Business

Fifty Years of Consignment, a Shopkeeper’s Story

Fifty Years of Consignment, a Shopkeeper’s Story

Along an isolated stretch of retail in Locust Valley, N.Y., there’s a beauty salon, a bakery, a spa, a plumber — and then there’s the Again & Again consignment boutique.The 1,000-square-foot corner shop is filled with vintage and designer clothing, antiques, paintings, posters, figurines, home decor and kitchenware.
“You can’t ever predict what’s going to come in,” said Clotilde Lopes, owner of Again & Again, located at 294 Forest Avenue. “The clothing we change every season. Right now, it’s spring and summer. I look at the condition of the garment and who designed it, if it’s fashionable or updated fashion. I have an eye for this. But whatever we don’t sell goes back to the owner or to charity.”

This year, Lopes, who immigrated to the U.S. from Lima, Peru, when she was 17, celebrates 50 years in the secondhand business. Consider her a pioneer in a retail sector that only within the last decade started to flourish as recycling to help preserve the environment became top of mind, particularly among younger generations. Last March she celebrated her 85th birthday. Lopes still single-handedly works the shop, six days a week. Through all those years in business, she also raised a family. She has four children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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Again & Again has endured through recessions, the pandemic, mounting competition from much bigger retail businesses entering the circular economy, and without the benefit of a location that draws much shopper traffic, though occupying a corner site enhances visibility from the street. Again & Again has no website or the wherewithal for automation, systems, or marketing, aside from placing occasional ads in the local Glen Cove Pilot newspaper, and a lot of word-of-mouth. It’s quintessential old-school retailing, and a one-woman show.
“I like to meet people and build relationships,” said Lopes. “A lot of my customers and clients have been coming here for 30 to 40 years. It’s a place to go. I listen to their life stories. They tell me about their families, their marriages and sometimes come crying to me, but I tell them don’t worry. It will work out but don’t spend all your money on a lawyer.”
Clients have become friends, some even bringing Lopes food they baked at home, bottles of wine, or flowers. One client recently gave her a jar of homemade potato leek soup. “Customers always come back. Sometimes I feel like a second mother to them.”
She said she gets a mix of immigrants and Americans shopping the store. “A lot of immigrants like to dress nice, but they often can’t afford to get brand new clothing with good quality. All the clothes I sell are very lightly used.” Helping dress the immigrant population on Long Island’s North Shore was part of the motivation for being in business, she said.
But also a lot of dealers and decorators frequently come by, for something valuable and to resell. “I know each and every one one of them,” said Lopes, who splits the proceeds of the sale of merchandise, 50-50 with those providing Again & Again with products.
The Again & Again business dates back to when Maria McCarthy in 1973 launched the “Why Not Shop” consignment shop also on Forest Avenue, and Lopes became a partner. That business did so well it expanded with the opening of Again & Again in the late 1980s, for used furniture and household goods. In 1993, McCarthy passed away and Lopes became the sole owner of the business. She merged the two businesses into the one location that exists today and refocused it on women’s clothing and accessories as well as home furnishings.

Again & Again, in Locust Valley, N.Y.

Asked if consignment shoppers haggle much over prices, Lopes replied: “Not really. My prices are very reasonable.”
Recently, a Mikimoto pearl bracelet was sold for $800. “It could have been worth $2,000 or $3,000,” Lopes said. Last year, a Chanel women’s suit was sold for $1,200. Furs as well as wedding gowns have been selling pretty steadily, and Lopes recalls not long ago selling a Louis Vuitton travel bag and some Vince sportswear. On a recent day the window was filled with lamps, candelabras, hand-printed plates, Tiffany crystal candlestick holders, a Jewish menorah and more.
“You never know what people are going to give up,” Lopes said. “I had one customer in here who bought an antique Chinese carved wood figurine. He was so enthusiastic about it, he put it on the web, and I got a lot of customers after that.”

Fashion Resale Site Loop Generation Gets New Investment, Opens Store

Fashion Resale Site Loop Generation Gets New Investment, Opens Store

LONDON — Two British high street entrepreneurs have taken minority stakes in the London-based resale marketplace Loop Generation, which offers fashion and high-end clothing, accessories and unused beauty products online and offline.Touker Suleyman, the owner of clothing labels Ghost and Finery, has invested in Loop Generation alongside Tom Singh, the entrepreneur and founder of the British high street chain New Look.
Suleyman is a British-Turkish Cypriot fashion retail entrepreneur, investor and reality TV personality appearing on the BBC show “Dragon’s Den.” His company, Low Profile Group, owns the U.K. shirtmaker Hawes & Curtis, dress label Ghost and the womenswear brand Finery.

