Second-hand luxury goods in fashion during the pandemic

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The second-hand luxury goods market was popular long before the pandemic hit, but the lockdown has created the perfect environment for it to grow and prosper.

Since March of last year, it has been a tumultuous time for various sectors of the economy with physical establishments closing their doors, travel bans, limits on international shipping of goods and online stores unable to sell. only essential items.

As a result, people around the world have had to readjust their usual spending habits.

For the average consumer, these times offered the opportunity to save money on take out, weekend outings, gasoline, and the occasional splurge like concert tickets or flights, but for the wealthy. , who normally spent their free time browsing upscale boutiques, attending art auctions, and traveling abroad, they saved more than they could spend and began to look for new ways of doing business. ” exercise their consumer rights – choosing to invest at the same time.

According to a Forbes article, before the pandemic, if you were looking for something that would rise in value, that could be displayed and look good, art was the number one contender, but Covid-19 completely revamped the rules. luxury investing.

“For the first time in five years, the value of investable art has turned negative, forcing the wealthy to seek luxury investments in more unusual places,” Forbes reported.

Crafted from leather with exquisite craftsmanship that requires a type of tailoring rare and two centuries old in France, Hermès Birkin bags are hand sewn, polished and painted with the utmost attention to detail.

It’s no wonder that these fashion accessories, along with other designer handbags, were among the top-grossing luxury investments last year.

However, when the economy opened up again, it wasn’t your typical designer stores that gained popularity. Instead, while other forms of retail have been slow to recover from the shock, second-hand luxury goods retailers have thrived.

Luxity is Africa’s largest source of authentic second-hand shoes, bags and luxury accessories. Last year they increased their sales by 63%.

In a State of The Luxury Market Africa 2020 report released by the brand, it was revealed: “Essentially, the local consumer base for luxury goods consists of a small base of wealthy South Africans and foreign visitors in the country.

“Despite this, luxury brands are still (or increasingly) drawn to South Africa by an emerging and growing middle class. In fact, South Africa – with its already established luxury market, infrastructure and quality shopping malls – is emerging as something of a shopping destination, as other countries on the African continent have yet to these offers.

According to trends researcher and analyst Nicola Cooper – the founder of Nicola Cooper & Associates – the growth of this market could also be attributed to luxury goods becoming more affordable due to the foreclosure, attracting more Millennials and Gen Z groups. who are starting to view luxury items as an investment – especially handbags.

“Millennials and Generation Z are groups of Earth lovers who know that the future of our planet is in their hands.

“As they begin to gain more purchasing power, businesses are starting to realize how attractive they are in deciding what’s in fashion,” Cooper said.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, fast fashion produces 10% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions each year and, in addition, is also responsible for the pollution of landfills.

As a result, thrift stores, antiques, and online marketplaces have become goldmines for this group to explore, discover vintage brands, new styles and aesthetics from previous decades, and most importantly, put an end to fast fashion.

As the younger generation continues to support slow fashion by purchasing pre-loved designer items, the reputation of second-hand luxury fashion once considered “cheap” and unwanted is being replaced by much more elegant fashion.

Thrifting has entered the online arena in a big way with more and more companies developing their business model.

RealReal, ThreadUp, Rebag, and Vestiaire Collective are just a few of the top brands online whose websites boast of having sites like Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace and more.

Social media is a second aspect of why this industry has become so popular among this age group. Influencers like popular YouTuber Emma Chamberlain (10.2 million subscribers) and Claudia Sulewski (2 million subscribers) have made branding deals with many of these sites by posting videos of themselves in the process. to save in Los Angeles, as well as filming races showing all their finds on these websites. , always making sure to offer their loyal subscribers discount codes to use.

Plus, celebrities including Lena Dunham and sisters Jenner, Kendall and Kylie are big supporters of these companies, teaming up with them to spice up or downsize their own closets. Kendall and her sisters Khloe and Kylie have already teamed up with The Real Real to sell over 200 items of their own wardrobe.

“Generation Y consumers are estimated to represent 50% of the luxury market by 2025.

“The new luxury consumer, in most cases, is classified among people belonging to the younger generation.

“About 23 to 26 years old, this group is well advanced in their careers and approaching their maximum spending age,” Cooper said.

“This increase in purchasing power pushes them to enter the luxury market and they currently represent around 32% of the world market.

“Stories and narratives are a key point of contact here, and they are strongly linked to the desire for immersive advertising for luxury goods and this carries over to second-hand or second-hand items.

“Not only does it come up with the key narrative for the brand itself, but also reflects the key beliefs or ethics defined by sustainability and the fight against waste.”

The same strategy has been used in the South African context.

Real Housewives of Johannesburg stars, socialites and businesswomen Gugu Khathi and Brinnette Seopela have appreciated Luxity’s offerings.

On the brand’s Instagram page, they recently posted a photo of Khathi being offered a tray of beautiful watches to choose from.

In the comments section, her friend Seopela said, “My best friend only buys the best from our favorite store.”

Influencer, model and social media actress Kamo Modisakeng also features a pair of red-bottomed shoes on her page with a caption that reads: “Shoes speak louder than words and these Louboutins scream” flawless fashion. ” “

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