Above image: Alexander McQueen Voss collection, SS01 by Chris Moore
A pioneering resale partnership between Alexander McQueen and pre-owned luxury fashion retailers Vestiaire reflects a growing industry trend towards circular fashion. At its heart, circular fashion sees clothes designed, produced and distributed with the aim of being circulated between people for as long as possible before a healthy return to the biosphere. McQueen and Vestiare’s new collaboration facilitates exactly this: extending the life of luxury fashion and countering its extractive damage.
The collaboration begins with Alexander McQueen sales reps reaching out to a select group of long-standing clients. Any McQueen items they wish to sell will be assessed for authenticity and assigned a buy-back price, while the client will be issued with a credit note with which they will immediately be able to purchase new items from specified Alexander McQueen stores.
Once these items have been processed by Vestiaire, each will be given an external NFC tag (the same used in contact-less card payments) giving prospective new buyers access to information confirming the authenticity of the piece. Each item will then be available to purchase on Vestiaire’s dedicated ‘Brand Approved’ page online. Everyone’s a winner. So far, two pieces have been made available in time for today’s launch: a tartan skirt from McQueen’s FW06 Widows Of Culloden show (bottom), the second a tuxedo jacket from Sarah Burton’s first show as creative director for SS11 (below).
In recent years more people have woken up to the idea of circular fashion (a concept that borrows heavily from the parallel notion of a circular economy), but the term was first coined back in 2014. Since then, an increasing number of brands have adopted the approach to combat the devastating environmental effects of fast-fashion, which has contributed to an explosion in clothes sales and a sharp drop in clothing utilisation (the number of times a garment is worn).
Fanny Moizant, co-founder and president of Vestiaire Collective sees the collaboration as part of a more pervasive effort to fundamentally alter consumption patterns. “There is an urgent need to address the way we currently produce and consume fashion,” she commented. “Vestiaire Collective’s ‘Brand Approved’ programme offers a sustainable solution, reinforcing the importance of durability, whilst 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.”
Alexander McQueen CEO Emmanuel Gintzburger added: “We are delighted to be the first house in the world to collaborate with Vestiaire Collective on its Brand Approved programme and to give beautifully crafted pieces a new story. 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. We hope many houses will follow because to have impact-at-scale, we need to act collectively.”
The Alexander McQueen Vestiaire Collective collaboration can be discovered online or via the Vestiaire app from 16th February 2021.