Street style: Aberdeen Campus
Is resale really that bad?
Recently, Burberry made headlines again for an unprecedented change in their business model. Beginning from September 2016, they have made all their collections (those still in production) available at any time of the year, as soon as the collections are shown, rather than the previous model of waiting up to six months to receive the first orders out. This is in line with the social changes and pressures around suppliers to manufacture limited runs at a faster pace as the rate of consumerism rallies. This is indeed a business tactic, as in recent years it has proven difficult for brands to keep the buzz going from a collection previewing, to the time it is available for sale. But for me, this perspective points to other aspects of a radically changing industry.
For example, in terms of mid-range brands such as Supreme and Palace, the resale market led by global consumers is rapidly expanding. An increasing number of young adults (sometimes teens) have constructed business empires around the online resale market, before moving to physical stores and acquiring contracts from big name brands, and co-signs from major celebrities. This has also lead to the inception of Facebook groups such as “Gosha Talk EU” and “The Arca” (the latter currently standing at just over 10,000 members), where pretty much anyone with a phone and an internet connection can look for items from (normally) exclusive brands from other fans, and sell themselves, all at the click of a button. These brands have deliberately kept their production runs very limited for hype purposes, but instead the industry has morphed around these brands. Contrary to traditional business models, they have avoided hiking up prices, even though (some would argue) they receive the same customer attention as brands such as Fear Of God (whose latest jackets retail at upwards of £800 as opposed to Supreme’s £300-£400 range). It isn’t like Supreme couldn’t sell at these prices, as resellers are getting the same sort of numbers on eBay and Grailed, they just choose not to. Maybe a conscious step pointing towards issues of sustainability? Who knows.
As a result, the consumer market becomes an amalgamation of die-hard fans and those who manipulate the frenzy. There have been many social debates on this subject, and the morality of using bots (programs designed to make automated purchases) to undercut brands and their “real” consumers. On which side do you stand? Power to the people? Or does a more open market come with more issues?
Here is a look at what six members of our campus chose to acquire from this new landscape.