Loop Generation was founded in 2019 by Polish entrepreneurs Ewa Kozieja and Piotr Krzymowski as on online platform. It opened its first physical store at 295 Brompton Road in London’s Chelsea last week.

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Loop Generation stocks pre-loved women and menswear, accessories and footwear from brands including Chanel, Balmain, Saint Laurent, Gucci and Fendi, as well as unused beauty products from brands such as 111 Skin, La Mer and Jo Malone.

A look inside the new Loop Generation store in London.
Courtesy image

“I believe in the importance of driving sustainability within the fashion industry, and part of that is recycling luxury and pre-loved clothing,” Suleyman said. “I’m delighted to see the brand’s e-commerce platform come to life within the new store in Chelsea.”
Although Suleyman and Singh did not disclose the size of their investments, Loop Generation said the money is mainly being put toward opening the first permanent retail location, and growing their “already thriving community of online buyers and sellers.”
Loop Generation said its key objective is to help reduce clothing waste. In addition, each item is delivered to customers in packaging that is fully biodegradable. The company stands apart from other resale sites here as it stocks beauty products and has a standalone physical store where customers can try on items.
The company acts as a consignment agency and takes a flat commission of 33 percent on sales of clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories. The commission is 23 percent on beauty products.
Singh, who founded New Look in 1969, has investments in the retail, technology, real estate and renewable energy sectors. He is also an active philanthropist and social investor. New Look is a fixture on the U.K. high street with more than 900 stores worldwide.

Sustainability Strides at Copenhagen Fashion Week

Sustainability Strides at Copenhagen Fashion Week

“As an agenda-setting fashion week, it’s crucial that we continue to grow our international positioning. In other words, Copenhagen Fashion Week will not reduce the number of international guests,” said the report, highlighting that hospitality-related emissions actually increased by 7.3 metric tons in 2021. “When we set the target to reduce our emissions, we had hoped to explore other alternatives for traveling and were enthusiastic about technological advancements to lower the impact of flights in general. But both have proven too optimistic and we will take this into consideration when target-setting for the upcoming three-year period.”
To counteract the issue, the event will explore options like train travel and guest guides for traveling mindfully. All participating brands will also be charged a carbon offsetting fee to ensure that the emissions from their events are all offset by Copenhagen Fashion Week’s appointed partner.
A number of other goals, focusing on social responsibility, were also reached in the last year, including the implementation of a code of conduct for all suppliers; running an anti-racism and intersectionality workshop for all Copenhagen Fashion Week employees, and fostering partnerships with nongovernmental organizations, including Fashion Revolution and The Soulfuls, supporting the latter’s mentorship program.

Copenhagen Fashion Week, fall 2022: Holzweiler

Gearing up to the full implementation of its 2023 sustainability requirements, the showcase ran a series of pilot tests and individual meetings with local brands to guide them through the new set of expectations they will have to meet; the information they will have to share, and self-assessment surveys they will have to complete to be part of the event.

“Copenhagen Fashion Week decided to focus on the 18 Minimum Standards as the main admission criterion and all brands must comply fully to be part of the official show schedule,” added the report. “We believe that these minimum standards will allow for a targeted approach toward more responsible business practices in the fashion industry. Each consecutive year after the minimum standards come into effect in January 2023, we may add additional standards to advance sustainability efforts within the industry.”

This is no doubt a full-on set of demands, creating an extra layer of work for brands when organizing their seasonal shows. But in fact, the Scandis were happy to make the investment and are achieving significant milestones of their own, to ensure they meet all requirements by next year.

By Malene Birger for instance, which is under the new direction of sisters Maja and Ellen Dixdotter, has been in the process of reducing the size of each seasonal collection by over 50 percent, moving its production to Europe, and reducing the amount of dyed and mixed fabrics used, all in the last year. For its latest fall 2022 range, presented via a digital film, 43 percent of the materials were dye-free and the Dixdotters are set on establishing more measurable goals to map out the company’s next decade.

By Malene Birger, fall 2022
Courtesy of By Malene Birger

“It was just about listening to our gut and what we felt was right,” said Maja Dixdotter, the company’s chief executive officer, who started implementing swift changes from early on and is on a mission to move By Malene Birger to a more premium luxury positioning, spotlighting seasonless garments, like the cozy knits, chic silk dresses, and neutral-hued tailoring they presented for fall. “We cut down the amount of suppliers we use, created partnerships closer to home in Europe and are now only working with really high-end fabrics to bring this new vision to life. Not looking at trends just feels true to us,” added the sisters.
At Stine Goya, while husband-and-wife duo Stine Goya and Thomas Hertz have an ambitious growth plan for the next year, they are still making sure they execute their ambitions sustainably: their new swimwear category was made of purely recycled nylon fabrics, while a new biodegradable rubber material was introduced in the mainline collection.

