As part of the collaboration, announced Tuesday, Alexander McQueen will be reaching out to a select group of clients to ask if they have pre-owned pieces they would like to sell. After the items are assessed and authenticated, those deemed eligible will be assigned a buy-back price. In return, the client will receive a credit note to purchase new Alexander McQueen items at select stores.
The scheme is a way to incentivize luxury consumers to be more active participants in the circular economy, a core tenet of which is getting the most use out of existing resources rather than letting them languish in a closet, or worse, landfill. Buying used is also gentler on the planet. Extending the life of a garment by just three months, according to the Waste & Resources Action Programme, a U.K. environmental nonprofit, can lead to a 5 percent to 10 percent reduction in each of its carbon, waste and water footprints.
“There is an urgent need to address the way we currently produce and consume fashion,” Fanny Moizant, co-founder and president of Vestiaire Collective, said in a statement. “Vestiaire Collective’s Brand Approved program offers a sustainable solution by empowering first-hand fashion players to disrupt their linear business models and embrace circularity. We are incredibly excited to launch the new service in collaboration with the prestigious house of Alexander McQueen, driving a shared mission to embed circularity at the heart of the fashion ecosystem.”
All garments verified through Alexander McQueen will be offered on sale via a dedicated Brand Approved page at Vestiaire Collective, where they’ll be equipped with an external NFC tag that allows prospective buyers to access information confirming its authenticity.
The partnership, Alexander McQueen says, reinforces the brand’s commitment to “impeccable craftsmanship and the creation of uniquely beautiful garments designed to stand the test of time.”
“Alexander McQueen is committed to a move toward circular practice, both in the design studio and in the development of new business models,” said CEO Emmanuel Gintzburger. “We are delighted to be the first house in the world to collaborate with Vestiaire Collective on its Brand Approved program and to give beautifully crafted pieces a new story.”
Gintzburger said he hopes other brands will join its lead. While luxury houses have traditionally had an uneasy relationship with consignment, viewing it as a potential threat to their perceived brand value, the sentiment could be changing as they start to woo younger consumers. Buoyed by an enthusiastic millennial and Gen Z demographic, resale is poised to quintuple in market share over the next five years, according to GlobalData and e-commerce retailer ThredUp. By 2029, the sector could leap past $80 billion in value.
“We are confident that our customers will be equally excited to take part in an initiative that challenges a linear economy and sets a new and more sustainable standard for the future,” Gintzburger said. “We hope many houses will follow because to have an impact at scale, we need to act collectively.”