Beginning in SoHo on a Tuesday night, the owners of the RealReal, an online store for luxury consignment goods, opened up their first physical shop. When looking over the designer handbags, the attendees at this fabulous event learned that authenticity is a very important part of celebrating the beauty of designer consignment products. The attendees were given the opportunity to look over the bags and discuss how to determine whether something is authentic or not by looking at things like the smell, the stitching, and even the zippers.
Founded back in 2011, this venture includes things like brand authenticators, horologists, gemologists, and art curators to help give shoppers the satisfaction that they are getting an authentic designer bag like a Hermes or Chanel. They not only sell designer bags, but they also provide shoppers with designer clothing and shoes. However, everything is the store is second-hand, meaning the prices are more budget-friendly without sacrificing the luxury of the designer brands.
The idea began in 2010 when the founder, Julie Wainwright and her friend were shopping at a consignment designer shop in the Silicon Valley area. That same night, Wainwright went home with the confusion in her mind about designer consignment. After some research, she came to the conclusion that there was little to offer in the world of designer consignment, and thus RealReal was born. It was just a few months after the shopping trip that Wainwright had purchased the domain name online and built a website. Then, in June of 2011, Wainwright set up her first office in a warehouse to get started.
Since then, RealReal has grown considerably too as many as eight million members and raising as much as $73,000,000 in venture capital. The company has even begun a connection with the College of Science department at the University of Arizona. Wainwright has concluded that most of the members have never bought consignment, and most have never consigned themselves, but the buyers and sellers keep RealReal in business.
The website is set up well with the gorgeous waterfall effect to keep shoppers looking and scrolling for hours. The photographs on the website are professional photographs that highlight the beauty of each product placed on the website. Most things as authentic as well, but sometimes things will slip through unnoticed by the team behind the scenes. However, if something is found to be inauthentic, the company pulls it from the website to avoid selling things that go against their overall message as a company.
Much like the online retailer, the new physical store in SoHo will have all the best when it comes to products including brands like Gucci, Prada, and Balenciaga. Everything is displayed beautifully to ensure that the products are the highlight of the store, almost like they are on a shrine. The company even offers things like free workshops to help people learn how to authenticate designer things. Even the sound system in the store I loaded with education like teaching individuals how to pronounce designer names and brands. The store features beautiful art and beautiful products because Wainwright feels like the designer’s brands are wearable art for consumers.
The RealReal is a new experience for many people, making it a great way to get designer things like bags, clothing, shoes, and accessories. In this company, a shopper can learn about the brands they are shopping, the products they are looking at, and even about how to navigate the designer world. Julie Wainwright wanted to take something so high class and make it accessible for many other people out there to give them an unforgettable experience that they might not otherwise get.