“[Nordstrom] shares the viewpoint that vintage is almost like the new ‘designer’ in the way that consumers not only want to shop sustainability but there is a hyper-focus on individuality. They’re trying to fill that gap,” Topper Luciani, chief executive officer and founder of Goodfair, said of the partnership that aims to ‘democratize’ vintage.
Goodfair vintage picks will be merchandised into Nordstrom’s existing website under its Sustainable Style vertical, which launched in August 2019. The vertical was created to be a one-stop shop for thousands of products focused on sustainability, updated continuously. Each product in the category must meet at least one of three qualifiers, meaning: half of materials are considered “sustainably sourced,” items are “responsibly manufactured,” or the factories abide by what Nordstrom considers higher social and environmental standards, or the product “gives back” with every purchase.
This is not the first time Nordstrom will be in on secondhand. Previously, the retailer dabbled in temporary physical resale with an upscale bend with its “See You Tomorrow” pop-up that ran last January at its New York City flagship. There was also a temporary website before the shop closed around March due to difficulties amid the pandemic for both the retailer and its then re-commerce partner Trove.
“Customers responded strongly to our See You Tomorrow initiative. We hosted consignment appointments, which were fully booked during the time they were available. It was launched as a test and learn to inform our plans in the future for re-commerce, and we continue to use insight from it to plan for the future within this space,” said Jen Jackson Brown, executive vice president and president of Nordstrom product group, young adult and kids.
This time around, Nordstrom is taking a broader approach to vintage for the young adult category. Monthly drops will initially consist of over 50 vintage items sourced from Goodfair’s supply stream and available across sizes XS to XXL. The majority of pieces are considered true vintage, meaning they were made before 2000 and follow certain guidelines dictated by Nordstrom with some pieces even bearing the “Made in the USA” moniker. Customers can expect one-of-a-kind T-shirts, brand name jackets and throwback sweatshirts, among other trending looks. Instead of designer picks like Stella McCartney sneakers for $166 resale versus $685 retail, or an Alice + Olivia dress for $106 resale versus $330 retail under the See You Tomorrow concept, the price points are more accessible ranging from $40 to $80.
“Each time we do it, the iteration will make for a more refined experience,” said Luciani, on what to expect of the monthly assortments. “We have vintage experts that really know what is resonating in the vintage market.”
Since launching in 2019, Goodfair said it has tripled its revenue, although details remain unclear, by riding the newly mainstream wave of resale fashion. Luciani thinks Goodfair’s location in Houston, a city perhaps unmatched in the rag trade with some 50 wholesalers dealing used clothing, is one advantage for providing the best assortment of vintage — while having its ears open on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, is another.
Like many of the resellers-turned-fashion-thought leaders, he thinks secondhand shops within retail stores will not only chip away at the enormous used clothing supply, but give customers something they actually want.
“Our industry has been very much created and dominated by a false scarcity effect, similar to the diamond industry and our job is to be right here in the supply chain and make these great finds as accessible as possible from a price perspective and ease of purchasing perspective,” Luciani said.
To that, Brown reiterated: “We are constantly listening to our customers and now more than ever we know that our customers are looking to Nordstrom to be a responsible company. Through customer feedback and increased website searches, we know our customers are looking for ways to be more sustainable in their shopping choices. Goodfair is one example of what Nordstrom is doing to help further its efforts around sustainability.”
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