How to Make Money From Fashion

The recent interest in vintage clothing —even Hollywood actresses are wearing vintage on the red carpet—means you can cash in by collecting vintage clothes, shoes and jewellery:

Where to Start...

Think strategically

Most people start by collecting clothes from a favourite designer or decade. (Anything between the 1920s and 1980s qualifies as vintage.) You can either gather what’s already vintage or try to get new pieces that will become vintage. Items produced in limited quantities that are in good condition will hold or increase their value. Historical context will also add value. Dig around in fashion archives and read up on fashion history to see what trends were popular. Be discerning when buying, however. Mypoupette.com can offer advice if you believe your item may be a fake.

Start small

Sample sales are a brilliant way to pick up discounted stock. A sample sale is when a fashion house or designer has unwanted stock from a previous season that needs to be shifted. Try designersales.co.uk

Accessories

These are increasing in value. Vintage handbags are valuable because of the leather used. Names to look out for are Vuitton, Chanel and Hermès. Six out of the top ten most expensive fashion-related items sold on eBay in 2010 were Hermès Birkin bags. Designer silk scarves are big bucks too, although they are harder to find. You can also even make money from couture and fashion memorabilia if it’s classy enough.  

Selling your collection

It’s a good idea to get your stuff valued if you want to sell it. Valuations are free with Kerry Taylor Auctions in London although they’re by appointment only. Auction bidders will be serious collectors with deep pockets who compete with each other, and museums with large budgets also look for good-quality clothes at auctions.