Whether you’re buying or selling, knowing the best fashion brands to buy vintage can bring you huge benefits.
By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Vintage fashion is such a wonderful thing. This is part of the circular economy, which means you keep purchased items in a cycle of use longer. It also means that you are not creating demand for new goods.
And when you buy designer vintage, there’s also another advantage: you can resell your clothes when you’re tired of them. This means that no matter what you paid for something, you’ll probably get at least some of it back. Even better: in the case of rare watches or handbags, you might even make a profit!
Yes, it’s true: some of the best fashion brands to buy vintage increase in value over time. Best known for this is Hermès, but other highly regarded brands such as Chanel are also likely to prove to be good investments.
In fact, according to HEWI London:
- Hermes Birkins have grown over 153% over the past 10 years. Based on its current rate of increase, the value will reach almost £50,000 by 2028.
- The value of Chanel’s Medium Classic Flap bag has increased by almost 10% per year; 92% over the past 10 years. It’s expected to cost at least £7,000 by 2028.
So no matter if you’re buying or selling, it’s a good idea to know some of the best fashion brands to buy vintage. If you buy, you will find that they are more readily available. And if you sell, you will know what there is a demand for.
Main image: @gallianoarchive John Galliano Spring 1994
10 of the best fashion brands to buy vintage
The British brand is most associated with trench coats, quilted jackets and tartan patterns. It was established by Thomas Burberry in 1856 as an outdoor clothing company. However, today Burberry has transformed into the epitome of British high fashion. That being said, it’s one of the best fashion brands to buy vintage from, as the Burberry tartan and the brand’s use of neutral hues never go out of style.
With the growing popularity of sustainability, Patagonia has become one of the most coveted fashion brands to shop for vintage. And it’s easy to do! Just visit the auction-style platform on Patagonia’s site. This allows users to sell and buy their used Patagonia items.
What could be more ecological? Not only are you buying items that have been made with sustainability in mind, but you’re also keeping them circular.
Top items to look for? Tights, t-shirts and jackets, like these below sold by Reformation.
Many women would like to have a Louis Vuitton bag on their arm. And why not? These accessories are synonymous with richness, taste and quality. The only problem? There are so many fakes out there! They’re one of the most popular fashion brands to shop for vintage, so it’s really important to make sure you’re buying the real deal.
Once that’s established, treat yourself to one of LV’s classic styles. Some of the favorites among serious fashionistas include the Speedy, the Twist and the Neverfull.
Gucci’s double G logo and green and red stripe are hallmarks of exquisite craftsmanship today. But it wasn’t always like that.
In the 1980s, Gucci expanded its brand, allowing licensees to put its logo on anything from keychains and mugs to baseball caps and pens. Fortunately, the label got its marketing under control and started phasing out those licenses. They also reduced the number of Gucci stores around the world to make the brand more exclusive.
Today, you can find rare but classic Gucci bags, belts, scarves and more at online stores like Farfetch and Vestiaire Collective.
The British designer brought punk to the world of retail clothing. Its “radical” slogan tees, asymmetrical necklines and gothic hemlines appealed to those who appreciated fashion but also wanted to be “different.” Today, whether you’re looking for her couture label, Anglomania or Red, you can find her pre-loved.
The most popular are her chic handbags, fitted jackets and high platform heels. While this last item is decidedly alternative-chic, keep in mind that even veteran runway walker Naomi Campbell took a fall in a pair of these!
The charm of this French brand is timeless. Chanel is associated with taste, wealth and femininity. But be careful! As one of the most requested fashion brands to buy vintage from, it is imperative that you know how to spot a real Chanel bag. There are simply too many counterfeits! Especially if you go to sites like eBay, which don’t guarantee the authenticity of their products.
Be sure to visit reliable vintage stores, such as Catherine B’s. in Paris. Or if you’re shopping online, go to a site that guarantees their Chanel bags are the real deal, like Rebelle or The Real Real.
Oh, and here’s a tip: if you’re looking to buy a cool bag that you can make money from later, go for one of the more unusual Chanel styles. While everyone and their dog has a Chanel flap bag, if you find them in unusual colors or fabrics (like denim), they’re likely to be more expensive by collectors later on.
It is perhaps one of the most surprising fashion brands to buy vintage. But it makes sense. I mean, let’s think about it: all current jeans trends are fundamentally vintage. Mom John. Tall. Shorn. They’ve all been there before. So instead of opting for a new pair, why not look for the real deal instead?
The best part? You will be at the forefront of the trend, but no one will have the exact same jeans as you!
John Galliano has been at the head of the most luxurious brands in the world. His work at Givenchy, Dior and Margiela made the designer the king of fashion. His artistry, vision and talent are reflected in every piece he creates.
We love how Galliano’s work with Maison Margiela is currently focused on sustainability. Galliano uses upcycling techniques to create one-of-a-kind pieces that show how cultural responsibility can lead to exceptional wardrobe pieces.
As wonderful as his work with Margiela is, the truth is that Galliano at Dior is one of the best fashion brands to buy vintage — if you can find it. Her sewing work with this house has now become legendary. Think 40s-inspired jackets, bias-cut briefs, newspaper prints and, of course, the iconic Dior Saddle bag!
This brand of luxury watches is certainly one of the best known and most appreciated. The excellent functionality, simplicity of design and quality of materials of these watches make them so coveted. But with their high prices, it’s no wonder people are looking to the second-hand market for Rolexes.
Not only are these highly functional watches also a serious status symbol. And if you know anything about watches, finding a Submariner, Daytona or Oyster Perpetual is a great investment. These are mostly the most coveted Rolex models, and you’re sure to easily resell yours once you’ve had enough.
Asprey is the royal brand par excellence. It’s not just an expression: the British company has a long history of supplying crowns, crowns and scepters to royal families around the world. The business began in Surrey in 1781, with William Asprey producing silk prints. It gradually expanded to include several luxury items prized by the elite. These included grooming boxes (complete with silver brushes, mirrors and combs); suitcases, snuffboxes and cigarette cases.
Today, we associate the brand mainly with jewelry, handbags and watches. But that being said, if you can get your hands on one of Asprey’s oldest pieces, their price is almost guaranteed to go up!