The world is full of lightly-used pieces waiting to find a new home. The vintage and pre-loved luxury industry has become a booming business.
A few decades ago buying something used or pre-loved was viewed in a negative light. But today this sector of the luxury industry is one of the most lucrative. In 2018 it reported $25 billion USD in profits. Previously, only in big cities like New York, London, or Paris could we find this kind of specialized boutique. Now, we can purchase vintage and pre-loved items in any city in the world and via a variety of digital platforms.
A few years ago, I read an interview with Katy Rodriguez, co-founder of Resurrection. She mentioned that while her clientele didn’t necessarily hail from a specific age group, they all shared a high Fashion IQ. “We have a very sophisticated and savvy client that loves fashion and is looking for the most iconic and rare pieces,” she said in an interview with Marie Claire Mexico. This makes a lot of sense to me because I feel that someone looking for a vintage piece must know a lot about the history of fashion.
To know what you are looking for, you have to be very knowledgeable. The first thing is to learn the difference between vintage and pre-loved. The first refers, according to various experts, to pieces over 20 years old. The second refers to pieces that have already had a previous owner regardless of the year of manufacture.
It is also important to know where to buy. Nowadays, there are a lot of options, including websites. Keep in mind, however, that you might run into fakes or clones. In my experience, it is better to acquire vintage and pre-loved pieces from renowned boutiques with expertise in this area. The following places are my go-to spots when I want to get a vintage piece.
Pretty Box in Paris
This boutique offers the best of Parisian style. Here, we can find vintage pieces by Chanel, Christian Dior, and Alaïa from the seventies to the nineties; here, punk and rock aesthetics meet French haute couture. Band t-shirts are displayed alongside tweed jackets and vinyl records, creating an almost mythical atmosphere.
- Location: 46 Rue de Saintonge, 75003 Paris, France
- Website: http://prettybox.fr/
- IG: https://www.instagram.com/boutiqueprettybox/
Resurrection in Los Angeles
This boutique was a pioneer of the vintage movement. This year, it is celebrating its 25th anniversary and is still the perfect place to find pieces from designers like Emilio Pucci, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Roberto Cavalli. It’s a favorite of celebrities like Kate Moss, Rihanna, J.Lo, and Beyoncé. You can’t miss it if you’re ever in Los Angeles; you’re sure to find a unique treasure.
- Location: 8006 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
- Website: https://resurrectionvintage.com/
- IG: https://www.instagram.com/resurrectionvintage/
What Goes Around Comes Around in New York
As the name implies, everything in life is cyclical and fashion always comes back around. This store offers absolutely stunning pieces that represent precise moments in fashion history: Louis Vuitton bags from the Marc Jacobs era, one-of-a-kind bags from Hermès, and an extensive selection of Chanel jewelry.
- Location: 351 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013, USA
- Website: https://www.whatgoesaroundnyc.com/
- IG: https://www.instagram.com/whatgoesaroundnyc/
Void in Mexico City
A unique spot with an incredible selection of vintage clothing, bags, and accessories. The curatorship of this boutique is exquisite. Iconic Chanel pieces are sold alongside Birkin bags from Hermès, Pierre Balmain coats from the 1950s, and Courrèges jackets from the 1970s. This store is a must for fashion lovers.
- Location: Calle Parral 5, Col. Condesa, Mexico City, Mexico, 06140
- Website: https://voidmx.com/
- IG: https://www.instagram.com/void_mx/
Every place I’ve mentioned is a little heaven with something for every fashion lover. I love going to these spots, whether I am looking for a vintage piece to add to my closet or simply because I want to see what’s just in.
As I mentioned, another option is to buy pre-loved pieces. For this, I recommend visiting specialized websites that authenticate. Some of the best are Vestiaire Collective from France, Second Love Serrano from Spain, and Troquer or Sale Chop Chop in Mexico.
This new generation has adopted this trend much more quickly than previous ones. Just look at Tik Tok to see how popular thrifting videos are and how much Gen Z loves consuming used pieces. Personally, I think it’s a great way to shop for one-of-a-kind items. Going to a vintage store in London or Mexico City, for example, gives us a way to get our hands on clothing, bags, and accessories that not every IG influencer is wearing. And, buying vintage and preloved items gives us that ultimate luxury status: exclusivity.
Finally, consuming vintage and preloved goods is a great way to buy luxury items in a circular way. Each dress, bag, and accessory is a true gem, cut from fashion history.