Designer style: Reasons to buy pre-loved designer items
- Credit: Archant
From investing in exquisite items that have never been worn to enjoying sustainable, greener shopping, there are many reasons to purchase pre-loved designer bags, shoes, clothing and accessories.
Michelle Payne and Rebeka Peacock have just launched Atelier Cheshire, with the aim of helping fashion-lovers buy and sell unique, collectable and valuable designer items.
“During the first lockdown, like many others, I cleared out my wardrobe,” Michelle explains.
“I found I had designer shoes and bags I wanted to sell but could not find the right place to do so – so I started to think there might be a real opportunity to do something here myself.”
Designer clothing online
Michelle, whose background is in marketing, decided to team up with Rebeka Peacock, who ran a promotions business, to launch Atelier Cheshire, focusing on the online sale of luxury brand, authentic preloved bags, shoes, clothing and accessories.
“Customers can visit our private studio by appointment, but our idea was really to utilise social media platforms as much as possible and sell everything via our website, to market to a national and international audience,” she adds.
“The pre-loved industry has changed recently – women are now looking at designer shoes and bags and realising they can be a good investment and they can trade them.”
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“And this is an ideal way of doing so.”
How does buying and selling pre-loved clothing work?
Atelier Cheshire’s approach is collaborative: items are dropped off, sent by post or collected and Michelle and Rebeka work with customers to find the right price.
Michelle explains: “We have to make sure the seller is really happy with the price but also that the item is competitive and will sell.”
Pieces are authenticated via proof of purchase, certification, packaging or labelling.
They are then styled, modelled, photographed and videoed, so the shopper can imagine how they might wear them.
“We work with super brands, such as Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton, through to supercool, high street brands, such as Rixo and Sandro.”
“Prices depend on the item – whether it is vintage, a collector’s piece, new season etc – as well as condition.”
“We research everything to make sure we get the most competitive price and the best return for our sellers,” she says.
“We keep our overheads as low as possible to ensure we can maximise the percentage of sales price we give to the seller and give our customers the best value for money.”
“The industry standard has always been a 50/50 split whereas we guarantee at least 60pc of the sale price will go back to the seller.”
“We take a long-term approach and work with people to build relationships and trust so therefore we are always happy to negotiate.”
The benefits of buying pre-loved clothing
‘There are many advantages to buying and selling pre-loved designer items,’ stresses Michelle.
“Fast fashion has taken over, but at a price – in the UK, an estimated £30 billion of unworn clothes hang in our wardrobes and clothing worth £140 million goes to landfill every year,” she says.
“What we are doing has a positive impact on the planet.”
She continues: “Buying pre-loved clothing is also a great way of affording luxury items without breaking the bank – and getting hold of things that are no longer available.”
“Someone may have just used something a couple of times or it could be brand new and we can still offer it at less than retail price.”
She adds: “Furthermore, because the luxury goods sector sees a lot of price hikes, these items can be really good investments.”
Designer fashion on Instagram
Proud to be supporting their local economy, Michelle and Rebeka are hoping to develop an eager following of those who are as passionate as they are about pre-loved designer items.
“Our goal is to build a really strong community,” she agrees.
“We want to create a very private, completely confidential service, which appeals to those people who want to buy and sell these very special, and often rare, high-quality items.”