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Pre-owned celebrity garments, a new business model?

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

9 Oct 2019


Our celebrity-obsessed culture has turned a new corner. Not content with following our favourite stars’ every move on social media we now want to own the (old) clothes off their backs. Enter the Kardashian-Kloset, a collection of celebrity garment cast-offs (or should that read Kast-Offs) from the notorious Insta-Famous family. The only difference between the Kardashian, Kardashian-Jenner and Kardashian-West’s worn out threads is the luxury labels they originate from.

Eschewing the options to donate the items they wore once, twice or perhaps never at all - many items still have their original tags - or to sell them on The Real Real or Vestiaire Collective, two online marketplaces for pre-owned luxury goods where the rest of the world pawning their used items end up, the Kardashians have turned their fashion discards into a new business model.

The website and online store says the Kardashian Kloset is a “luxury designer clothing resale site that brings the fashionable and fun clothing from the famous Kardashian-Jenner family closets to yours.”

It describes its pieces as having been hand-selected by each family member and are available exclusively for the public to purchase. “Our goal at Kardashian Kloset is to share a part of the Kardashian Jenner family lifestyle by offering you the opportunity to own one of a kind items, while promoting sustainability.”

Out of the Kloset, and into yours

So what does a pre-owned item from the Kardashian clan cost? And which treasures did they discover that could one day be yours? A black polyester and viscose Roberto Cavalli blouse with lace and ruffle details from Ms Kim Kardashian West’s closet costs 2,600 dollars. Mind you it is new with tags. An open weave Martin Margiela thigh-skimming dress is a steal at 600 dollars. An ivory brocade Gucci suit, previously worn by Ms Kris Jenner, is on sale for 1,600 dollars. The blazer features a black velvet trim, pockets and one button closure and the trouser has a slight flair. Kylie Jenner’s Featured Collection consists mostly of bags and accessories, including a silver diamanté Chanel rucksack for 5,000 dollars. A pair of orange and white worn sneakers, also by Chanel, sells for 500 dollars. It lists the condition of both items as ‘pristine’ and ‘excellent,’ respectively.

The website is noticeably less styled than any of the Kardashian’s own websites, apps or the social media channels. All looks are photographed on an 80s looking mannequin, who’s demeanour is quite possible as tired and worn as some of the clothes. For those expecting a high-end experience of luxury items, this website is geared more toward designer tracksuits than classy designer-wear, although the chicest items come from Momanager Kris Jenner’s closet, including a rather understated Max Mara jumpsuit in a Glen check wool and a simple Celine sheath dress with shoulder zip details.

Circular fashion is making headlines

This week Burberry announced it would partner with The Real Real in a bid to encourage customers to “consider all options available to them when they they’re looking to refresh their wardrobes,” Pam Batty, Vice President of corporate responsibility at Burberry said in a statement.

Circular fashion is certainly financially viable, with many new business models popping up, including rental, subscription-rental and recommence. A report released by Fashion for Good and Accenture this year explores the economics of circular models at garment level to identify which of these are economically attractive. The luxury circular fashion model appears to represent the biggest opportunity in their findings and the Kardashian clan are certainly adept at monetising themselves at every opportunity.

But be aware, all sales are final. No returns, exchanges, refunds or cancellations.

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images North America / AFP

Circular Fashion