Why ‘Everybody Wants to Look Rich,’ per The RealReal

The RealReal’s latest trend report finds value still leads in the current economic climate, among other insights.

The reseller released its annual trend report Tuesday which traces search and purchase insight from more than 30 million members. For one, generations are keeping up the “fewer, better” spending mindset while embracing imperfect finds and revisiting nostalgic luxury brands.

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Customers are being thoughtful with their purchases, too. “Reconsignment is up 24 percent this year, which is an increase we’re very excited to see because it means more people are engaging with circularity in a meaningful way,” Kelly McSweeney, senior merchandising manager at The RealReal, told WWD. “They’re making their original purchase on The RealReal, aware they can earn money back if they reconsign that item, so they are.”

This year, personal style was dominated by quiet luxury as fueled by shows such as “Succession” and moments like Gwyneth Paltrow’s courtroom style. “Consumers are turning to resale for so many reasons and aesthetics. It’s been so interesting to see the various style codes for emulating wealth emerge — unapologetic luxury, old money, stealth wealth and beyond,” McSweeney said. “The connection between instability in the economy and consumers’ desire for classic, quality pieces that retain value is certainly at play, as is the cultural zeitgeist.”

Valentino, Loro Piana, Miu Miu, St. John, Loewe and Ferragamo are seeing a cultural zeitgeist, according to The RealReal. And Bulgari, David Yurman and Tiffany & Co. are the jewelers staging a “comeback.” Vintage bags with the “most clout” with Gen Z include the Chanel Classic Flap, Fendi Baguette, the Celine Macadam, the Bottega Intrecciato and the Louis Vuitton Speedy, per The RealReal purchase data.

For the second year in a row, Gucci was the most-searched brand on The RealReal’s website, across every generation.

“They really offer something for everyone, the minimalist included, which is why we continue to see demand for it,” McSweeney said.

The RealReal declared vintage style camps are still having a moment, led by “Japanese avant-garde,” which is defined by brands like Matsuda, Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto. “Y2K gone wild” was another identified trend which is underpinned by Blumarine, Anna Sui and Koos Van Den Akker. All of these brands have seen major demand upticks.

By the numbers, Dallas had the number-one highest order values at The RealReal. Hubs like New York and Los Angeles continue to be major markets. According to its report, demand for fair-condition bags is up 130 percent year-over-year. WWD asked how fair quality will fare for The RealReal’s overall higher-margin strategy.

“We’re excited to see so much success with fair condition because it enables us to accept more product, therefore keeping more items out of landfill and cater to an expanded group of consumers,” McSweeney said. “Someone who may not be able to afford a Chanel Flap Bag in pristine condition may be able to engage with the brand in fair, and we’re excited to offer that.”

Currently, The RealReal only accepts fair condition items from luxury labels (Hermès, Chanel, Gucci, Loewe, Miu Miu, for example). “These brands, expertly crafted and made with quality materials, can truly stand the test of time and afford to be reworn for years and years,” according to McSweeney.

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