April 16, 2024

News and Political Commentary

Gen Z, millennials turn to secondhand luxury sites like Vestiaire Collective

2 min read

Ever dreamt of buying your first luxury handbag? With sky-high rents and a challenging job market, investing in luxury has become a more distant dream than ever for millennials and Gen Z.

Enter secondhand marketplaces, the hot destination for savvy spenders with a taste for the finer things in life. 

Vestiaire Collective, a Paris-based platform, has been operating in the secondhand clothing space since 2009. Now, it’s attracting more cash-strapped consumers, particularly Gen Z and millennials who are looking for smart ways to invest in high-end pieces. “Shopping secondhand carried a lot of stigma, especially within the luxury industry,” Fanny Moizant, president and cofounder at Vestiaire told Fortune.

a woman sitting in a coucha woman sitting in a couch
Fanny Moizant, Vestiaire Collective’s president and cofounder

Lam Yik—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Luxury fashion was long thought to be inflation-proof. Yet, the likes of Kering and Burberry have faced some serious economic headwinds thanks to high inflation and the cost of living crisis. Unsurprisingly, many aspirational shoppers are now feeling the pinch on their wallets, giving a boost to platforms selling pre-owned luxury. Vestiaire reported 7% growth in the group’s high-end sales last year, in contrast to sluggish sales across much of luxury. Once seen as a niche segment, Bain & Co valued the high-end secondhand market at €43 billion ($46.5 billion) in 2022.

U.K.-based secondhand luxury platform Sellier offers luxury resale both online and in a bricks-and-mortar store in Knightsbridge, one of London’s most upmarket areas. It reported 25% growth in sales last year, its CEO Hanushka Toni told Fortune. 

Toni says pricing on Sellier can differ—for example Hermès bags, which are notoriously hard to buy online and can require long waits, can be bought instantly through secondhand markets, but often at inflated prices.

The dynamics of luxury resale can go against the grain. Take the iconic Hermès Faubourg Birkin Bag, sold by…

Prarthana Prakash

2024-03-03 02:00:00

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