Oslo-based Holzweiler has also been heavily investing in sustainable fabric development, adding recycled wool accessories to its offer and presenting a series of worn-effect leather pieces, made of upcycled leather. The message? “Garments which look or feel used still have value. We want to inspire our audience to find pieces in their own wardrobe which might have been worn out and see beauty in that or give them new life,” said Maria Skappel Holzweiler, the label’s designer, also pointing to the brand’s new resale and rental services.

Copenhagen Fashion Week, fall 2022: Stine Goya

Soulland, one of the city’s established streetwear players, has also started a detailed Responsibility Report where it outlines the work the company does across the sustainability sector. In the last year the brand said it has limited its manufacturing suppliers to 13 long-term partners in order to maintain visibility over factory conditions; it also cut down the amount of mills it sources fabric from, and is in the process of mapping out raw material suppliers.
In addition, the amount of sustainable fabrics — meaning deadstock, recycled, or organic — used in seasonal ranges was increased from 57 percent to 71 percent in 2021, while the company is committing to not building sets for its shows and doing away with goodie bags to minimize its footprint.

Soulland, fall 2022
Courtesy of Soulland

Saks Potts, too, which first became known for its fur-trimmed leather coats, is moving away from real fur and the more trend-led candy colors it was famous for in favor of more practical, timeless pieces made of natural or recycled fibers. “We are working really closely with Copenhagen Fashion Week and our new head of sustainability to keep moving forward. We talk about responsibility rather than sustainability because there’s really nothing sustainable about fashion,” said Barbara Potts.
As for the new generation of designers grabbing the headlines at Copenhagen Fashion Week, sustainable design is second nature. There’s Amalie Roge Hove, who produces ribbed-knit pieces in small production runs and one-size-fits-all, stretchy fabrics that eliminate waste, as well as buzzy labels such as (di)vision and Kerne.milk, which have upcycling at their core.
“Even as we grow, we want to keep that intimate, handmade element and focus on our sustainability plan even more, going deeper into our supply chain and textile choices,” said Kerne.milk founder Marie Mark.

Lampoo Takes Secondhand Experience to the Storefronts

Lampoo Takes Secondhand Experience to the Storefronts

MILAN — The opening in December 2020 of a brick-and-mortar store in Milan’s Brera district was a strong sign that Italy-based consignment marketplace Lampoo was trying to expand its footprint beyond the digital realm.Now the company, which is growing its scope rapidly, has forged ties with premium Italian retailers to bring the secondhand experience to storefronts. This step is in sync with founder and chief executive officer Enrico Trombini’s vision regarding the role physical retail can play in the resale market, which is expected to be worth $77 billion by 2025, according to resale marketplace ThredUp.
“In two to three years we will no longer buy our fashion the way we’re used to, [shifting the model] is part of the survival of retail,” said Trombini, comparing fashion to the automotive market, which has increasingly moved toward rental and leasing to keep growing.

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“Flagship stores and multibrand retailers will allow customers to give back used goods in exchange for credit to be channeled into new clothing,” he said. “Stores are going to become a pivotal hub for circular fashion; it’s unlikely they will be entirely cut out from this business model,” he offered.
As part of the project Lampoo has sealed a deal with Italy’s Camera Buyer – The Best Shops and has already convinced marquee multibrand stores in the country including Como’s Tessabit; Spinnaker, which counts several stores in the Liguria region; Julian Fashion based in Ferrara, and Al Duca D’Aosta, among others.
The multibrand stores will serve as a gathering point for secondhand goods, wherever these were acquired. The products will then be collected, evaluated and priced by Lampoo following a procedure named “Certified by Lampoo.” The e-tailer will place fashion and accessories on its site, remitting the value to the stores, which can convert it into credit for their clients.

A Lampoo campaign.
Courtesy of Lampoo

A range of 30 top-tier brands’ handbags are considered hot tickets, meaning that Lampoo will pay the stores for their values immediately upon evaluation, while ready-to-wear pieces are offered on the platform on a consignment basis.
“This service represents a trigger for stores’ customers in that it boosts their loyalty and supports upselling,” Trombini said. “Customers are likely to spend more than their credit’s value. Overall it’s a service with which retailers can engage their clients.”
In his view, online consignment platforms and shops offering similar services will coexist. “It’s up to customers to decide whether they want credit to be spent on new goods, thus going into stores, or fresh money to invest on other leisure activities and sell directly on e-tailers,” the entrepreneur said.
After jump-starting the project, which is officially kicking off at the beginning of February, Trombini has a busy 2022 ahead, he said.
Internationalization is key, and while Lampoo already generates 45 percent of its revenues outside Italy, and especially in the U.K., France, Germany and the U.S., he see greater potential in foreign markets.
At the same time, he’s consolidating the consignment site’s Italian business, with the opening of a second brick-and-mortar store planned for the third quarter of the year to flank the existing unit in Milan’s Brera district. On the operational front, Trombini is aiming to ramp up technology enablers to speed processes and become more competitive.

