One of the spaces in the retail market currently experiencing incredible growth is the secondhand market. Websites like The RealReal and Vestiaire Collective are seeing not only huge increases in customer bases but they're also receiving rather sizable checks in funding rounds spurring on further gains. Now flush with cash, these businesses are looking to grow their customer base.
For its latest expansion, Vestiaire Collective looked closer to home. The e-tailer realized it had an incredible treasure trove of vintage finds that was going largely untapped; customers had to really know what they were looking for to find the pieces. The brand decided to create a hub where they could really showcase the vintage pieces on the site. "Anne Marie [Blanchet], the head of vintage, realized we curate a lot [of vintage], and the more you show nice pieces, the more you have nice pieces," explains co-founder Sophie Hersan.
To kick things off, Vestiaire Collective chose a "Vintage Muse," and they couldn't have picked a more perfect ambassador: Chloë Sevigny's personal style is largely based in vintage pieces. Sevigny has personally curated a selection of items on Vestiaire Collective, ranging from Versace shorts to an Hermès handbag. "She really just went through and hunted, and that's our favorite sort of customer, someone who really wants to go through and find the one piece that got away," says Samina Virk, the head of Vestiaire Collective in the U.S.
Both Hersan and Virk say the time is right for promoting vintage, because so much of today's fashion is inspired by the past. But they also plan to continue to promote in-season finds, as well. "There's something amazing about having the vintage product next to something new, and being able to play around and really express yourself by mixing all of it together," says Virk. And they certainly have the resources to do it: Vestiaire's latest round of funding raised an additional $62 million, enabling the e-commerce site to expand even further.
"I'm growing the U.S. team so we can get people more excited about selling and be able to handle and scale with that; we're rolling out to Canada, and later this year we're going to launch in Asia," says Virk. "When we launch in a new market, it benefits all markets because everyone accesses the same product."