Monday, 3 September 2012

Buy My Wardrobe – Luxe-recycling revolution

Last week saw the launch of Buy My Wardrobe’s new online luxury marketplace. To celebrate the occasion Kal Di Paola, the founder, hosted a party with her team and invited not just press but also faithful clients: the buyers and the sellers. And where better to celebrate than at the chic and contemporary Vanilla Bar on Great Titchfield Street where it all began four years ago. Here Kal started her first designer recycling event. Initially it was just selling some of her own wardrobe which she no longer wore but was in good condition and of high quality. Experiencing the excitement these reduced designer prices created amongst women who couldn’t afford or wouldn’t buy full price, Kal realised the potential of making this in to a regular event and including other fashion conscious women who had closets full of designer clothing no longer worn.

With these events becoming successful it was a natural progression to expand to online. The concept of the website is not to just buy and sell glamorous second hand pieces (or using the new buzz word pre-loved), but also to build a trusted community where the buyers and sellers could also network and follow each other.

How it works:

Firstly you become a member. This is quite simple for a buyer status, just visit and register your name and email address. 

A seller membership has to be pre-approved to ensure the quality of the goods. You must register but also advise what type of seller you want to be: individual; business or VIP.

Individual - selling clothes exclusively from your own wardrobe.

Business – selling clothes from your own pre-loved fashion business

VIP - if you’re super busy and want the team to take care of everything i.e. manage profile and orders.

You will then be sent an invite code and asked for a few more details.

Once you are a member you can:

Check out other members profiles to see what they are selling, their style and size and if it matches your own flare.

Follow other members - this way you get to know the person and see them add new products.

And of course Buy Buy Buy or Sell Sell Sell!

The online marketplace is not replacing the Buy My Wardrobe events, just giving you an option on how to sell or buy.

The events are great fun and are like entering Aladdin’s cave with so many treasures on display. The plus is that it is a great social event and you can see the clothes up close and try them on. But you do have to find time to attend, queue up to make sure you can scan the place before anyone else and also you are more prone to get caught up in the excitement and impulse buy. And if you’re a seller, you have to organise the taking and bringing back of your precious cargo.

For unorganised and lazy me, the online marketplace is perfect as it is always open and that means I can leisurely look through all there is to offer any time of day or night. Another plus is when you’ve found something but still want to look around, you can add to your basket for 15mins and no one else can take it. 

The launch party was a glamorous affair with most guests dressed in designer outfits. And the Buy My Wardrobe team were no exception.

Kal wore a stunning 50s style red lace dress with bracelet length sleeves by Tracey Reese, teamed with red soled classic black Christian Louboutins.

Merchandiser Marijne went all Hollywood glam with a low back beaded Parker dress in the roaring 20s style soon to be all the rage when The Great Gatsby movie is released in autumn.

PR manager Alex chose the Glamazon look with her floor length black Sass & Bide dress embellished with colourful Aztec designs on the empire line bodice.

Marketplace manager Vicki sparkled and purred in a knee length subtle animal print sequinned dress by Amen in shades of bronze, gold and cream, and teamed with snakeskin LK Bennett court shoes.

With all these glamorous pieces, there was no sign of pretence at the party, more of camaraderie as these savvy stylish women glowed and shared the knowledge of how to dress designer without breaking the bank.

To buy online or find out details of future events visit

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky  

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