Style / Trends

How to Shop Designer Vintage (Without Getting Screwed)

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LXR & Co., a new vintage luxury website that hosts a series of weekly sales featuring designer brands like Hermès, Chanel and Louis Vuitton at up to 80% off retail prices, launched just a few months ago but has already attracted thousands of users. We spoke with CEO Jean-Philippe Robert about which brands retain the most value, how to maximize resale prices, how to spot fakes and more.

TheFashionSpot: How did the idea for the site come about?

Jean-Philippe Robert: My partner, Frederick Mannella, was building one of the largest vintage luxury wholesale companies in America, and I had just sold my previous business, which was a flash-sale website. Having seen the a lack of quality in the current vintage luxury market online, I saw that this was a market with great potential. We had done some work together in the past through our previous businesses and got along well, so we decided to join forces and launch this new venture, LXRCo.com, combining each of our strengths into one platform.

tFS: What are some of the biggest challenges with sourcing your pieces?

JPR: Sourcing is our biggest strength actually, because we work with trusted partners all around the world and have a team of product experts who have a deep knowledge of the global luxury vintage market. This is why we are able to offer incredible products at such good prices and ensure that no fake merchandise ever lands in our, or our customers', hands. In the next year we want to start buying more from our online clients directly to expand our offerings.

tFS: Where do you think are some of the best places for everyday people to shop The Dish on Shopping Designer Vintagevintage/secondhand?

JPR: On LXRCo.com of course! No, but really, unless you have the patience to dig through thrift stores and have no issues risking spending a ton of money on something that may be fake, LXRCo.com is really the safest and easiest bet. It was created specifically to offer the best luxury vintage to people across the U.S. and Europe… it's just a click away for anyone really. We offer a daily selection of vintage luxury premium items, our fast inventory roll allows us to cover the needs of a wide range of customers. Our product selection varies from Dior $75 necklaces up to $60K Crocodile Birkins!

tFS: What are some of the best brands to invest in for long term value? 

JPR: Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Cartier and Rolex (and other high-end watch brands) will definitely keep their value (it might even increase in certain cases) if well taken care of. However, be careful with any ''affordable luxury'' brands.

tFS: Does the designer impact value (for example McCartney Chloe vs. Lagerfeld)?

JPR: The vintage price depends on the original selling price and the condition of the item. Obviously, certain trendy brands may not be as valuable in a few years when their designer is not the designer of the moment anymore.

tFS: How do you go about verifying authenticity? How can everyday people verify authenticity when shopping?

JPR: It is hard to provide general guidelines to authenticate items. Material quality, shape, stitching and zippers are usually the easiest way to spot a fake bag, but after that, it is really specific to every model and brand. My advice is to shop strictly in trusted vintage stores; avoid eBay and be careful when the deal seems too good to be true.

The Dish on Shopping Designer Vintage

tFS: In terms of damage, how much is too much? Can you give us some examples as to how damage affects price?

JPR: Holes, big stains and heavy leather fatigue are the main signs that a certain bag's life is over. The price of the items depend on the condition of the items as rated on our standard scale (see image above). Discounts are different for every type of product and brand, they range between 30% and 80% off.

tFS: Any storage tips to keep pieces in optimal longterm condition?

JPR: Here is the answer from our product experts: I would say that there are three things that can destroy your bag.

  1. First being water. Water can destroy your bag over time.
  2. The second is heat. Never ever leave your bags or accessories in your car in summer. The summer heat will cause discoloration or even melting. Both are beyond repair. Keep your valuable accessories away from any sources of heat altogether.
  3. The third is cold. The cold winter hardens soft leather and will make it crack.

Bags need to be kept in a room where the temperature is regulated. I suggest stuffing the bag with white cotton towels or sheets and placing in the sleeper bag in the box when not in use. This helps control the humidity and keeps the shape of your bag.

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