What Goes Around Comes Around, a 25-year-old company that is vintage in its own right — unveils “The Vault,” an experiential buildout in its SoHo flagship, along with a “refreshed” partnership with LG during New York Fashion Week.
The 25-year-old company established its foothold in the designer vintage and luxury markets in 1993. Perhaps unknown to many, it also fosters technology partnerships, distributes to department stores, such as Dillards, and online retailers, such as Shopbop. The company also operates six stores with experiential components and indulges an international network to source its vintage stock.
Since its inception, the perception of “vintage” has changed and taken on new meaning.
But one thing has stayed the same: “Our business over the years has always inspired and trend set,” said Seth Weisser, cofounder and chief executive officer of What Goes Around Comes Around to WWD.
Aside from trendsetting, the company is bridging divides between tech and fashion. For the past two years, the company has partnered with LG, first at Bonnaroo Music Festival, with a vintage swap and wash-‘n’-fold service, and now with the addition of “LG Stylers” — based at the company’s new experiential buildout in the basement of its SoHo flagship.
The steam care clothing system refreshes, deodorizes and maintains the delicacy of vintage pieces all without chemicals — and will be used internally by the staff in the space, even after the partnership ends.
Keeping all the best players (or “pinnacle pieces at collectible prices,” as Weisser calls them) in the game for not just showgoers, but stylists and other high-fashion clientele who want access to the archives is important for What Goes Around Comes Around.
To every store location, the company aims to offer an experiential, ever-changing menu of collaborations, experiences, drops and exclusives. At Beverly Hills, there is the “VIP room.” On Madison Avenue, there’s a “private dressing room.” And in SoHo, “The Vault.”
Before the Vault
Over the past decade an affinity for vintage has grown, But the word “vintage” itself, as Weisser claims, “wasn’t even in the vernacular then.” Back then, or 2009 to be exact, is when the company narrowed its expertise on designer and luxury categories to service its high-fashion customer base seeking individual, distinctive wardrobe options.
Vintage was simply a gateway to self-expressive, distinctive clothing at a quality that both himself and his cofounder, Gerard Maione, both Syracuse University grads, fell for repeatedly — and haven’t been able to break the cycle since.
Rightly so, the name “What Goes Around Comes Around” nods to both a karmic reality of expression as well as a vision of circular fashion for not only garment but trend, as Weisser informs. “We want what we want, and we’re very picky,” said Weisser with a laugh. Today, being picky is consciously curating one’s selection — only buying the best — and ensuring upmost quality, authenticity and individuality in every piece.
Newcomers to the scene
Still privately held, What Goes Around Comes Around built its own proprietary database over the years and aims to be an important long-term player in the designer vintage and luxury markets.
To do so, it leans into a distinctive product assortment, a team of “stylists,” and technology as well as in-store experiences such as “The Vault,” among other differentiators.
Never idling in spite of Silicon Valley’s handful of consignment-based businesses and marketplaces, such as The RealReal, which launched into public notoriety and many credit for “mainstreaming secondhand,” Weisser is clear to make the distinction.
“They buy almost anything they can get,” according to Weisser. What Goes Around Comes Around taps its international network of suppliers, dealers, auction houses to get the goods — which are bought outright.
After all, it’s a business still built on relationships.
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