The Lampoo store in Milan’s Brera district.
Courtesy of Lampoo

After receiving two rounds of investment since its launch in March 2020, the most recent of 6 million euros last July, Lampoo is now looking at a third round to further spur growth. Trombini stayed mum about 2021 revenues, but he said they tripled compared to 2020 and are expected to make a similar jump in 2022.

The Trends That Dominated StockX, The RealReal in 2021 and What’s Next

The Trends That Dominated StockX, The RealReal in 2021 and What’s Next

Luxury consignor The RealReal and streetwear reseller StockX both dropped their latest trend insight reports Thursday, showcasing what’s hot and not in the resale world.For its report, The RealReal combed shopping insights of more than 24 million shoppers, comparing year-over-year data from January to November for the past two years. The company touted the stat that 40 percent of its shoppers are swapping fast fashion for resale with many more getting into the selling fold.
The RealReal president Rati Sahi Levesque attributes resale’s success to a cross-generational appeal, in the report, describing the behavior as a “handoff happening between generations” — one that’s aided by a desire for uniqueness.

And there’s no better place to begin than Gucci, a brand that is considered a gateway for first-timers, as The RealReal noted. The brand was the most popular for first-time shoppers and consignors alike.

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In 2021, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada and Chanel were consistently in the top ranks for resale value. As for contemporary brands, Rag & Bone and Tory Burch took the lead.
But everything comes back around.
The RealReal noted ‘90s designers are being increasingly sanctioned into resale relevance with Jean Paul Gaultier dresses and Thierry Mugler skirt suits both up 70 percent in resale value. Per its report, a Gaultier dress can earn up to $2,100, while a Mugler skirt suit set can earn a solid $952 in resale value.
What’s trending now?
Vivienne Westwood corsets, vintage Prada coats and Missoni cardigans were in the trending mix. The RealReal urges shoppers ready to sell now to part with their Chrome Hearts Trucker hats, Patek Philippe Nautilus wares, vintage minidresses from Emilio Pucci (a designer who also got top play in StockX’s report), Chanel costume jewelry and Bottega Veneta Chelsea boots for maximum return on investment.
Meanwhile, Millennials still can’t get enough of the Fendi Baguette or Louis Vuitton Multicolore Monogram bags, perhaps stoked by its resurgence in “And Just Like That” and ensuing TikTok demand where #FendiBaguette alone has more than 2.7 million views. The LV Multicolore bags were a colorful reminder of Y2K peak, though the designs by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami were discontinued in 2015. But the 59-year-old’s cultural imprint carries on.
In StockX’s culture index report for 2022, Murakami earned the number-two placement for art prints, behind Obey founder and street artist Shepard Fairey.
On the sneaker side, Jordan continues to lead the top brands for StockX with the Air Jordan I sneaker being the top silhouette in total trades for the fourth year in a row. Nike followed Jordan in both brand ranking and top silhouettes. The Nike Dunk increased four places to take the number-two spot in top silhouettes — the biggest year-over-year jump — followed by the Nike Air Force I sneaker.
Adidas, New Balance and Converse rounded out StockX’s top five brands in 2021, while others like Bape, Reebok and Crocs showed promise on the platform. Crocs alone maintained an average price premium of 98 percent for the year.
Supreme remained the leader in apparel with an average price premium of 60 percent above retail, followed by Fear of God, Vlone, which climbed five spots, Cactus Jack, which fell two spots, and Nike landing fifth. The Yeezy x Gap blue hoodie and black jacket led the top collaborations for the year, followed by Supreme’s collaborations with Emilio Pucci and Tiffany. Telfar moved up 18 spots to reach the top 10 most-traded apparel and accessory brands.

In the year ahead, StockX believes everything from books to sports like tennis, racing, gaming and golf will take center stage.

