Even before the arrival of Covid-19 last year, the high street was and has been, considered a wavering concept for quite some time. With many town centres becoming quieter and quieter day by day and the efficiency of returning parcels online having never seemed easier, it's undeniable that people's shopping habits have changed quite drastically in recent years, only exaggerated by the pandemic keeping us closed off from our once-loved go-to shops. Coupled with this very 21st-century phenomenon of people shopping from the comfort of their sofa, there's also been a rise in secondhand shopping, otherwise known as 'thrifting;' an activity commonly associated with checking out every charity shop possible and attending your local junkyard sale in the hopes of being able to find an unusual secondhand bargain. Like normal retail browsing, secondhand shopping can also be done from your own sofa thanks to apps like Depop or the more exclusive, Vestiaire Collective. Despite Vestiaire often specialising in selling luxury vintage pieces, they've never collaborated with any luxury fashion houses, until now.
As announced today, the fashion crowd has learnt that the house of Alexander McQueen will be the first luxury label to work with Vestiaire collective on a new 'Brand Approved' programme which will see luxury brands like McQueen have more control over their timeless pieces in regards to what is bought and sold on the prestigious Vestiaire app. The move spotlights the endless support Alexander McQueen has been known to give in maintaining and investing in the durability of luxury fashion as well as contributing to an industry that is slowly becoming more circular in its approach to waste.
Vestiaire - an app dedicated to the reselling of high fashion - is similar to Depop in terms of how it works, but the overall process is more rigid, helping to protect buyers and sellers as a whole. Unique pieces and garments sold through Vestiaire are vetted by a team of professionals who work for the collective, checking for authentification of the individual pieces on offer and ensuring the best quality is sold to the consumer. Until now, the majority of luxury brands have stayed away from the secondhand market, choosing to push new capsule collections and shift their focus to campaigns and their seasonal collections. The move is the first of its kind and puts brands directly in charge of their item even if it is second hand, allowing them to work directly with the reseller.
Co-founder and president of Vestiaire Collective Fanny Moizant said of the collaboration, 'There is an urgent need to address the way we currently produce and consume fashion. Vestiaire Collective’s ‘Brand Approved’ programme offers a sustainable solution, reinforcing the importance of durability, whilst empowering first-hand fashion players to disrupt their linear business models and embrace circularity. We are incredibly excited to launch the new service in collaboration with the prestigious house of Alexander McQueen, driving a shared mission to embed circularity at the heart of the fashion ecosystem.'
With Vestiaire priding themselves on authentification of products sold and bought on their site, Alexander McQueen will now be joining them in helping to oversee which pieces of theirs will be resold and offering staff to help the team at Vestiaire Collective with helping to ensure only the highest quality pieces are exhibited. The way the process will work is once the garments are received and authenticated by the house of Alexander McQueen, the client who will be reselling the specialised pieces will be issued with a credit note, helping them purchase new items from specified Alexander McQueen stores. Once processed by Vestiaire Collective, the products will carry an external NFC tag certifying their authentification. The pieces will also be available to purchase on a dedicated 'Brand Approved' page on the Vestiaire Collective app and site, so viewers know where to find these specialised pieces rather than spending hours furiously searching for them.
Emmanuel Gintzburger, CEO of Alexander McQueen, commented on the partnership stating that 'Alexander McQueen is committed to a move towards circular practice both in the design studio and in the development of new business models. We are delighted to be the first house in the world to collaborate with Vestiaire Collective on its Brand Approved programme and to give beautifully crafted pieces a new story.' Gintzburger went on to mention that 'we are confident that our customers will be equally excited to take part in an initiative that challenges a linear economy and sets a new and more sustainable standard for the future. We hope many houses will follow because to have an impact, we need to act collectively.'
Both Alexander McQueen and Vestiaire share beliefs in craftsmanship and unique pieces that stand the test of time, celebrating the beauty of clothes and their impact on the wearer. With both labels joining together on this new 'Brand Approved' initiative, the fashion industry is one step closer to moving towards a circular perspective on clothes and the regeneration of timeless pieces.
To discover the collaboration, you can download the Vestiaire Collective App or visit vestiairecollective.com.