By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
From the dawn of time, man has been creating clothes – from loincloths, togas, hemp sack dresses all the way to Victorian bustiers and 60s mini skirts. You’d think there’d be enough clothing from the ages to dress everyone in the world a few times over, right?
The fact is, there IS an awful lot of clothing out there. So why bother buying new when so much fabulous fashion already exists? A growing number of shops are cashing in on the fact that loads of ladies want to sell their old stuff and buy other’s cast-offs, too, and have created wonderful Online Designer Vintage Shops where you can pick up anything from an authentic concert tee from an iconic festival to a pair of heels you could only dream of buying new. Here’s our pick of 21 of the best – and most deliver internationally, too!
This is a French e-commerce platform, founded in 2009 by Fanny Moizant, dedicated to European fashion luxury. The casual chic aesthetics have conquered the web fashionistas to the point that Vestiaire Collective launched in the UK, Germany and the USA. This leading fashion social shopping site will allow you to find top-notch pre-owned premium and luxury products.
This quirky site has a very selective process in picking the vintage items that are put on the market. Only one out of a thousand second hand garments that are proposed to Beyond Retro make it to the shopping cart. Thus, this attests how the label provides to its clients items that not only are high-end, but that are truly sustainable by being crafted with reclaimed materials. These are often reshaped to have a more contemporary swing.
The iconic shop was created by Cameron Silver, who truly succeeded in setting up the most glamorous boutique in LA, where Hollywood A-listers go to find vintage couture that is unique and timeless. Decades is a leader in Neo Vintage, by proposing items from the last ten years. If you search amongst their collections, you will find dresses from brands such as Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Chloe, McQueen, Balmain, Balenciaga, Louboutin, Saint Laurent and Hermes. Not to forget the collectible pieces, that range from the Tom Ford era to the fairy collection by Prada.
This a tiny Parisian shop, situated in rue Guisarde, where Catherine Benier collects authentic vintage Chanel and Hermès ever since 1994. The retro chic boutique, between the boulevard Saint-Germain and place Saint-Sulpice, is the perfect rendez-vous for lovers of vintage, and worldwide collectors, who fly to La Ville Lumière and visit the oldest store in town, to find the perfect Birkin or Kelly bag.
Designer Vintage defines itself as the leading luxury marketplace to buy and sell authentic designer pieces, preowned with love. It truly abides by its creed, since the staff of experts meticulously verifies the authenticity of the items, before placing them online. They believe – as we do – that Fakes are Never in Fashion. Second hand pieces are given a second life with sustainability to lead the way: eco-chic recycling is the philosophy that guides Designer Vintage.
The international online retailer gathers 400 fashion boutiques within its community, offering a forward-thinking shopping experience. It is farfetched in the positive meaning of its term. Why? The independent boutiques have been carefully selected for their pioneering attitude and unique approach to merchandising, along with the diversity of brands – ever since its foundation in 2008. Farfetch showcases over 1000 labels in every part of the globe, from the fashion hubs of Paris, New York and Milan to cities such as Bucharest, Riyadh and Seattle.
7. Yoox Vintage
The mega online retailer not only offers the sustainable Master & Muse collections and latest and greatest from the world’s most in-demand labels, but for the eco-minded (or for those after something a bit more unique) they also sell some very rare vintage indeed: think original YSL smoking jackets, Comme des Garcons dresses from the 80s and even some original Chanel jewellery. Yoox delivers globally, too.
Love yourself some posh arm candy? Rebagg carries the likes of the European biggies (Chanel, Vuitton, Dior) but also popular American brands (Tory Burch, Coach). Want to sell a bag of your own? Forget about waiting for decent bids on Ebay – Rebagg gives sellers cash for designer handbags based on condition, designer and price—right up front. Users can get a free binding offer, then send it to Rebagg with free shipping and get paid within 1-2 days. There’s no waiting for the bag to sell—the site will buy it from you immediately and handle the selling process themselves.
