If you have any designer fashion lying around that you no-longer want or need (and lucky you if you do!), don’t let it become clutter. There’s good money to be made by selling designer clothes and accessories you no-longer need.
Here’s our guide to getting the most for your designer fashion.
- What counts as designer fashion?
- How much will I get?
- Can I make money from memorabilia?
- How exactly do I sell designer fashion?
If you’re not sure if your clobber is designer (maybe someone bought it for you as a gift) look out for designer names.
Check out the Chambre de Commerce et D’Industrie de Paris (French Federation of Fashion). The biggest names in the fashion world are listed here as members and are considered high end couturiers. You can check for a list of grand couturiers and it give you an idea of names to look out for.
Really vintage couture is highly sought after because they are names that are no longer in production today, such as Madeleine Vionnet, Paul Poiret, Elsa Schiaparelli, Mariano Fortune, Charles Worth, Norman Hartnell and even Biba. In their time these names were the crème de la crème of high fashion and are highly coveted today. Equally desirable are pieces from the original designers of houses that exist today, such as Coco Chanel, Cristobel Balenciaga and Christian Dior.
Items that are produced in limited quantities and are in good condition will hold or increase their value, so if you have any rare items you could make a lot. And bear in mind smaller sizes are more valuable than larger sizes, as museums (who buy from auction houses) prefer smaller sizes.
If your item has a ‘historical aspect’ then you’ll likely get more for it. The internet is a great place to do some research. If your item once appeared on the front of a magazine or if it was considered controversial or ground breaking for its time, then it’ll be worth more.
Don’t get too excited if you have collaborations with high street retailers. The most popular collaboration collections in the past few years have been Karl Lagerfeld for H&M, H! by Henry Holland for Debenhams and Zandra Rhodes for Marks and Spencer.
High street designer collaborations have yet to become vintage or make an appearance at auction houses, and they are likely to only be worth no more than £100. Although the name will inspire, the quality is still high street.
Designer wardrobes are hot money. Unwanted couture pieces from the wardrobe of heiress and Alexander McQueen muse Daphne Guinness fetched at £60,000 at a charity auction in April 2008. In December 2009 Audrey Hepburn’s collection of Givenchy couture was auctioned at £270,000.
Realistically you’re unlikely to have anything quite that valuable lying around the house, but it goes to show just how much designer fashion can be worth!
You can even make money from couture and fashion memorabilia if you happen to have got your hands on any. An old copy of Vogue magazine can sell for around £10 on eBay and in vintage shops. So if you saved a lot of your old copies then it might just pay off!
The price of a copy of Vogue is determined by its age; a Vogue from the 1960’s sells for £40, from the 1950’s is £50 and between the 1930’s and 1940’s a copy can go for as much as £200!
So if you’re lucky enough to have found some designer fashion or memorabilia in your wardrobe, how exactly do you go about selling it?
- Firstly, get your items valued. Valuations are free with Kerry Taylor Auctions in London although they are by appointment only and you must take the garment along with you.
- The Fashion-Era website gives tips on how to present vintage for sale online so that you can get the best price, but don’t just assume the internet is the best place to sell. Internet buyers are likely to be looking for a bargain to add to their collection, so you wouldn’t get the best price for it there.
- You’re better off taking it to auction such as Kerry Taylor Auctions in London who provide to Sotheby’s. If it’s a really good item or collection try Christies too. Auction bidders will be serious collectors with big dosh to compete with each other and museums source for clothes at auctions. Museums like the Victoria and Albert and the Fashion and Textile Museum, acquire their collections from donations or auction houses. Museums have larger budgets than serious collectors at auctions and will bid high if a piece is worth it.
Do remember that to be able to sell your designer fashion it’s going to need to be in good condition. If you’re thinking about selling some of yours, stop right now and make sure you’re keeping it a safe place that preserves its quality until it’s time to sell.
Let us know how you get on selling your designer fashion in the comment section below.
Find out how to get involved in National Clear Your Clutter Day 2017