14 October 2013

wardrobe destiny part two: hunting down your dreams

My last post on budgeting seemed to help a lot of you and I've gotten a bunch of follow up questions -- here is one I thought would good to answer as a follow up to that post. Thank you as always for commenting and reading, nothing makes me happier than talking about clothes and consumerism in a way that helps people be more informed (and ultimately more empowered) individuals. Anyway -- how to hunt for out of season clothes.

Oldschool Tao CDG shirt, a miracle find at a thrift store cross country via a friend, for $10. Original post.
Online, your best bet for a huge range of past season designer, bridge, and even contemporary lines (there is a difference -- Mary Kate Steinmiller of TV breaks this down a little bit in her TV interview, it will give you insight as to what Market Editors actually do), is Yoox. Yoox has literally thousands of designers and sources from all around the world. I wouldn't say they give the best prices on CDG you can find anywhere, but they do have pieces that are hard to find, consistently, and the sheer amount of designers they stock, you are bound to find a good deal on past season designer. My aunt got a Y-3 capelet for $99 and that's pretty fantastic. I wouldn't buy any CDG from there though, because mostly the prices they have on everything mainline at the moment is the original retail price, and I've gotten the same exact pieces for less than 1/3rd the price at sample sales or archival sales etc. Still, if you don't have access to these events, this is often your best bet for a continual stream of off season labels.

Some other places you can look that aren't ebay......Farfetch, which also sources from international places, and their sales are pretty good. It's only the sales that are not current season though.

Consistent eBay searching will lead to niche re-sellers of specific brands, and you should save those for frequent visits. Maybe even contact them and let them know you're on the lookout for a specific item, and they might have the means to find that for you and sell it to you. This isn't uncommon and it's actually how a lot of re-sellers get their rent paid. Re-sellers are often just as fanatic as you are about brands, so make friends with them! I try to maintain relationships with consignment stores and retailers in general because they'll sometimes set things aside for me because they KNOW I will buy it when they call me up. Shoutout to dot.COMME for putting me on their newsletter as soon as they launched -- they know their market.

FW2010 CDG jacket via eBay. Original post.
Offline? Look up consignment stores in your area and keep a folder. And then bother them constantly. Just last week I visited my favorite (Tokio 7) and came out with CDG, Prada, and Vivienne Westwood all for around the price of one of the items on sale anywhere else. The CDG skirt I got was $200 for FW2005 and that wasn't available at either archive sales CDG has had in the past, or online on ebay hunts. Sometimes the only way to get things is luck and foot traffic.

You can also of course, contact the brand directly via a sales associate and maybe they'll be happy to help. This would truthfully work better if you've already purchased from them before and have some kind of relationship with them. But regardless, if you let them know specifically that there is a piece you MUST HAVE in your life, they will maybe be able to help, either by checking their warehouse or by notifying you when the next archive sale is. Either way, you never know unless you ask. You've got to be proactive and resourceful, really. This is all encompassing advice.

Long post for simple advice: you have to be obsessed. Really. Obsessed and resourceful! Constant online searches and networking with people with similar obsessions will get you many places. If they trust you they'll share their secrets, too. Birds of a feather flock together, you know what I mean? I knew to go to Tokio 7 for lots of CDG last weekend because a little birdy told me there would be good finds. If you make your desires known people will keep you in mind if something pops up. Look out for sample sales, archive sales, get to know stores that stock your favorite brand, get to know their sales associates, get to know online resellers, get to know brick and mortar resellers, and then: pursue and pursue and pursue until you get what you want. It works.