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Maximalism Overtakes Minimalism, Gen Z-ers Prefer Secondhand, and More Retail Insights from The RealReal

Also, everyone wants Supreme and Demna.
Street style from Paris Couture Week. Photo: Imaxtree

Street style from Paris Couture Week. Photo: Imaxtree

Most, if not all retailers have data on shoppers that they use to plan their buys and other strategies each season, but secondhand e-commerce startups have actually made a habit of compiling and releasing these insights to the public. 

The RealReal was the first to publicly report its shoppers' habits and preferences in 2015, and competitor Thredup soon followed suit. Of course, these insights aren't specific to the resale market; they're a reflection of overall industry trends and where the retail and fashion landscape is headed, which becomes more accurate as "re-commerce" becomes more popular (which it is, quickly). While last year's findings encompassed four million members, this year there are six million.

Today, The RealReal is releasing its findings from the first half of 2017. From the brands for which searches have skyrocketed (Vetements, Supreme) to shifting preferences from minimalism to maximalism and Gen-Zers' early adoption to consignment, read on for the most interesting tidbits.

Industry buzz boosts demand for cool brands like Supreme

While standby luxury labels like Gucci, Saint Laurent and Chloe still make up most of The RealReal's top 20 brands, less established labels with lots of recent industry buzz — whether it's the result of popularity among influencers and celebrities, a cool approach to branding or a newsworthy moment — have seen a major surge in demand. Searches have gone up 636 percent for Self-Portrait, 548 percent for Vetements, 730 percent for Off-White and a whopping 1,500 percent (?!) for Supreme. Also, demand for Balenciaga has risen 36 percent, with The RealReal suggesting it could be the "next Gucci."

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Maximalism is overtaking minimalism

While some of us will remain minimalists for life, those who tend to shift their aesthetics with the changing tides of fashion are leaning more towards maximalism, thanks in large part to — you guessed it — Gucci's Alessandro Michele. As evidence, the report points to a few facts: Gucci's sell-through on The RealReal is 10 percent stronger than Céline's; searches for graphic and mixed prints are up 37 percent; and searches for Missoni rose 30 percent.

It's a good time to sell your luxury backpack

Backpacks have seen the largest growth in resale value — 40 percent — of all handbag categories. Sell! Sell! Sell!

Gen Z-ers are leading the charge when it comes to online resale

They are The RealReal's fastest-growing customer base, outpacing millennials by 35 percent.

Consigned engagement rings are still on the rise

People are increasingly purchasing used engagement rings, with sales up 150 percent and the category garnering the most clicks on the site. Also, 33 percent of these sales were made on mobile devices.

BRB, going to go buy some diamonds on my phone real quick.

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