Neiman Marcus Steps Up Sustainability Efforts

Neiman Marcus Steps Up Sustainability Efforts

The Neiman Marcus Group, which is developing an environmental, social and governance strategy, has formed partnerships with the Textile Exchange and Give Back Box to advance ESG initiatives.
The Dallas-based luxury retailer is also broadening its partnership with Fashionphile.
In April 2019, Neiman’s became the first luxury retailer to make a long-term investment in resale by acquiring a minority stake in Fashionphile, a reseller of preowned luxury handbags and accessories. There are six Fashionphile “selling studios” where consumers can drop off used merchandise and get paid for it inside Neiman’s stores in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Beverly Hills and Fashion Island, Calif.; NorthPark, Dallas and Scottsdale, Ariz. According to Neiman’s, more than 39,000 items have been dropped off at the stores, extending their life cycle.
Nine more Neiman Marcus stores will have the Fashionphile service within the next nine months, including this fall at the Boca Raton, Fla.; King of Prussia, Pa.; Atlanta, and Austin, Texas stores. In the spring, Fashionphile studios will be in the San Antonio; Las Vegas; Topanga, Calif.; Troy, Mich., and Northbrook, Ill. stores.
At the select Neiman’s stores, Fashionphile customers can drop off and receive a quote and payment for their items. Customers can also shop the Fashionphile website, and Neiman’s expects customers who drop off the goods to also shop the store. Fashionphile personnel authenticate products and determine the value.
Additionally, Neiman Marcus has begun issuing gift cards as an optional payment method to all customers who sell their luxury products to Fashionphile. Customers who opt to be paid in Neiman Marcus gift cards also get an extra 10 percent bonus on the gift card value.
“Now more than ever, environmental sustainability is top of mind for fashion and retail industries. NMG is taking action and driving change while we continue to revolutionize the ultimate luxury experience,” said Geoffroy van Raemdonck, Neiman’s chief executive officer. Neiman’s is expected to unveil its 2025 ESG strategy early in 2022.
“As our team works to finalize the anticipated 2025 ESG strategy, the company is looking forward to helping build a better future for our industry with help from amazing partners such as Give Back Box, Textile Exchange and Fashionphile,” said van Raemdonck.
Neiman’s recently became a member of the Textile Exchange, a nonprofit organization that develops and promotes industry standards for preferred fibers. The organization encourages the adoption of sustainable materials to reduce CO2 emissions from textile fiber and material production by 45 percent by 2030.
The Textile Exchange will assist Neiman’s by providing insights and education to NMG’s merchants and brand partners as Neiman’s seeks to increase revenue from sustainable and ethical products over time.
Neiman’s said it was the first North American luxury retailer to join Textile Exchange alongside brands from groups like LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Kering. A representative from Neiman’s will speak at Textile Exchange’s annual conference Nov. 18, alongside panelists from VF Corp. and Elevate Global.
“NMG is synonymous with luxury merchandise and has the power to change their directly controlled products and influence on a much larger scale,” Claire Bergkamp, chief operating officer of Textile Exchange, said in a statement. “It takes leaders such as NMG being committed to scaling preferred fibers and materials to evoke the industry-wide change we need.”
Neiman’s is also teaming up with Give Back Box to expand its offering of sustainable services and support the circular economy. Give Back Box enables consumers to extend the life of products by donating them to someone in need thereby reducing fashion’s environmental footprint.
To participate, customers can reuse the box their Neiman Marcus order arrived in, fill it with any “gently” used clothing, accessories and shoes to donate, and ship it for free to Give Back Box. A prepaid shipping label can be printed out at givebackbox.com and a pickup can be scheduled, or the box can be dropped off at any UPS, USPS or FedEx location. Give Back Box will direct customers’ donations to local charities and provide NMG with real-time impact reporting on pounds of cardboard and clothes recycled. Neiman’s will announce the partnership via a customer letter in more than 50,000 Neiman Marcus online shipments ordered during the company’s “Give Big” holiday campaign.
“We do believe the impact created together will go far beyond just the life cycle of clothing, and we are looking forward to creating impact and inspiring people to help others and do good this holiday season,” said Monika Wiela, CEO and founder of Give Back Box, which has partnered with Nordstrom and Rent the Runway. Give Back Box indicated that since 2012, it has shipped and recycled more than one million boxes and diverted more than 19 million pieces, or 13 million pounds, of clothing from landfills and given them a second life.
On Earth Day in April, Neiman’s announced it formed a team to develop an ESG strategy. The team has quarterly oversight from NMG’s board, and takes a cross-functional approach to “engaging leaders and task forces across the company ensuring that ESG is infused into all parts of NMG’s business.” The team collaborates with independent, third-party consultants to identify ESG issues and priorities and set time-bound goals.

