Louis Vuitton has maintained its ranking as the most popular luxury brand among consumers searching for resale items at The RealReal over the past year. According to the company’s 2021 Resale Report, which compares searches from the first half of 2020 to the first half of 2021, there’s a narrow gap of 2 percent between Vuitton and Gucci. The third most-searched brand was Chanel, but Gucci is searched 30 percent more often, according to the report. Fourth is Prada and fifth is Dior.
But in terms of sales, Gucci was the star, with purchases up 62 percent year-over-year and consignments up 61 percent. In both cases, Gen X were the top buyers and consignors of Gucci, according to the report.
Gen Z customers also got more active over the past year, with buyers in this demographic increasing 33 percent and consignors jumping 86 percent. This group gravitated toward Gucci as its top choice, driven by bags. Interestingly, sneakers rank number five as far as Gen Z’s most in-demand items. Among the sneakers bringing in the highest resale prices were the Nike x Tom Sachs, Nike x Kanye West and Nike Grateful Dead dunk low model, according to the report.
Telfar has surfaced as the emerging brand of the year with demand skyrocketing 590 percent year-over-year. The brand’s bags were the top item among TRR members, increasing 9 percent and jumping from number 222 to number 54 overall for the first half of this year.
Regardless of brand, a record number of people have embraced resale during the pandemic, The RealReal found, with the number of new consignors increasing 45 percent in the first quarter of 2021 and 29 percent of buyers making their first purchases in the past year. Among those shoppers, 43 percent said sustainability was a deciding factor in shopping at the company and 40 percent said they shop resale at TRR as a replacement for fast fashion.
In addition, younger people are rapidly increasing their interest in resale with luxury consigners between 18 and 24 years old increasing 1.4 times over the past two years.
“The rise in high-value purchases we saw after COVID-19 began has accelerated this year, suggesting a lasting change in how luxury is viewed,” said Mayank Hajela, senior director of merchandising for TRR. “Younger generations have embraced newer forms of investment such as crypto and NFTs, and they’re now looking to luxury goods, which can yield significant returns even after a piece has been worn.”
In terms of fashion choices, Gen Z embraced vintage crop tops, which had a 218 percent jump; vintage mules, up 65 percent, and vintage cocktail rings, up 38 percent. Among Millennials, it was halter tops, up 72 percent, cutout dresses, up 51 percent, and miniskirts, up 22 percent. For Gen X, 63 percent sought maxi-dresses, 37 percent minidresses and 35 percent midi dresses. Among Baby Boomers, low-heeled sandals were most popular, increasing 51 percent, mini bags, up 37 percent, and hair accessories, up 34 percent.
For specific categories, vintage bags notched the highest increase in resale prices with the most popular pieces being the Gucci Jackie, the Chanel Flap Bag, the Louis Vuitton Speedy 30 and the Hermès Constance.
And streetwear is also changing, according to the report. “We’re seeing the most cutting-edge streetwear shoppers move beyond chasing hyped collabs and drops in favor of following streetwear back to its roots,” said Sean Conway, sneaker and streetwear expert at TRR. “These shoppers are latching onto the reemergence of a preppy aesthetic, reminiscent of Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica’s influence back in the ‘90s. At the same time, as skate and streetwear pioneers mature, they’re blending sports and outdoor gear into their street style.”
The numbers show that interest in Casablanca increased 358 percent, Polo Ralph Lauren was up 234 percent, Stussy was up 183 percent and Aimé Leon Dore was up 23 percent, while hyped drops of Off-White x Nike were down 29 percent, Yeezy, down 25 percent, Vetements, down 24 percent and Supreme down 6 percent.
In men’s wear, it was Japanese brands that started to emerge last year with avant-garde men’s pieces from the early 1980s to the early 2000s among the most popular pieces, according to Dominik Halas, master vintage authenticator for TRR. Matuda, Yohji Yamamoto Pour Homme and Issey Miyake led the category.
“The luxury resale movement is experiencing record growth, with 6 million new members joining TRR in the past year,” said TRR president Rati Sahi Levesque. “Evolving COVID-19 restrictions and reopenings are significantly impacting shopping behaviors. Savvy shoppers are latching onto luxury investments, with the most dramatic growth among Gen Z and Millennials. Shoppers are drawing inspiration from the past in pursuit of personal expression, driving demand for streetwear’s return to its pretty roots and vintage Japanese men’s wear. And of all age groups, our data suggest Gen Z will be the most conscious shoppers yet.”
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