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The most valuable brands for vintage clothing

No matter if you want to sell some of your vintage gems or are looking for your next closet investment, knowing which brands are most valuable on the vintage market is a great advantage.


This post lists the brands whose vintage pieces consistently fetch a high price second hand and pre-loved. Use it to discover your next great find, or learn more about how to price your vintage wardrobe.


Chanel

Vintage Chanel garments are evergreen and always in high demand on the pre-loved and vintage market. Variations of the classic tweed jacket fetch high prices due to their timeless design and iconic status in the fashion community. However, due to the popularity of the brand there are quite a lot of counterfeit Chanel pieces circulating. So make sure that you are buying from a trusted source and/or get the piece authenticated before you splurge.


This black Chanel tweed blazer sold for $8654 in august 2021.

Jeanne Moreau wearing Chanel Tweed in the 1959 film Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Getty Images
Jeanne Moreau wearing Chanel Tweed in the 1959 film Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Hermès

It is hardly a surprise that pieces from the notoriously expensive french fashion house keep their value on the vintage market. Due to the impeccable quality of the garments and the hefty retail price making the first owners take good care of them, vintage Hermès pieces tend to be in great condition. However, clothes from the brand cannot compare to the resale value of their vintage bags and small leather goods. Ironically making Hermès one of the most "wallet friendly" brands on this list.


A vintage Hermès silk blazer was recently sold for more than $2100 on Vestiaire Collective.


Gucci

Famous for their sexy designs, vintage bikinis from this Italian fashion house can fetch fantastically high prices on the pre-loved market. Gucci has seen a huge spike in popularity in recent years with Alessandro Michele as creative director, who successfully managed to bring back eclectic vintage designs into the spotlight.


This vintage Gucci bikini sold for $6622 in November 2021.


Dior

Known for their feminine designs and luxurious materials, vintage Dior dresses are often sold for extravagant prices on the pre loved market. Other than dresses, jackets and coats are among the most valuable items from the brand, since we do not take bags and small leather goods into consideration in this list.


This vintage Dior silk dress sold for $4852 in August 2021.


Vivienne Westwood

Vintage pieces from legendary British designer Vivienne Westwood have great resale value. Specifically vintage corsets from the brand, which are hugely popular, excellently crafted and increasingly hard to get a hold of.


This vintage corset sold for a whopping $3872 in september 2021.


Oscar De La Renta

Famous for supplying the brightest shining stars in Hollywood with extravagant and luxurious clothing. Vintage designs from Oscar De La Renta are considered highly valuable on the pre loved market. Especially elaborately made dresses, jackets and coats.


A vintage reversible Oscar De La Renta coat sold for $4658 in October 2021.


Vintage Oscar De La Renta ensemble, Vogue 1969
Oscar De La Renta ensemble, Vogue 1969

Yves Saint Laurent

World renowned for their iconic "Le Smoking", vintage tailoring and jackets from YSL are valuable on the pre-loved market. Even though they rarely fetch as high prices as fashion houses like Chanel. As with most brands, vintage leather pieces from YSL are generally most valuable since the material is expensive to start with and leather often hold up better than fabric.


A vintage YSL decorated leather jacket was sold for $2715 in September 2021.


Comme Des Garçons

Vintage pieces from this absolutely iconic Japanese fashion house are highly sought after by fashion collectors all over the world. The more avant-garde designs, specifically if they are from one of the earlier collections, are often sold for astronomical sums.


This Comme Des Garçons dress sold for $3890 on Vestiaire Collective in August 2021.


Jean Paul Gaultier

Famous for his theatrical and vivacious designs. Vintage pieces, especially corsets from the 1980s and early 1990s are considered very valuable on the pre loved and second hand market. Vintage form fitting designs from the "tattoo" collection (spring/summer 1994) are also highly sought after since they come into fashion over and over again.


This vintage Jean Paul Gaultier dress with a built-in corset sold for $2754 in September 2021.

Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier Corset and Jean Paul Gaultier and Dita Von Teese on the runway
Dita von Teese and Jean Paul Gaultier on the runway

Why are vintage clothes from these brands so expensive?

  • Status and Scarcity Since these brands have been around for so long, they have established a certain status within the fashion community and have at least a couple of extra special, memorable, or limited collections. Clothing items from these will always fetch a higher price because of their exclusivity and scarcity.

  • Expensive materials and Design process These brands most often use expensive, high quality materials which account for at least a part of both the retail and vintage price tag. But the main reason to why they are so valuable is that the design process is laborious and costly for the fashion houses. Many vintage pieces from the 1920s-1960s are hand made, and even in later years the process remained at least semi manual. Not to mention the fact that some of the fashion houses mentioned in this list have their own Couture Ateliers producing one of a kind, hand made designs of the most precious materials.

  • Trends and Timeless design These fashion houses all have their unique expression, which has been cultivated and refined for decades. This makes their core designs timeless and valuable since they express a certain lifestyle or outlook on life that resonates with the wearer no matter when the garment was created. These brands iconic designs also tend to cyclically become trendy, which in 99% of the cases increases prices of vintage items on the market. So look out for iconic vintage designs that might feel "untrendy" at the moment. These tend to be a great investment over time.


What about second hand and pre loved items?

This post has exclusively been about Vintage clothing items (clothes are generally considered vintage when 20 years or older). This does not necessarily mean that second hand and pre-loved items younger than 20 years are invaluable.


On the contrary, In many cases newer items fetch a higher price than vintage ones. This is partly because they are often considered to be in "better" condition and more aligned with current trends than their vintage counterparts. The prices are also influenced by the fact that the second hand community is larger and more wide spread than the community of vintage collectors. More potential buyers competing for an item equal a higher price tag for said item.

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