Copenhagen Fashion Summit Draws Hermès, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren

Copenhagen Fashion Summit Draws Hermès, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren

Global Fashion Agenda’s CFS+ (the digital format of Copenhagen Fashion Summit) kicked off on Thursday morning, with a 10-hour-long digital program, with fashion professionals from around the world tuning in.This year’s summit, aptly titled “Prosperity vs. Growth,” aimed to give the — virtual — stage to all new names and speakers, with major brands joining for the first time, including the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Hermès and Ralph Lauren.
While corporate interests were many, some speakers were a category all their own, deemed royalty or celebrity status including the likes of actress, producer and change agent Yara Shahidi, as well as singer Miguel Pimentel (also the creative director of S1C) and Mary Elizabeth, Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess, a patron of GFA.

Hilfiger, who was among the first speakers, had a discussion with Shahidi that centered on social justice and fashion’s ability to engage with political and cultural issues.

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The talk took the form of an exchange between two generations, with Shahidi and Hilfiger offering their individual perspectives on how fashion can lead the cultural conversation and have a positive impact on shifting social dynamics, from gender expression to race equality.
“As a brand, we consume pop culture and what’s going on around us because the more informed we are about how people are thinking, the more successful and inspired we can be,” said Hilfiger.
Shahidi spoke about the importance of more designers “paying attention to the culture and the individual and letting things blossom from there,” rather than dictating a certain look or trend to their audiences.
“We need to acknowledge the space that fashion takes in the world as a creative force but also socially, as a uniting force. It’s indicative of where we stand socially and brands have the opportunity to lead the way when it comes to socially responsibility, with their mission statements, campaigns, donations. They can absolutely work alongside political movements,” said Shahidi who starred in Hilfiger’s fall 2021 campaign, impressed by the roster of creatives the brand has tapped for its collaborations from Zendaya to Lewis Hamilton and Gigi Hadid.
“Each of them represents a different part of culture, a different tether. People are drawn to it because it’s resonant,” Shahidi said.
Collaborating with the right people and giving them space to express themselves creatively is a big part of how you can create a culturally relevant brand, according to Hilfiger, as well as make relevant cultural statements.
“Usually, brands control what is being developed into a product. But I told Zendaya [referencing the Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya fall 2019 collab], ‘You can do whatever you want, whatever colors, whatever fabrics.’ She and her stylist Law Roach developed what they thought was going to be appropriate for the runway and for fashion and it was a blockbuster success,” he said, acknowledging the younger generation’s need for freedom of expression and for being in charge of the narrative.
“What I love about my generation is our emphasis on self-expression, on the agency we have, the respect we demand, how we want to be referred to. When I think about fashion there’s a real utility to it, it’s not something frivolous for us, but a real tool for expressing our identities,” added Shahidi.

Patrice Louvet, Ralph Lauren’s chief executive officer, followed on from Hilfiger, giving a brief keynote speech on how to design a thriving fashion industry that can benefit both people and planet.
“Everyone from customers to regulators is asking a version of this question,” acknowledged Louvet, adding that the goal is to set measurable goals and commitments in order to find the right answers.
He pointed to Ralph Lauren’s net-zero road map, circularity commitments and increased data transparency as part of the solution, as well as new initiatives to connect executive compensation with progress on the sustainability front.
“Ralph always said that ‘you don’t just wear clothes, you live a life and have a style,” Louvet said. “So how things make you feel is hugely important, it’s not just about how something looks — and it doesn’t feel good to buy something that you know will sit in a landfill or wasn’t made ethically.”
Fashion’s eye toward policy has tightened in recent years, as the EU, for one, looks to clamp down on textile waste and greenwashing.
As times are changing, a conversation between Jenna Johnson, head of Patagonia Inc., who previously led Patagonia’s outdoor business, and Olivier Fournier, executive vice president corporate development and social affairs at Hermès International, juxtaposed innovation and legacy.
“This ethos [doing more with less] has really been with us as we’ve transitioned to Patagonia: apparel and equipment manufacturer,” Johnson said, emphasizing the “and” as a crossroads from simply outdoor gear. To that, Fournier emphasized how passion, excellence and craft have been maintained from Hermès’ bits-and-harness days as the house rode into fashion goods.
“We can be proud of our heritage, but we can change anything we want if it creates change,” said Fournier, turning mention to innovation without supplier abandonment. True, the handbag purveyor announced its “Sylvania” mushroom leather innovation with MycoWorks this past March, which leads to questions on how key suppliers fit into this new material world. Fournier reinforced how responsible partnerships are integral even amid change: of the company’s 50 largest direct suppliers, relationships have been maintained an average of 20 years.

