.

Luxury businesses have stood up and taken note as more shoppers show a rising love for previously used clothing and accessories. As a matter of fact, the global market for luxury resales was estimated to be worth US$32.61 billion (S$46.9 billion) in 2021 and is anticipated to grow to US$51.77 billion (S$74.5 billion) by 2026.

Not only have resale platforms like Vestiaire Collective and The RealReal become popular channels for selling donated products, but fashion designers themselves are increasingly riding on the second-hand luxury bandwagon. To encourage circularity, they have done this by developing their own resale initiatives, alliances, or sustainability programs.

Here are five houses taking the lead in this segment.

Balenciaga

As part of the house’s broader mission to become a fully sustainable company, Balenciaga has recently launched the Balenciaga Re-sell Program. This circularity program assists clients in re-selling Balenciaga’s clothing and accessories. The company has teamed up with Reflaunt, a platform that uses circular business models for the fashion industry, to provide customers with professional consignment support. Along with the UK, US, France, and Italy, Singapore is currently the only Asian market taking part in the program.

The Reseller Program allows you to drop off your items at a participating Balenciaga store or pick them up via a scheduled service available at balenciaga.com. Items are then documented, authenticated, professionally photographed, priced and listed as part of Reflaunt’s global network of over 25 secondary markets.

After buying second hand, the piece will be shipped to your new home. Customers who choose to resell will receive financial compensation or a Balenciaga Business Credit. Credits (of a higher value) can be used to purchase new Balenciaga items at selected merchants.

Valentino

Through its Valentino Vintage initiative, the company has entered the resale market. The initiative saw its start in Oct 2021, when owners of Valentino vintage pieces were encouraged to consign their pieces at selected secondhand shops. In return, they got store credit to spend on fresh Valentino lines.

In June 2022, phase two of the project got underway, and the brand teamed up with four international consignment shops to offer a selection of the vintage clothing gathered during phase one. Stores selected included Madame Pauline Vintage in Milan, The Vintage Dress in Tokyo, New York Vintage in New York City (pictured) and Resurrection Vintage in Los Angeles.

For the yet-to-be-announced Phase 3, Gucci plans to take the initiative to fashion schools.

Gucci

Opening in September 2021, Gucci Vault is an online concept store with ‘virtual shelves’ for pre-owned vintage Gucci pieces. These have been handpicked by Creative Director Alessandro Michele and the Maison’s experienced archivists. Each vintage item (such as the vintage 70s handbag pictured) was available only once from him and is numbered to match the year of drop. Items come in unique “bespoke” packaging specially designed to reflect the design.

Gucci Vault features monthly releases of rare vintage items, as well as a regular rotation of exclusive capsules, exclusive collaborations and new brands. The latest releases are highlighted on his dedicated IG account @guccivault and on their discord server Gucci Vault.

Burberry

In 2019, Burberry partnered with The RealReal to encourage customers to extend the life of their products through resale. The pilot, which launched in October during that year, provided customers who entrusted The RealReal with Burberry products with an exclusive personal shopping experience at select Burberry stores across the United States.

In addition to the resale program, the brand has expanded other circular initiatives. In 2020, the ReBurberry fabric program was launched in partnership with the British Fashion Council. The brand donated leftover fabrics to fashion students and recycled surplus fabrics to save them from landfills. In July 2022, the partnership ran its second run with another donation through the program. In total, over 12,000 meters of fabric have been donated to her over 30 fashion schools and universities in the UK, including the Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Brighton. Fabrics incorporating different materials from previous collections fell into the hands of young creative and aspiring designers from these schools.

Alexander Mcqueen

In February last year, Vestiaire Collective launched its Brand Approved program, with a buyback initiative with Alexander McQueen. The initiative aimed to extend the life of the brand’s collections, with Alexander McQueen inviting longtime customers to take back the beloved items they no longer wore and receiving in-store credit in return.

The pieces are then resold on the Vestiaire Collective platform and listed under the new “Brand Partner” label. Short-range wireless technology is also used to ensure full traceability. Each piece is accompanied by a unique tag, which once scanned confirms the details and authentication of the piece. Another brand you can find in the Brand Approved initiative is Mulberry.

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