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Opinion

At long last, the anointment of second-hand luxury

Fabio Bonavita

By Fabio Bonavita08 septembre 2020

After several years of predictions of the dawn of the age of second-hand luxury, it seems that the day has finally arrived. A study published last fall by Boston Consulting Group and Vestiaire Collective proclaims annual growth of 12% on average in this segment, starting right now. But how does that translate into the situation on the ground? To take one example, ultra-luxury watch brand Richard Mille has just opened a subsidiary called "The value of Time Asia". Its mission? To market the brand's second-hand timepieces in Southeast Asia, starting in Singapore with a showroom on Orchard Road.
Another venture that illustrates the boom in second-hand luxury is the California-based platform Fashionphile, that just put 38.5 million dollars into automation and artificial intelligence to expand activities at home and abroad, all to boost its sales of second-hand handbags and accessories. The Japanese giant 2nd Street is following a similar path with the opening of its first point of sale in Taiwan, in the heart of Taipei. On the shelves: no less than 7,000 pre-owned items, including clothes and shoes, as well as handbags from the biggest fashion houses.
And if you really want to take second-hand luxury to the next level, how about a used car? Sumit Garg, director and co-founder of Luxury Ride, has no doubt that this is the way to go. He points out that the pandemic has brought about a change in consumer behavior: moving away from public transportation and carpooling services, consumers are now on the hunt for deals on luxury second-hand vehicles. The expectation is that in the new future, 54% of luxury car buyers will be going after second-hand models. All in all, we are already seeing that luxury is carving out a niche in the circular economy, and that's certainly good news.

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