Finally, a prominent fashion house has partnered with the most prominent luxury resale site out there. Gucci announced that it would work with The RealReal to open a special Gucci e-shop full of consigner items and items brought in directly from Gucci. This is the first partnership of its kind, where a luxury brand allows itself to work with a platform strictly for resale, and I am thrilled.
As the resale demand has grown, these luxury brands have been reluctant to participate out of fears that it may cheapen the brand or will promote the trading of counterfeit goods. The truth is that there will always be counterfeit goods circling around, and the only ways for these brands to cheapen themselves is to push themselves away from where consumer demands are shifting.
Items from brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Hermes, etc. all have extremely high resale value, and these brands can only increase their profits by getting themselves involved in the industry. With the backing of a brand like Gucci behind The RealReal, almost all questions of authenticity go out the window. There will always be the loyal consumers who exclusively pay full price for these products because they can, but I don’t see any harm in younger or less affluent consumers getting their feet in the door by shopping secondhand and developing those lifetime loyalty bonds.
I purchased a pair of Gucci loafers a few years ago and have been blown away with the quality and comfort that the shoes have maintained. Because of this, I will absolutely be purchasing full-price loafers from Gucci in the future (when I might actually have that level of disposable income), and I think that that is huge for Gucci assuming that there are others like me out there who purchased a secondhand item (whether for price or sustainability reasons) and are now hooked.
The resale industry isn’t going anywhere, and the brands that refuse to work with resale platforms are missing out. A partnership like the one between Gucci and The RealReal gives Gucci the opportunity to get into the Gucci secondhand market and begin to control pricing and uphold quality/authenticity standards, which sounds great to me. Gucci sees the demand for secondhand items and knows that sustainability concerns can be tied in, especially with topics such as excess inventory, and it’s investing time into an incredibly viable market.
Sure, the popularity of secondhand luxury goods means that more people have access to them than before, but, the way I think about it is that all of these products were once sold through Gucci at a full price, and everything loses its full-price value at some point, so why not allow the people who can afford the products at a reduced price have them rather than just throwing them away? A used Gucci bag in a garbage can hurts a lot more than someone who bought it secondhand wearing it does.
Featured image from Vogue