Those on the supplier side of things who have been overlooked, however, are the workers. Executives like Ayesha Barenblat, founder of human rights nonprofit Remake, and Khalid Mahmood, director of Labor Education Foundation in Pakistan, shed light on workers’ rights in a later conversation (perhaps to buffer past criticism surrounding CFS+ not giving equal play to grassroots organizers).
If anything, the CFS+ program was one continuous call to action.
In a cut between programming, Virginijus Sinkevičius, European commissioner for environment, oceans and fisheries at the European Commission, thanked attendees for continuing to put sustainability “at the heart of your sector.” The Designer Challenge (a recurring aspect of CFS+ with Heron Preston participating last year), on the other hand, spoke to the reality that sectors are still failing to meet infrastructural and funding needs.
“We’re not a super strong voice, we’re designers, we’re a small cog in the machine,” said Sunshine Bertrand, creative director of eyewear company Sunshine Bertrand Ltd. The eyewear designer teamed up with singer Miguel for the ultimate sustainable sunglass design, but the group showed up empty-handed, citing funding constraints. “Certainly it’s about a lack of dialogue that’s going on, lack of transparency and lack of urgency. The eyewear industry is dominated by very large organizations, and they’re not so quick to work [on sustainability].”
Bertrand’s points on small designer struggles came to complement those of Victoria Allen, concept designer at H&M ladies denim, who spoke to the big brand perspective in a separate conversation.
Her thoughts, in a way, bookended how the greater mass movement in sustainability tips the edge back to the basics. “I don’t think sustainability is the competitive edge, I think design is the competitive edge.”

Farfetch Rolls Out Resale Service ‘Second Life’ in the Middle East

Farfetch Rolls Out Resale Service ‘Second Life’ in the Middle East

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Farfetch has launched its handbag resale program in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Farfetch Second Life gives customers the opportunity to clear space in their wardrobes by selling unused designer handbags and earning Farfetch credit in return. The program is a key pillar of Positively Farfetch, the company’s mission to become the global platform for good in luxury fashion.Giorgio Belloli, chief commercial and sustainability officer at Farfetch, told WWD that Second Life has been very popular since it launched two years ago. “We started out running the service in the U.K. and Europe before launching it last year in the United States as well. Now Farfetch Second Life is available in 30 countries across Europe and the USA. We’re thrilled to scale this model globally and are looking forward to expanding the categories consumers can give a second life to.”

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He cited that the global pre-owned luxury market is growing rapidly and is forecast to reach $64 billion within the next five years. “Circularity is becoming increasingly important to luxury customers ⁠— for example, a recent customer study we did showed that 52 percent of our customers had bought or sold a pre-owned luxury item in the past year,” said Belloli. “And in terms of the growth of Second Life, items sold through the program have increased 332 percent in 2020.”
Belloli added that its customers are embracing choosing fashion in a conscious way. Sales of conscious products grew 3.4 times faster than the Farfetch Marketplace average and represented over 5 percent of group GMV in 2020. “We’re seeing that consumers are increasingly more aware of how they consume fashion, and that they can take actionable steps to make conscious choices.”
Second Life is designed to make resale easier for luxury customers. Farfetch customers can visit the website to submit information and photographs of the bags they wish to sell. Those are reviewed by an outside partner, who then offers a price within two business days. If the customer accepts the price, the bag is sent for verification and once verified, Farfetch immediately credits the consumer’s account with the offered value.
In the Middle East, Farfetch is collaborating with The Luxury Closet, a premium luxury resale platform that already has a strong foothold in the Gulf countries. The region, with its appetite for luxury handbags, was a natural extension for the business, according to Edward Sabbagh, Farfetch’s vice president of growth and managing director, EMEA. “The Middle East stood out as a huge opportunity. We’ve been on our sustainability journey for a few years now and our regional customers have a strong appetite for shopping more consciously.”
For Farfetch, Second Life is one of several key programs that are moving the company toward its 2030 sustainability goals. The company also has a donate service available in Europe and the U.S. which enables hassle-free donations in return for Farfetch credit, a Fashion Footprint Tool to help consumers easily identify and understand the environmental impact of their wardrobe choices, and a service called Fix service for repairing luxury items.

Johann Rupert Touts Richemont’s Green Ambitions at AGM

Johann Rupert Touts Richemont’s Green Ambitions at AGM

LONDON — Richemont is going greener, with a new commitment to eliminate PVC from all products and packaging by the end of 2022, and a fresh stamp of approval from the Science Based Targets initiative for a series of climate change goals.“If we do not want our generation to leave a dirty and hot planet to our grandchildren, we have to change our habits and show a far bigger appreciation for the ecology and for the planet — not only for human beings but for all of life on the planet, the fauna and the flora,” said Richemont’s founder and chairman Johann Rupert during the company’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.
The meeting was held in Geneva behind closed doors for the second consecutive year, in line with COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Rupert’s brief, but wide-ranging, speech to shareholders focused on Richemont’s environmental moves, noting that the company, parent of brands including Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Dunhill and Yoox Net-a-porter Group, has a “long-standing commitment to doing business responsibly” and last year made “significant progress” in alignment with the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.

