The Fashion Re-cycle

When Anushka Sharma walked down the red carpet at an awards ceremony last month,all eyes were on her.

Written by VIDYA PRABHU | Published:March 16, 2012 3:22 am

When Anushka Sharma walked down the red carpet at an awards ceremony last month,all eyes were on her. Clad in a Christian Dior pantsuit,she accessorised her look with just a pair of diamond earrings,also from Dior. “I didn’t want her look to be very busy and these vintage earrings from the 1950s notched up the glam element. In fact,vintage fashion is in vogue,” explains Nisha Kundnani,Sharma’s stylist.

This celeb outing is only one among a string of appearances which have seen stars lap up vintage fashion. Referring to fashion items that depict the styles of a previous era (mainly 1920s onwards),vintage is the buzzword among celebrities these days.

As Mehek Agarwal,who runs Viange costume jewellery that provided the Dior earrings,explains,“Revelling in the history of these pre-owned earrings,bracelets,necklaces and brooches is part of the charm. Besides,these are single pieces that are not available in stores today.”

Indeed,with branded jewellery pieces from Christian Dior,Givenchy,Chanel,Balenciaga and Valentino to Tiffany & Co,Monet and Napier,that date between the 1940s and the 1990s,Viange does come across as a treasure trove of sorts. No wonder then,things are looking up for Agarwal.

“We just launched in August 2011 and,since then,we have got a good response. In due course of time,vintage should pick up in a bigger way,” she enthuses. Designer Pria Kataria Puri,too,is a big fan of all things vintage. “I keep scouring the vintage stores on Thompson Street in New York. If I find a particular product interesting,I wouldn’t hesitate to lap it up,” she says.

What is most interesting is that while vintage fashion is cashing in on the nostalgia factor,a parallel market for pre-owned branded goods is also emerging. Fatema Lokhandwala’s Mumbai store Branded Bargains,for instance,acts as a bridge between two sets of people — brand lovers who want to buy luxury brands but can’t afford them and wealthy women who want to clear out their wardrobe to make way for new purchases. “Be it the latest collection doing the rounds and ‘something hardly used’ or something that is five seasons old,products from luxury brands such as Chanel,Gucci,Prada,Burberry and Louis Vuitton are up for grabs at almost half the price at my store. This way,the buyers get authentic branded items at lower prices and the sellers get extra money,” notes Lokhandwala.

Confidentiality is often the key in purchasing these pre-owned branded items. “I have met a lot of people wanting to either sell or buy a pre-owned branded item but none of them really wants to come out in the open about it,” Lokhandwala says. A case in point is advertising professional Gayatri Singh (name changed) who bought a small Fendi handbag for as little as Rs 7,500 from her store after hearing about it from a friend. Pre-owned branded apparel,however,doesn’t fare as well as the accessories,Lokhandwala confirms. “Last month,

I sold 10 bags purely through word-of-mouth. So I know that there’s a bigger market out there for the accessories,” she says.

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