Brands want to participate in the archive fashion boom

Archive fashion is great for consumers, but not so great for brands trying to sell new clothing. Rowe, Gucci and several others are looking for a solution.

The turmoil of the last 12 months seems to have eliminated trends from fashion, with moods and desires that are almost impossible to track on a global scale. But one phenomenon still seems to be ready to dominate 2021: second-hand clothing, or “archive fashion” as Cognosenti calls it. (Interestingly, “vintage” was developed as a snob instead of “used” or “used clothing.”) Archives above vintage are distinguished by their position in fashion history. It appeared on the runway and started. Trends, or very influential. And most importantly, it was created by a historically significant designer.

Pandemics and new environmental awareness among young people helped start the archive fashion boom. However, there is also the sensibility between Gen Z and Millennials that archive fashion is a way of showing taste and integrity. (Gen Z is particularly obsessed with fashion in the 90’s and 2000’s, if HF Twitter works.) It goes beyond the hype of fashion marketing and hunts instead. Shows the ability to prioritize. Finding the killer Isseey Miyake flight jacket is more than just a line-up ability, it’s a connoisseur’s demonstration.

New Report from Luxury Resale Platform RealReal confirms growing interest in archiveware, with sellers making more money on vintage items in all categories of the site, from watches to handbags to ready-to-wear. It shows that. This site defines accessories and clothing that are more than 10 years old. In fact, vintage sales grew 67% from the first half to the second half of the year, seeing a surge in items first released by brands such as Jean Paul Gaultier, Issey Miyake and Versace in the 90s and 2000s.

It’s exciting news for real-life, planets, and your strangely cool nephew. Not so exciting for luxury fashion brands. When those consumers grow into the true luxury shopping age group, will they taste the super-expensive but readily available products that make up the foundation of the market?

Some brands are facing archiving issues head-on by partnering with RealReal. Last October, Gucci announced a partnership with the site to allow it to sell its second-hand or archived items (such as those used in campaign shoots) and plant trees on all Gucci products sold on the platform. I promised that. (By the way, the site reports that the resale price of Vintage Gucci has risen by 12%). Burberry has a similar arrangement. Beginning October 2019, RealReal customers who outsource Burberry products on the site will have a free personal shopping experience at Burberry stores, including High Tea. Around the same time, Ralph Lauren began collaborating with Gen Z’s popular vintage fashion depop, unveiling used Lauren merchandise carefully selected by Depop users on the site and in pop-up spaces at some stores. The arrangement allowed Ralph Lauren to reduce profits. (Neither Burberry, Gucci, nor another RealReal brand partner, Stella McCartney, receives money from the partnership.)

This dynamics is not much different from the art market, where artists are separated from auctions and future sales of their work between dealers. But profits are not always important. For many designers, the interest in archiving is just part of their strategy. To share the Fall 2021 collection with yesterday’s Zoom, Italian master Brunello Cucinelli has been wearing a new fabric jacket remade for this collection since spring 2017. There are three buttons instead of two, and the collar is high. In Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2021 collection, Virgil Abloh offers a generous interpretation of upcycling, including reused fabrics and redisplays of looks and pieces from previous collections, giving collectors’ eyes rather than flipper sensibilities. Encouraged.

Brands want to participate in the archive fashion boom

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