Imagine a second hand shop dedicated to luxurious pieces for the bougiest of the rich. Little known to you, you can actually afford to walk into this shop and buy yourself a designer name bag or piece of clothing. The RealReal in SoHo, NYC introduces second hand shopping for luxury pieces in their physical retailer in NYC. The RealReal, an online luxury consignment shop, opened up its first physical doors in SoHo in November of 2017.
The RealReal was founded in 2011 by entrepreneur Julie Wainwright, previous C.E.O. of video retailer Reel.com and the pet supply store, Pets.com. Her latest venture with The RealReal included employing a team of art curators and brand authenticators who can guarantee their shoppers their Rolex Watch or Chanel Handbag are completely, 100% real. Wainwright thought of the idea for a luxury second hand website during a shopping trip in 2010. After the event of buying consignment was engraved in her brain, Wainwright went home later than night and began researching the second hand luxury market. After failing to sell her items on eBay, a local consignment shop, and at a pawnbroker she decided she had landed on something huge and decided to make a business out of it.
Thus, The RealReal was born. The website has attracted 8 million members since its opening many years ago. Many piece offerings on the site are from recent seasons and still in style. The RealReal offers authentic luxury that websites like Amazon, ThredUp, eBay, and Poshmark can’t offer. Adding to the overwhelming web success, their SoHo retailer offers the same allure with Chanel sunglasses on front window display, and Birkin bags set up so delicately on the window sill. The RealReal is opening their doors to a wider variety of consumers and allowing second hand luxury shopping to be effortless and boujee at the same time.