PARIS – Paris-based luxury resale site Resee has launched a Series A funding round as it prepares for expansion, with a new showroom in Paris and plans to open its first outpost in Paris. overseas in the United States next year.
Driven by strong global demand for second-hand vintage and high-end goods in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the specialist site expects sales to double this year compared to 2021, said co-founder Sofia Bernardin at WWD.
“COVID[-19] So far, we’ve just seen a sea change in the business, and no signs of it slowing down either,” she said.
While the volume of transactions is low compared to competitors such as Vestiaire Collective or The RealReal, Resee’s average basket is above the sector average: it fell to just under 1,300 euros in the first half of 2022 compared to 980 euros in 2019, boosted by speed. growing categories such as handbags and fine jewelry, the latter introduced this year.
Ready to expand their business after nearly a decade of slow and steady growth, Bernardin, a former advertising executive for the U.S., Chinese and Japanese editions of Vogue, and his partner Sabrina Marshall, a former fashion editor for Self Service magazine, closed a seed funding round in March and are currently in discussions with potential industry funders.
“We’re talking with a lot of people who are very interested, so it’s really exciting, especially because the climate is so difficult right now. But the business is doing very well and when you look at resale, it’s growing a lot more. faster than the main luxury market,” said Bernardin.
The global second-hand apparel market is expected to grow 127% to $218 billion by 2026, three times faster than the global apparel market as a whole, according to the 2022 Resale Report. ThredUp online resale platform. He estimated that the US used market would more than double by 2026, reaching $82 billion.
As the competition intensifies, Bernardin and Marshall have stepped up their marketing efforts to increase the visibility of Resee, prized by fashion connoisseurs for its tight selection and sleek editorial look. After a digital marketing campaign last May, sales soared 166% year-on-year in June and 250% in July, they reported.
Following the launch of a monthly column by fashion editor and vintage collector Alexander Fury during Paris Couture Week in July, in September they will present a six-part video series hosted by Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine Cohen, which will dive into the fashion closet of personalities like Lynn Yeager to showcase items for sale on the site.
“We decided to start in New York because Leandra is based there and America is such an important market for us as well,” Bernardin said. The United States was Resee’s biggest market in the first half of 2022, accounting for 38% of sales, and the brand hopes to open a New York office in the second half of next year, followed by an outpost. on the West Coast.
Overall, the duo wants to increase the number of pieces available on Resee tenfold within five years, compared to 5,000 currently. Nonetheless, they plan to maintain the proprietary approach that has allowed them to profitably grow the site since its launch in 2013 through word-of-mouth alone.
“All the other resale sites, maybe they’re under pressure, they’re very much into velocity, right? They just want to sell. They want a customer to come and buy a pair of sneakers, wears it once and resells it. And we kind of had a very brick-by-brick approach,” Bernardin said.
“We want to be the Hermès of resale. We want to be about luxury and timelessness, not just hitting a number to appease shareholders,” Bernardin said.
They are planning a road show to find more vintage treasures in markets including the US, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, UK and the Middle East. The events are hosted by brand ambassadors with a strong network of luxury consumers, many of whom have never sold pieces from their closets before.
“It’s kind of like those old Tupperware parties: we have these boy scouts who invite fabulous women to come and share their plays with us. Then once they see the respect and service, it really is a luxury to have someone take your parts, appraise them, put them away neatly, do all the work so you don’t have to do it,” Marshall said.
“They gravitate towards us over other sites because they just know they’ll get the best value for their item,” she added.
The goal is to maintain a steady pipeline of ultra-luxury items.
“We don’t want 10 million sellers on Resee to have a Chanel bag for sale, it’s not the model or the DNA. We really want to forge relationships with the sellers we have around the world so that they feel comfortable and know that once they buy new things, when they’re ready to clean up, they know we’re there,” Bernardin said.
Resee will inaugurate its new 350 m² showroom on Avenue Kléber, a stone’s throw from the Peninsula Hotel, during the next Paris Fashion Week with a pop-up in partnership with online vintage seller Old Céline Archive.
Also this fall, it will unveil a partnership with a major luxury house intended to highlight the brand’s heritage. “What we’re going to do with this brand is work to sell their archives, but in a very modern way, in collaboration with the designs now – really the dialogue about the past and the present,” Bernardin said.
Marshall noted that the second-hand segment was an important gateway for brands to reach a new generation of luxury consumers.
“They’re going to provide us with information from the past, but we’re also going to provide them with younger customers who are now buying second-hand and who may be too scared to walk through that door, but want to test in the secondary market. It’s therefore important for us and for them that the current season is not the only one relevant, ”she explained.