Got something to sell? If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of shipping out your items, The Real Real will send a professional buyer up to collect your consignment picks. After an authentication team goes over your items, the site claims most will sell within three days. Sellers can consign clothing, shoes, accessories and even artwork – and of course, you can also buy, too!
10. Thred UP
This is an online retailer that’s not only into recycling, it’s into charity, too. Yep, Thred Up sells second hand designer clothing, shoes, handbags and more, but sellers have the option to earn the selling price back or donate the money to a charity of their choice. Sweet!
This buy and sell shop offers two different selling methods—direct sale, which allows sellers to have full control of their consignment, and concierge service, which lets the site takeover the consignment process so you don’t have to worry about dealing with buyers or asking prices. The shopping site also has an app which allows you to handle your sales (and shop other designer steals) straight from your phone.
12. Snob Swap
Calling all luxury fashion lovers! Snob Swap features strictly luxury consignment and allows users to both buy and sell previously owned designer boutiques. Sellers can list however many items they wish without cost and then earn 85% of any subsequent sales. From Chanel to Hermes, McQueen and more, the site offers top designer items for up to 90% off the usual retail price. Score!
Best known for its cool #GirlBoss, this site also has a little known vintage section where you can find everything from, say, a Valentino dress to a 1970s Rolling Stones Concert Tour Tee. Definitely the cool girl’s go-to online vintage store!
14. What Goes Around
What Goes Around is a NYC-based boutique that delivers internationally and is a treasure trove of designer finds. Normally, there’s a lot of great vintage Chanel stock, including everything from classic 2.55 bags to chunky ’80s jewellery adorned with Chanel trademarks like lion and star motifs, as well as the classic ‘double C’. If Chanel isn’t really your thing, don’t fret: other classic labels like Dior, Kenzo, Fendi and more are usually available. Be quick!
15. Peekaboo Vintage
The brand renowned amongst retro clothing lovers dates back to 1991, when Emily Bothwell and Michael Caunter first launched at Portobello Market London. Two decades later, Peekaboo has become a power in the field of vintage, supplying its outlets across London and online with ASOS. Furthermore, Peekaboo works closely with celebrities and stylists, whether it is for photo shoots or premiers it always fulfils its mission: creating unique looks.
16. Housing Works
This New York City based non-profit is known for its mission to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses. If you shop here you will find not only wonderful vintage garments, but also furniture and interior design pieces that will enrich your abode and wardrobe and most importantly will support healing the community.
17. Archive Vintage
This shop was was founded in 2006 out of a love for vintage clothing and fashion design. Still today it gathers exceptional items by luxury brands such as Dior, Chanel, Ossie Clark, Mugler, Miyake, Chloe, Sant Angelo, Gaultier, Yves Saint Laurent and more. All clothing, shoes, accessories, and home items have a history; some are even dead stock, i.e. never used vintage.
18. Spanish Moss
Spanish Moss is a flowering plant that grows upon larger trees and is commonly known as “air plant,” for its capacity to protect shrubs during strong winds, and is also referred to as “Pele’s hair”, after Pele the Hawaiian goddess. To honour the name, this vintage shop is the treasure to divine retro fashion garments, that will protect and enhance your silhouette. Founded in 2006 by Suzanne Ford Carafano, a stylist and designer, and her husband Vincent, a photographer, Spanish Moss carries relevant and progressive vintage selections from the Victorian to grunge eras.
19. To Be Determined
Everyone knows that Etsy is a fantastic platform for Boho chic lovers, who care about products that are manufactured according to environmental and social sustainable standards. To Be Determined is one of the featured sellers on Etsy, that guarantees quirky fun vintage items that come for all pockets, from $12 to $200.
20. Vanguard Vintage
This online shop, based in Toronto, is an exquisite vintage clothing retailer that serves customers globally. All their pieces are handpicked, fashion forward, and authentic vintage clothing, that is carefully curated with modern relevance in mind. You are just one click aways from the most coveted garments and labels.
The name says it all: looking for designer duds that someone maybe wore a few times, then realised they just weren’t right for them, but with the tags cut off, the clothes weren’t returnable? Look no further. They also have a kid’s section, too!