Seeing RESEE, the desirable designer resale platform
The fashion revolution is in full swing. Designers are dumping their wasteful ways and privileging a circular model when it comes to their collections, all whilst committing to finding sustainable alternatives. Think Stella McCartney, who was one of the first to use fake fur and ban animal skin. Or Balenciaga, who recently launched a recycling initiative online for pre-loved brand products. And if the trend bears the seal of environmental nobility, it is also a lucrative affair. Boston Consulting Group recently estimated the worldwide resale market at $100 to $120 billion -- more than three times what it was in 2020.
For Paris-based, luxury reselling platform RESEE, spearheaded by ex-Vogue USA editor Sofia Bernardin and stylist Sabrina Marshall, this phenomenon was both a blessing and a calling. And if the profitability results of resale were attractive enough to decide to invest and form a business, a strong passion for fashion is what really brought both women to take the leap back in 2013. "One day, we were having coffee and started discussing the fact that we were constantly seeking rare, archived pieces -- such as those from Nicolas Ghesquière during his Balenciaga era. We realized that there wasn't any platform to source these pieces out easily. That was our epiphany. RESEE was born soon after, and growth really skyrocketed when Covid hit," explains Sofia.
In the midst of Paris Fashion Week, RESEE organized a 3-day pop-up focusing exclusively on selling 200 rare, sourced-out Celine pieces from the brand's Phoebe Philo era. And to do so, Sofia and Sabrina reached out to fashion favorite Instagram page OldCelineArchive, which built a cult following of Philo aficionados from when the designer was at the helm of Celine. The account owner, a genuine Philophiliac, has amassed more than 100 pieces over the years, pieces she decided to sell with RESEE.
Celine's ex-designer is still relevant 5 years after leaving the Parisian house, with LVMH having announced that it would finance any independent venture the designer would pursue. Yet it's been a year since the news came out, and it seems to be a stagnant project -- yet another testimony that Philo is elusive, and embodies that of the rarified and the exclusive.
As a result, one could find in the latter's brand-new Parisian offices an Aladdin's cave full of coveted creations -- also for a discounted price (items sold from $300-$5000). Whilst rummaging through these sartorial splendors, co-founder Sofia Bernardin explains that each piece is dug up by "ambassadors everywhere, in cities like London, New York, Séoul and, of course, Paris." She adds that RESEE offers "personal sourcing available to clients: if someone is looking for a particular piece that we don't have available on the RESEE site, we have someone on our team go above and beyond to find it for them."
If RESEE (almost) exclusively caters to women's fashion, Sofia underlines the fact that a mens section is in the pipeline. And in the meantime, both genders can find middle ground in the "accessories" section of the site, where notebooks, collectors' art books, designer ties and unisex scarves collide.
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