Bloomberg Businessweek


The newest trend in fashion isn’t retro or vintage. It’s “archival”

It could be any boutique on Fifth Avenue. Italian tourists in fur coats browse a selection of Chanel Classic 2.55 purses that flank a Gucci Dionysus, last year’s holy grail of handbags. Nearby, women with bouncy blowouts pore over Cartier Trinity rings and Kwiat diamond studs. For all the excitement, you’d never guess this stuff was all preowned.

In the RealReal store on Wooster Street in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, you might find a $600 Balenciaga City bag, $800 Hermès Collier de Chien bracelets, even a $1,500 Fendi Baguette—the pint-size floppy rectangle that rocketed to “it” bag status in the late 1990s as Carrie Bradshaw’s carryall of choice on Sex and the City. That the items aren’t directly off the runway doesn’t detract from their value; it enhances it.

Almost 10,000 pieces are added to the RealReal’s website every day,

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