is cyclical; what goes around comes around, and all
that. Yet the circular economy is a merry-go-round that some
fashion followers have been slow to embrace. Still, the rise of
second-hand retail sites – The RealReal, Depop, Vestiaire
Collective – in the last decade mark a distinctive shift in the way
people are consuming fashion at large.
Fanny Moizant, President and Co-Founder of Vestiaire
Collective, has been busy spearheading that change since 2009
when she launched the online marketplace from her small Paris
apartment. The idea first sprouted during the recession which
resulted from the 2008 financial crash. Noticing an upsurge in the
sale of the last season’s goods online, Fanny set about building a
platform that would open up the world’s closets and provide a
reputable digital space to trade and shop for luxury items.
In recent years the site has been driven by an insatiable demand
for handbags – a Dior baguette was deemed the bag to, well, bag,
while Gucci and Chanel ruled the worldwide roost in terms of most
sought-after brands. US shoppers are consistently crushing hard on
French labels and, on a global level, buyers are seeking more
sustainable ways to shop. The rise of social media has also
accelerated the success of the platform (as have our in-store
justifications that if we buy at full price now, we can resell the
said item a few months down the line and make a pretty decent
return on sale).
From justifying your shopping habit to thinking more
strategically about the fashion pieces you invest in, Vestiaire
Collective is our go-to – and chicest – middle(wo)man when it comes
to smarter buying and selling. We sat down with Moizant – a woman
forever on the hunt for Phoebe’s Celine – to chat procurement,
perspective and profitability.
Where are you from and how has that shaped or inspired
I was born and raised in the south of France, where I learned
about fashion under the wing of my mother, who owned a boutique. I
got involved with everything from unboxing deliveries to
interacting with customers and being a saleswoman. She taught me
that it takes hard work and determination to run a business, that
you have to inspire your team to succeed and that only you can make
Where are you based now?
For the uninitiated, what is the concept behind Vestiaire
Vestiaire Collective is a leading global resale site for
desirable, pre-owned fashion. Encouraging consumers to join the
circular economy, the platform stands out thanks to its carefully
curated catalogue of more than a million items, each expertly
checked for quality and authenticity. More than 30,000 new items
are submitted by our community of sellers every week, making
Vestiaire Collective a dynamic, go-to site for must-have
What initially interested you in the resale market?
It’s an exciting market that is disrupting the way consumers
shop while offering a more
sustainable approach to fashion. I came up with the idea to
launch Vestiaire Collective after noticing changes in the way that
people were consuming fashion: buying more and wearing less.
Amazing fashion pieces were lying unworn in people’s closets, so
the five other co-founders and I wanted to create a platform that
would open these spectacular wardrobes. Resale gives fashion lovers
the opportunity to extend the lifespan of their items while also
being able to access rare or sold-out items on which they missed
What items are you currently eyeing up online?
I’m wearing a lot of sneakers at the moment, I love the Nike x
Sacai and the Veja x Rick Owens collaborations. I’m also
always on the hunt for Phoebe’s Celine.
How have people’s buying patterns shifted? Does that differ
There have been big shifts in the last few years. Generations
who grew up with technology are pushing brands to rethink their
traditional models. We see sustainability as a growing concern as
people try to consume more consciously, while buyers are often
thinking about items’ resale values – they intend to sell after a
couple of wears. Our era is defined by usage instead of possession.
These shifts are quite universal.
Tell us about why you decided to open your first
bricks-and-mortar store in Selfridges.
We chose to partner with Selfridges as there’s a strong synergy
between the two brands. Selfridges has always been a disrupter of
traditional models and sets trends within the retail sector, whilst
Vestiaire Collective launched with a pioneering model and continues
to drive innovation in the fashion ecosystem. The UK is one of our
biggest markets, too. We have a really engaged community in
London so it felt like the right location to be in to help grow
the business. On a personal level, I loved my time in London; the
city has great energy.
The best cities for shopping are…
I have to say, I love London for shopping. There’s such a mix of
beautiful boutiques and markets as well as stupendous department
stores such as Selfridges. I used to live near Marylebone and loved
wandering around the independents and picking up cheese and bread
Which items are top sellers in the UK? And in the US?
Our best-selling category globally is handbags, the brands and
models differ slightly per market but the Chanel Timeless tends to
be the most loved across the board. Last year, for the first time,
Gucci became the best-selling brand on Vestiaire Collective,
overtaking the other luxury houses with a huge 30 per cent
year-on-year sales increase, making it one of the hot brands to
invest in right now. In the US we’ve seen more people searching for
French brands such as Rouje and Sézane which is interesting.
Tips for selling our own pre-loved luxury?
I encourage people to be as active as possible; it will help get
more eyes on your items. Regularly update your listings. React
quickly to a buyer inquiry. Encourage the community to follow your
profile so people will see when you upload new items. Beautiful
presentation and clear images also help. We also offer advice on
pricing to encourage a quick sale.
How does travel inspire your work?
I feel really recharged after a trip with my family. I take that
time to switch off and soak up my surroundings so that I can return
to work feeling inspired and focused.
The best souvenir you’ve ever brought home…
An incredible feather crown from
Brazil – it was made for a wedding. I bought it from a friend
of my brother who was moving, and he couldn’t take it with him.
It’s such a beautiful object.
What are your favourite hotels to visit?
My favourite would probably be Mas De La Fouque; it’s near my parents’ home in
the South of France. The hotel is built into a tranquil reserve,
where there are wild horses. There’s a beach, too. I’ve had some of
the best times there. Other favourites include the Amanbagh in India and the Amanpuri in Phuket. I went to COMO Maalifushi in the Maldives recently which
was amazing – the service was incredible, the food was so fresh and
we spent a lot of time diving. It was a really beautiful trip.
What are you reading at the moment? What’s next on your reading
Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built and Powerful by Duncan
Clark. I love to read books about entrepreneurs.
If there was one destination you could go back to immediately,
which one would it be?
I’d have to say Fiji. I fell in love with it when I stayed at
the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort and did a lot of
diving. It was unforgettable.
And finally, what’s in your SUITCASE?
My Celine sunglasses, denim shorts and a good book, as well as
Aime’s “French glow” supplements and Joëlle Ciocco
Paris beauty products.