Shoptalk: consignment stores

Great designer fashion at a fraction of the original price

Second Avenue in Sandymount, Dublin 4:  Owner Aisling Walsh runs an appointment-only business with a strong focus on customer service

Second Avenue in Sandymount, Dublin 4: Owner Aisling Walsh runs an appointment-only business with a strong focus on customer service

 

You’re about to be invited into the resurgent subculture of consignment stores. A consignment store does two things. Firstly, it sells your designer clothes for you, releasing the equity in your wardrobe. The clothes must be in good condition, current and the more high profile the designer, the better. For example, Chanel and Prada move fast at a high price. Secondly, as a shopper, you get to feast on great designer fashion at a fraction of the original price.

These shops are independent by nature with both loyal consigners and shoppers.

In fact, talking to Aisling Wallis from Platform in Rathgar, Dublin 6, it’s a perfect eco system, with some shoppers dedicating themselves to particular consigners and their favourite designers. The day I was there, there was a well-heeled scrum over a shearling Chanel bag with a €450 price tag.

If you fancy designer bargains with a great view, The Secret Closet in Howth, Co Dublin is definitely worth the pilgrimage. The fashion version of caving, this deceptive emporium has room after room of delights. Sisters Karen and Lesley facilitate a steady stream of niche recycling for knowing consigners and shoppers from all over.

One of the most established stores is Second Avenue in Sandymount, Dublin 4 (pictured right) with a steady stream of Ann Demeulemeester and Louboutain. Recently refurbished, its owner Aisling Walsh runs an appointment-only business with a strong focus on customer service.

By contrast is new kid No.38 in the rarefied environs of Dunville Avenue in Ranelagh, Dublin 6. Armelle Mitchell has a constant stream of designer goodies from the soignee local community. She is quirky, quick witted and stylish, all of which is reflected in her shop.

Finally, Stylejump. com, founded by Kelley Burke, is an online offering with an offline presence on Marine Terrace in Dún Laoghaire, beside the People’s Park in south Dublin. It’s stocked by women who are time-poor, clothes-rich and storage limited, happily off-loading Dolce & Gabbana, Victoria Beckham and Prada.

By the way, if you take shoe size 39.5, (I unfortunately don’t!) the tan Prada platform wingtips for €160 are my gift to you.

Sonya Lennon

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