When Fanny Moizant launched Vestiaire Collective in 2009, concerns about sustainability in the fashion industry were just beginning to surface. Today, with the issue on everyone’s radar, the site boasts over 8 million users, 900,000+ items and ships to more than 50 countries globally. We speak to the French co-founder about spotting fakes, cultural differences and how she shops responsibly.
What was the inspiration behind Vestiaire Collective?
In 2009, I saw a void in the market. I noticed that friends and fashion bloggers in France were missing a trusted avenue through which to sell their designer items. After speaking to friends and eventually my five business partners, we realised that there was a need for Vestiaire Collective: A dedicated platform for fashion lovers to buy and sell their pre-owned items in a smart and trusted way.
How do you ensure authenticity of each of the products listed?
The first step of the authentication process is carried out by our curation team, who diligently check all of the submitted images for any irregularities as well as the reliability of the seller. The second step requires a physical check of the product, so we had to build a strong in-house team of authenticators to facilitate this. Our authenticators come from experienced and reputable fashion, luxury and auction houses. Each person in the team specialises in a specific category, which enables us to run authenticity checks on numerous categories including accessories, ready-to-wear, jewellery and watches.
Do you have any advice for spotting a fake?
This will differ brand by brand but some general tips include: Checking the typography of the logo, smelling the leather and checking all the minor details of each item because counterfeit products are usually produced with profi tability in mind. This means they tend to focus more on replicating the quality of the major components of the product than the minor details. Lastly, always examine the hardware of the items. Zippers are usually a good place to start with bags.
In Asia, there are some reservations about buying second-hand goods, which are rooted in cultural practices and beliefs. How do you tackle this?
As a brand we are focused on educating people on sustainable fashion which is now catching on in Asia. People are becoming more conscious of what they’re buying and where the products come from.
What is one item in your wardrobe that you will never sell or give away?
The jewellery my husband gifted me with when my daughters were born. I will give these to them when they get married.
What’s your top tip for living a sustainable fashion lifestyle?
My wardrobe revolves around a one-in, one-out policy. Reselling allows me to enter a virtuous sustainable cycle, and most importantly I’m financing my next purchase.
From top: Fanny Moizart. Vintage jacket, $607.08; vintage skirt, $607.08, Christian Dior. Ring, $106,218.89, Van Cleef & Arpels. Watch, $89,768.50, Piaget. Handbag, $4,037.87, Chanel