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boutique directoryWednesday, December 23, 2020

The pre-owned boutique guide: 4 of the best places for designer vintage

WORDS BY SUZIE BAKOS

Pre-loved is steadily becoming fashion’s buzz word, but when it comes to hard-to-find designer pieces, FARFETCH’s selection of vintage boutiques offers a truly global range of pre-owned fashion and accessories. Paris-based boutique Collector Square’s collection of classic watches brings new meaning to the word keepsake; Rewind Vintage Affairs in London specializes in French archival pieces; Tokyo’s Amore Gentleman champions fashion’s most iconic bags and Susan Caplan is renowned for its vast range of vintage jewelry. Here, the experts behind these boutiques discuss how they source their pre-loved pieces and share their favorite styles available to shop now, only on FARFETCH.

 

Rewind Vintage Affairs, UK

 

Based in Chelsea’s Design District, where antique shops and design spaces stand side by side, Rewind Vintage Affairs sets the standard for pre-loved French archival brands. ‘I was an avid Chanel and Hermès collector, that’s why the store focuses mainly on unusual items,’ says founder and CEO Claudia Ricco. 

 

From Chanel’s runway-hero Lego bags to a rare skateboard from Hermès, the London store is dedicated to finding pre-loved fashion with the wow factor. When it comes to sourcing its extensive collections, Ricco considers several factors: ‘Price, condition and style. Each of us has our own criteria when deciding on a purchase but generally speaking, the rule of thumb is you either go for a classic that never goes out of style, or you buy something that is super rare. We evaluate the scarcity of the item, the collectability and the quirkiness factor. If it ticks those boxes, it's for us.’

 

Amore Gentleman, Japan

 

'Amore Gentleman is located in-between the Harajuku district, which encompasses various vintage and streetwear clothes stores, and the Omotesando/Aoyama district which is full of luxury designer boutiques. It’s an area where various cultures cross paths and you can see Tokyo’s most cutting-edge fashion trends,’ explains Ryoko Itakura, Amore’s supervisor. 

 

The boutique — the third in the Amore family — specializes in men’s pre-owned bags and has accrued a loyal clientele, who gravitate here for the impressive roster of brands from Louis Vuitton to Hermès and beyond. The offering includes timeless classics, extremely rare collaboration pieces, iconic styles that defined the 2000s, and even some pieces that have been loved for hundreds of years. ‘When it comes to travel bags, Louis Vuitton, which was founded as a specialty store manufacturing travel trunks, is an indispensable brand. Amore Gentleman offers rare Louis Vuitton trunks from the 1900s to the 2000s. The monograms at that time were hand-painted one by one by artisans, making them completely different from the current print versions.’

 

Susan Caplan, UK

 

Alternative, vibrant and completely unique, London’s Camden Town plays host to luxury vintage store Susan Caplan. Specializing in pre-loved costume jewelry, the boutique’s eponymous founder started collecting rare styles in her teens. And when it comes to deciding which pieces to sell in-store, she goes with her heart. ‘I buy what I love, what's made well — craftsmanship is of utmost importance to me — and despite being vintage, it has to have a place in today’s industry,’ says Caplan. ‘I love having an eclectic range, so it could be bold Chanel earrings with their iconic CCs or an effortlessly chic 1950s necklace from the now highly sought-after Trifari.’

 

Every prestigious brand and piece that the store has to offer is selected after passing a rigorous checklist: authenticity, quality and individuality. ‘These pieces show the era they came from. The 1980s were about bold, over-the-top jewelry and these styles depict that perfectly. There’s an emphasis on logos, too. For me, vintage can be investment pieces. Handle carefully and they will last forever.’

 

Collector Square, France

 

In the heart of Paris’ Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood is Collector Square, a boutique specializing in luxury timepieces by the world’s most iconic watchmakers. ‘We have everything,’ says Pauline Desmonts, head of communication at Collector Square. ‘Sports watches like a Rolex Submariner or an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak; smart watches such as a Patek Philippe Calatrava for a black-tie dinner; and casual timeless pieces that go with every outfit, like a Rolex Datejust or a Cartier Tank.’

 

Each pre-owned piece is appraised by an in-house expert to ensure impeccable quality and condition, and the store recommends customers have their precious watches serviced every 4-5 years to increase longevity. Browse the boutique’s rarest styles here, from a 1970s Patek Philippe to a 1950s Rolex Submariner and more.

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