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During the AGM, Rupert revealed that the Science Based Targets initiative, an organization that works with private sector companies on setting emissions reduction goals, has endorsed Richemont’s plans to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 46 percent by 2030, and to source 100 percent of renewable electricity by 2025.
The organization has also given Richemont the go-ahead to reduce Scope 3 GHG emissions from purchased goods, services and business travel by 55 percent by 2030 and to ensure that 20 percent of its key suppliers have science-based targets by 2025.
Richemont is also phasing out polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which Rupert said is “very hard to recycle, with some countries already banning it from their landfills.” Richemont will eliminate the material by December 2022.
Rupert said all of Richemont’s businesses are working to replace PVC with alternative materials and/or other solutions. “We will continue to work collaboratively with industry organizations and our business partners to promote best practices across the full supply chain,” he added.
As reported, Richemont has also named Jasmine Whitbread and Patrick Thomas to the board of directors as non-executive directors. Rupert said Whitbread’s “deep understanding of ESG issues,” and Thomas’ “unrivaled industry expertise” will further reinforce the breadth and depth the board’s skillset.
In July, Richemont issued its latest ESG report, which touts the company’s plans to pursue a “green growth” agenda that will see it increase profitability while shrinking its carbon footprint, and work toward circularity in sourcing and sales.
Called “Movement for Better Luxury,” it’s a window on the grueling mechanics, costs and time it takes for a company of Richemont’s size and scale to go green.
During the AGM, Rupert also addressed the company’s new warrants, whose current value “has more than compensated for the cut” in the group’s dividend last year; the company beefed-up investment in online retail channels during the pandemic, and the acquisition earlier this year of the luxury leather goods company Delvaux.

Rupert also paid tribute to Alber Elbaz, who died from COVID-19-related complications earlier this year. He described him as a “dear friend and colleague,” and referred to the late designer’s “inclusive dream of ‘smart fashion that cares.’”
Richemont shares closed down 0.7 percent at 104.80 Swiss francs at the close of trading on Wednesday.

The Restory Plots Expansion, Starting With Manolo Blahnik Repairs

The Restory Plots Expansion, Starting With Manolo Blahnik Repairs

LONDON — As the circular economy gains more relevance, the repairs market — estimated to be worth 100 billion pounds — is proving to be a vital link in the chain of sustainable consumption.London-based luxury repairs service The Restory — which has built a name among insiders as a top destination for damaged handbags and shoes — has recognized the opportunity and expanded its business beyond leather goods to the clothing category with services that include cleaning, maintenance repairs, replacements, as well as bespoke tailoring.
Now, it has begun forging relationships with specific brands — starting with Manolo Blahnik.
“Circular fashion can’t happen without aftercare,” said Vanessa Jacobs, The Restory’s founder and chief executive officer. “We are already more than three times larger than we were this time last year and our business development pipeline is stronger than it’s ever been. We are laying the foundations for global scale in everything from operations to technology, internationalization, technical solutions and more.”

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Manolo Blahnik x The Restory
Courtesy of Manolo Blahnik

She noted that providing services for a brand — proactively at scale, not reluctantly and on occasion — is an entirely different way of doing business to traditional linear models.
“But we’ve now made our solutions available for brands to use in a way that suits their current objectives, situation and territory. Brands can now fully embrace the aftercare opportunity. They can retain control over the customer experience, gather data and reap the benefits of sustainability, loyalty and engagement.”
As part of its partnership with Manolo Blahnik, customers will now be able to access post-purchase repair services — everything from re-soleing to re-heeling, restoration and dyeing — directly through the Manolo website.
It was a no-brainer as far as Jacobs was concerned, given the timeless aesthetic of the brand’s shoes — and people’s desire to take care of them and keep them for as long as possible.
“In our view, acquiring a pair of Manolos is an investment in a timeless piece. We have always helped our clients and community with aftercare as it’s a vital step in looking after treasured pieces in your wardrobe,” said Kristina Blahnik, chief executive officer at Manolo Blahnik.
“Our partnership with The Restory takes that a step further and gives our community a solid, clear guide to aftercare with a renowned company that have ateliers and craftsmen akin to our own skilled employees in our shoe ateliers and factories. I am incredibly passionate about this project as it will also help to encourage clients to renew and refresh their much-loved Manolos and help with one of our shared house goals that of responsible ownership,” she added.

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