Fashionphile CEO Sarah Davis on how luxury resale is changing

The online marketplace recently released its ultra-luxury resale report that digs into new trends dominating the secondhand luxury marketplace.
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· 3 min read

Men are buying Birkin bags and pearl jewelry, and women are investing in Rolex watches.

These are just among some of the interesting findings of online consignment store Fashionphile’s 2022 ultra-luxury resale report. Suffice to say, the luxury resale world has changed a lot over the past few years, particularly with the pandemic and the increasing focus on sustainability.

Still, Sarah Davis, founder, president and CCO of Fashionphile, believes some things are the same, including the durability of secondhand items. “I feel like one of the things that’s really nice in luxury: there’s not a trend that’s…not going to sit around for two months. I mean, if you want to get in on the trend in our category, where it’s more expensive, it’s just nice that it's got staying power.”

Anyway, back to men buying Birkin bags and jewelry.

  • Sales for larger Birkin bags (that men also purchased in hordes), like the HAC and the Birkin 40, were up 35% this year, per the report.
  • Meanwhile, pearls remained popular among all genders, in part thanks to celebrities like  Harry Styles sporting them, and saw an uptick of 60%.

All around the world: Davis attributes the burgeoning interest from men to the rise of gender fluidity, yes, but also a larger Asian influence, including K-pop. “We’ve seen [this trend] in Asia for really the past 10 years,” she said. “And we see a lot of trends move from Asia across the globe.”

Gender fluidity has also lent itself to women investing in watches, as premier watch sales at Fashionphile went up a whopping 95% in 2022, with “more women-identifying shoppers tapping into the watch category more  than ever,” according to the report.

Beyond gender-conformity breaking, younger generations are getting more interested in resale, with brands like Tiffany and Cartier leading as millennial and Gen Z favorites.

  • 45% of Fashionphile’s new customers in 2022 were millennials, followed by Gen X at 26%, and Gen Z at 18%.
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Davis believes this millennial and Gen Z interest in resale has less to do with holding on to pieces with sentimental value and more to do with looking at the category as an investment. “They’re buying things and then they’re gonna want to change it out and swap it out,” she explained. “We did a survey at Fashionphile about luxury consumption, and we found, on an average, people hold luxury bags for 10-plus years, but people who are really involved in resale say, ‘I can share this bag with someone else. I’d rather keep it for as long as it’s working for me, and then trade it off.’”

Final word: And while that may be a fringe benefit to resale overall, the secondhand market still serves as more of an access point for most consumers who want to purchase a luxury item at a relatively reasonable cost.“What resale does is the fact that it is giving people access to another option when you’re trying to be conscientious about what you’re spending,” Davis said. “It’s giving you the permission to shop in a way that maybe you wouldn’t have before.”—JS

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