For some people, investing in fashion is about more than just minimising your cost per wear on an item. Fanny Moizant, founder of designer resale site Vestiaire Collective, gives us her guide to getting it right when it comes to investing in fashion.
“I like my money right where I can see it – hanging in my closet” – Carrie Bradshaw
When we talk about ‘investment pieces’ in fashion, we usually mean a piece you’ll spend a little more on and keep forever. But what about when you’re finished with your ‘forever’ pieces? Is there any money (beyond the usual online auction sites) to be made from fashion investing?
Who better to guide you through the process than the woman behind online platform Vestiaire Collective? We put our questions to Fanny Moizant…
Is a fashion piece ever a good investment?
“Yes fashion can definitely be a good investment if you’re smart about how you manage your wardrobe. For some an investment is simply an item they know they will be able to maximise wear on, but it’s possible to get more out of your wardrobe and keep your fashion fund fluid. In the resale market there’s a wide spectrum of items and brands that retain good value for at least 2 to 3 seasons after release, with some pieces managing to achieve slightly above the original resell value if they’ve sold out in store.”
How do you know what to invest in?
“There are three main considerations to look out for when making a fashion investment, the first is quality, good craftsmanship is key to a sound investment and is guaranteed to give an item longevity in the marketplace. The next element to consider is desirability, an item with a high level of buzz around it will retain a high resale value for as long as the buzz lasts. Finally rarity is also a key factor, limited availability of a brand or product will always increase desirability within the resale market.”
When is the right time to sell?
“Again it depends on the brand and item but generally it’s best to sell when a piece is still in demand, usually within the same season of purchase. Overall an item’s desirability decreases significantly after 2-3 seasons from release, with the exception of a small number of collector’s pieces and classic timeless brands.”
When is the right time to buy?
“Picking up on hot brands or items as soon as they’re released will ensure that you can sell them on over the next season as interest continues to build. A designer starting or leaving a brand will increase interest in brand so this can also be a good time to pick up on key pieces from their last or first line. The classic luxury houses such as Hermes and Chanel tend to retain a consistent level of desirability and resale value so there is never really a bad time to buy or sell these brands.”
What are the key things to remember when you’re investing in a fashion piece?
“Remember the three key metrics for a good investment, does the piece you’re considering buying tick at least one of these boxes? Also ensure you keep all of the accessories that come with the item such as dust bags, authentication documents and receipts, this will ensure a stronger resale value.”
Which pieces never go out of style (or lose too much value)?
“Timeless pieces from the classic luxury houses always retain a good value such as the Hermès Birkin, or Kelly bag and the Chanel timeless or 2.55 shoulder bag.”
If you have a piece to sell, and you want to know what it might be worth, try out Vestiaire Collective’s new re-sale calculator.