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Jean-Paul Gaultier will start selling its own vintage online

A new website, with vintage garments, archival pieces and exclusive drops

Jean-Paul Gaultier will start selling its own vintage online A new website, with vintage garments, archival pieces and exclusive drops

Antoine Gagey, director of Jean-Paul Gaultier, announced yesterday a revamp of the brand's website on which, from next Wednesday, the vintage and archival garments of the brand itslef will be put on sale and it will also be possible to rent some of the most iconic looks of the fashion shows. The new website represents for the brand the culmination of a series of efforts towards change that have led to the return of ready-to-wear collections after a six-year break and to the new format of rotation of creative directors for Haute Couture collections after the founder of the house retired from the scene after a career of 50 years. But more importantly, Gaultier's decision to sell its own vintage garments is an important sign of the growing importance of secondhand fashion for brands, which are beginning to appropriate the resell market. Already Gucci with the Gucci Vault project and Alexander McQueen with his collaboration with Vestiaire Collective are part of those brands that have begun to implement resell strategies of some of their pieces – although they are still understanding the more subtle mechanisms of this market that, in the stores of the brands themselves as well as on Farfetch, it doesn't have the same convenience, variety of choice, and smartness as collective marketplaces like Grailed, The RealReal, Vinted, or Vestiaire itself.

According to what Gagey told WWD, the brand wanted to « explore new ways of buying and experiencing fashion by mixing in the same platform, on the same page, new looks from our design studio, design collaborations with some guests, re-edition of iconic pieces and also vintage». The strategy will also include a data-driven management of the proposal, which will be modified following Google's trends on the most searched vintage pieces. And indeed the brand's new website will reflect this new multi-dimensional approach with a capsule created ad hoc, a collaboration with Schott for the customization of vintage jackets and also collaborative items created by the emerging star of jewellery design Stéphanie D'heygere. Other more extreme proposals, however, are in the clothing rental service, which also include fashion show looks such as the famous dress with a conical bra or the entirely studded men's jeans suit. According to Miles Socha of WWD, the service is designed for Millennials and Gen Z who «are beginning to shun fast fashion in favor of durable basics, and turn to vintage or rentals for more experimental fashion statements».

The idea behind it is to make the brand itself the primary source of its own resale – and this for two probable orders of reasons: the first is to capitalize on archival design pieces whose price is rising year after year, in some cases exceeding the original retail price and therefore control the life of its products after the initial sale; the second is instead to regain possession of the narrative and image of the brand that, through the new channel, will return to being more unified and not dependent on independent resellers. Of course, however, if Gaultier's vintage has become so sought after, the merit is precisely of these independent resellers who have included it in the classic canon of archival fashion together with the other cult designers of the 80s and 90s. Jean-Paul Gaultier, in fact, is one of the most sought after and loved brands in the world of archival fashion: @silverleague and, two of the most prestigious archival fashion showrooms/boutiques on the scene, sell many archival items from Gaultier's collections of the late 80s and early 90s, some of which are then ended up on their clientele that includes Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Yachty in music videos and public releases. But recently Gaultier's vintage has also come to Kylie Jenner, among other things. Precisely the work of showrooms like these has kept the value of the archival Gaultier high just as the director Gagey pointed out who said:

«I think the vintage market is the number-one barometer to measure the brand equity of Jean Paul Gaultier».