Style

The Designer Resale Site That Places a Premium on Curation

Written by: Amanda Chung

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Published on: April 9, 2024

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Blazer, pants, and sneakers: Richardson’s own. Shop similar: KALLMEYER Blazer, goop, $725

“I’ve always loved shopping preloved and vintage, but I found the customer journey quite unsatisfying,” says Clare Richardson, the London-based stylist and founder of Reluxe Fashion, a budding designer resale site that, unlike most of its competitors, prioritizes quality over quantity. “As a mum and a working woman, I just did not have the time to trawl through sites where you’re fire-hosed with so many products. I wanted a seamless, curated experience of buying and selling my wardrobe.” In addition to its strict curation, what sets Reluxe Fashion apart is its Relove program, which makes excess stock from a small number of cult-favorite brands (Toteme, Métier, and Le Monde Beryl, to name a few) available to customers at heavily discounted prices.

We got on the phone with Richardson to talk about her fashion philosophy, the importance of curation, and how she leverages her industry relationships for good.

A CONVERSATION WITH CLARE RICHARDSON

On solving a problem with circular fashion:

Being in the industry, I’ve always known that brands, by no fault of their own, sometimes have excess stock. They may be working with a store that cancels their order, or something comes in and it’s wrong for them. So we work directly with them to recirculate those pieces. (We call it Relove.) It’s all brand-new and unworn, and we don’t take everything. Either you are a die-hard fan of these brands and you just want to get your hands on more of their pieces, or it’s a way of getting to know a brand for a first time, trialing it, and then maybe going to that brand directly.

On the pieces she’s most proud of sourcing:

I remember there were the amazing banana tops from the Chloé show ages ago, back when Phoebe [Philo] was there. You couldn’t find them anywhere, but we got four or five of them, which caused such a frenzy. Or there was a pair of cargo trousers that Nicolas Ghesquière did for Balenciaga—actually, I was photographed in them for the launch for the Financial Times’ How to Spend It—and again, if you try to look for them, I think there’s probably one pair in the world for sale right now. It’s things like that that make you go, Wow, these are amazing. But don’t get me wrong: I never wanted Reluxe to be ultraniche. It really is for women to build their wardrobes for every day—you’ll find Frame denim or a great Nili [Lotan] shirt alongside the collectible pieces, too.

G. LABEL BY GOOP LILIAN V-NECK SWEATER, goop, $595; CELINE JEANS, Reluxe, $194; MIU MIU COAT, Reluxe, $710; MÉTIER x RELOVE BAG, Reluxe, $1,286

On shopping more mindfully:

I so rarely buy anything new now. I really wear my clothes. I’m on my feet all day, whether I’m with clients or on set for an editorial, so my clothes have to be things that I feel comfortable in—there’s nothing worse than watching someone who can’t walk in their shoes or is stuffed into their dress or top. I think the coolest women have a nonchalance. There’s an ease to them. That’s why I was so drawn to Phoebe Philo at Celine, because she was designing clothes for women to wear every day. When I do buy a new piece, I have to really love it. If it’s for every day, I might update something like a masculine shirt or an oversize blazer. But then in the evening, I do tend to get slightly sexy and [am] a bit more of a Saint Laurent girl, so it really depends.

I always tell people: Put aside time during a free afternoon—or if you’ve got kids, an evening—and go through your wardrobe. Not only will you be really surprised at what you’ve forgotten, but once you’ve done this, you can see where the gaps are. Then write a list of things that you actually need versus what you think you need. That way you’re not buying things that you’ll regret. But also, have fun with fashion. It doesn’t have to always be about wardrobe staples, you know?

On her most recent preloved score:

I got this black mohair-y cap-sleeve top from The Row. I admit it’s not the most exciting piece ever, but I wear it all the bloody time. It’s so good for work. You can put on a slip dress and pop it on over the top. It’s just one of those pieces that, day and evening, look chic and smart.

LEFT: G. LABEL BY GOOP SWAIN LONGLINE VEST, goop, $575; VALENTINO SKIRT, Reluxe, $226; BALMAIN BLAZER, Reluxe, $517; CHANEL BAG, Reluxe, $2,584. MIDDLE: G. LABEL BY GOOP SWAIN LONGLINE VEST, goop, $575; DIOR BAG, Reluxe, $1,938. RIGHT: G. LABEL BY GOOP SWAIN LONGLINE VEST, goop, $575

On G. Label’s role in her wardrobe:

It slots in so well. The fabrics are beautiful. The designs are not too overpowering. There’s a chicness to them—and what I love is that they don’t require too much thought. I love this waistcoat especially. I would wear that in the day for meetings or a presentation, with blue denim just to give it a bit of lightness. But I would also wear it into the evening, either with a pleated silk Valentino skirt and a velvet blazer or a pair of black trousers to make it more of a Le Smoking look.