RETIREMENT PLANNING: The e-mail invitation read “Your Chanel Hedge Fund Via Decades.”
The consignment and vintage designer boutique on Melrose Avenue will start its annual Chanel sale Saturday with many of the pieces also available online for the first time. A special preview for VIPs takes place today.
The event, put on by Decades Inc. owners Cameron Silver and Christos Garkinos, totals more than 360 pieces — which the store has been amassing since October. Chanel and Hermès represent the two biggest brands for the store. About 150 of those items will also be placed on the Decades Web site.
“Normally it’s just been in store but we have so many fans now around the world that want to be a part of it,” Garkinos said.
This year’s Chanel offering is larger that last year’s by about 100 pieces , with the oldest items dating back to the Eighties. Prices ranges from an $80 coin purse to an $18,000 alligator shoulder bag.
There’s more happening for Decades on the digital front.
The boutique last month revealed a revamped Web site, with improvements not only stylistically but also on the backend to streamline the shopping process. Clients in the coming weeks will also be able to shop the Decades Instagram page by clicking on a photo that will then take them to the company’s site.
Overall sales are still generated by the 6,000-square-foot shop, which employs a staff of eight. But the Web site is quickly gaining ground as the customer base continues to expand internationally, Garkinos said.
Decades was the product of a merger between Silver — who opened the original Decades 20 years ago to sell vintage — and Garkinos who was operating a resale business on the first floor of the building they’re still in. The business counts a roster of about 5,000 consigners.
“We get new stuff everyday. I figured out that, in my 17 years, I’ve probably seen a million pieces of product and have brought in just 200,000 of it so I’m pretty picky about it,” Garkinos said. “I’ve actually turned down some Chanel pieces just because they weren’t special enough. We’re that picky.”
A pop-up in New York is planned for February, one of many temporary shops Decades has done that Garkinos coined “the ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em tour’ because we get there and get out.”
More in-store events are also in various stages of the planning process for next year.
“We’re just really focused on doing things that are special,” he said. “With retail it’s just important to do things to get people to the store so we have a bunch of events in the planning stages.”