Where to Buy Secondhand Luxury Fashion and Accessories in Ireland - The Gloss Magazine

Where to Buy Secondhand Luxury Fashion and Accessories in Ireland

Secondhand chic is nothing new for these Irish retailers who have been ahead of the trend, some for decades. Who’s buying and what’s selling asks Penny McCormick …

“I can’t stock enough Chanel or Louis Vuitton,” says Ella de Guzman, founder of Siopaella Dublin (pictured above). “People saved during the pandemic and now want to splurge on investment items. Currently there is a global supply issue so customers who can’t buy luxury goods firsthand are turning to pre-loved.” Her advice to sellers: Look after your purchases so you can make a profit on their resale value.

The Circular Room launched at Arnotts in 2020, in partnership with pre-loved store Designer Exchange. Customers can make an appointment for valuations on items and receive a gift card in exchange for pre-loved accessories. This service, recently launched at Brown Thomas as well, is part of Brown Thomas Arnotts group’s ongoing commitment to a more sustainable approach to retail.

For those looking for an entry into pre-loved clothing, Armelle Mitchell, of No 38 Dunville, Ranelagh, Dublin 6 offers the perfect modern edit of mid-level luxury brands like Anine Bing, Maje, Ganni, Rixo and Les Coyotes des Paris. Amy Huberman is one of her many devotees. “Stop hanging on to good shoes,” Mitchell advises. “Nothing dates you like a shoe shape, from an almond toe to a YSL Tribute.” If you want to sell some shoes, ideally Mitchell seeks lightly worn shoes (Golden Goose trainers are top sellers). “Often a pristine shoe box and dust bag help with sales,” she advises.

Moncler puffas, Burberry checks and Balenciaga trainers are some of the bestselling items at Labels, Lisburn Road, Belfast, owned by Gerard Graham. “It’s a buyer’s market,” he explains citing lockdown, an awareness of sustainability and fashion trends that has resulted in a glut of designer casual wear. Design, condition and age are the criteria he uses when taking in items. He takes a 50 per cent commission.

Designer Exchange Dublin is on Exchequer Street, Dublin 2 and at The Circular Room, at Arnotts.

Soaring demand is matched by a shift in mindset relates Ruth McGalmont, a second generation vintage expert at Deja Vu, Belfast. “My mother Deirdre [Seaby] initially opened the store in Thurles, Co Tipperary before relocating to Belfast 39 years ago. She has witnessed how the shame of shopping secondhand has switched to smugness. “Now customers keep mum about the suppliers of their designer bargains.” McGalmont mainly sells items no more than 18 months old though makes exceptions for classic labels such as Max Mara. She’s happy to see women now making more considered decisions rather than random purchases.

This is echoed at Cobbler’s Wardrobe, Sandymount, Dublin 4, where owner Hollie Creedon has charted the rise in conscious consumers over the last 18 months. “More mothers are shopping for their daughters and encouraging them to consider buying pre-loved pieces too. French labels with that cool, comfortable aesthetic such as Isabel Marant, Zadig & Voltaire, APC and Maison Margiela are big sellers for us.”

Rhoda McDonagh of The Designer Room also in Dublin 4, pivoted from renting occasion wear to entering the pre-loved market in the last two years. McDonagh is the conduit for selling dresses via the “Designer Room Outlet” and she also gives clients the option to “Become a Lender” if they are not ready to sell a dress just yet. “It’s a win-win – wardrobes are not cluttered with dresses that aren’t being used.” Designer brands which have passed through her hands include Simone Rocha, Roland Mouret, Victoria Beckham and Rixo.

Karen Anderson of Unit K admits InstaStories has been invaluable to the growth of her business during Covid-19 in turn helping footfall to her Sandymount concept store. She is positive about the future: “Women will always want to buy beautiful clothes. Thankfully I have some fabulous consignors who are delighted to sell on these most coveted pieces. The circular economy is alive and well in Ireland, and I have no doubt it will continue to grow.”

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