Does the thought of dropping a cool grand (or more) on a designer purse make your palms sweat? Same same. I’ve been eyeing a Fendi Baguette for a little too long now, but every time I muster up the confidence to put it in my cart (in the name of self-love, of course) I just can’t do it. It seems a bit silly and wasteful to drop my rent money on the latest It bag only to have my eyes wander to something new the next time Gucci drops a collab.
Commitment-phobes like me — and the growing, sustainability-fueled resale market — inspired luxury vintage accessories retailer LXRandCo's new Reluxury Restart program. Here's how it works: Buy a purse from the Montreal-based brand's e-commerce site or stores (found in a dozen Hudson's Bays across Canada), and wear that Dior or Chanel until you're sick of it, or for up to six months. Return it in the same condition and receive a store credit of 75% of the purchase price to go towards your next splurge. (If you don't feel like another purse, they'll refund you 60% of the ticket price.) Think of it like a long-term clothing rental service, but one that gives you money or credit when you return your haul.
“This gives shoppers the versatility to swap their handbags as seasons and occasions in their life shift,” says Joslyn Paredes, director of product and planning at LXRandCo, noting the sell-back program was motivated in part by the damaging effects of fast fashion, overconsumption and waste in the retail industry. “There’s more and more visibility about production and what it does to the environment."
LXRandCo, which was launched in 2010 (Joe Mimran is an investor), specializes in iconic handbags and boasts an inventory would make even Cher Horowitz jealous. Think designers from Celine to Givenchy to Saint Laurent to Prada, and pieces from the super buzzy (like the Louis Vuitton Prism Keepall Bandoulière 50 Bag by Virgil Abloh), to the super old-school (like the rarest piece ever sold, an Hermès Birkin Bleu Electrique Porosus Crocodile handbag).
How does the company ensure authenticity, especially with the thriving global counterfeit market? According to Paredes, buyers purchase product outright from sellers unlike consignment stores that sell on behalf of the owner. Each piece undergoes a multi-step process to ensure authenticity, with trained vendors, buyers and production teams weighing in before a product is put on the site or in stores. LXRandCo won’t even sell a handbag that has been to a cobbler outside of its respective atelier.
The Reluxury Restart program will be running into 2020. There's plenty of Fendi on the site, but I'm currently tempted by a Louis Vuitton Limited Edition Monogram Multicolor Shirley bag. Maybe this time I’ll actually commit to buying it. After all, if I feel like switching it up, I can always trade it in, just like that.