I remember the high when I bought my first pair of Manolo Blahniks. Silver. Crocodile. 105 millimeters. Maybe you know that feeling of excitement and nervousness with a delicate serving of shame? I just spent half of my paycheck on a pair of shoes! But they were beautiful after all and the clincher…
I told myself I would have them FOrever.
I’m a recovering clothes addict, fashion follower and -- dare I say -- fashionista. As a teenager, fashion was an escape. I dreamed about fashion, a world of beauty, luxury, and creativity. A far cry from my reality, I promised that someday I would wear the clothes I coveted from the pages of my mother's Cosmo.
My Obsession on sustainable fashion
Fashion gave me joy and confidence along with major stress and a financial mess. As life changed from a Sex & The City episode to motherhood, I reassessed the relationship that I and so many women have with our clothes. A move to Paris prompted a major clean-out of my closet and life. My fashion-obsessed self had once dreamed of moving to New York, someday. Paris was like the cherry on top. With a one-way ticket in hand and no job, I started selling my wardrobe, including those silver-croc Blahniks. As the checks arrived, ($34,000 to be exact) the “keep” pile became the “sell” pile.
Early on, my obsession led to a Fashion Design school where I learned to design, merchandise, and market clothing to women like you. Followed by a long career in retail led to the accumulation of decades’ worth of clothes. The room known as my closet had become a storage space for the past. Stuffed inside were all the clothes, shoes, and handbags I loved, bought on a whim, convinced myself I needed -- not to mention the dreadful “will fit in again.” Whatever the story, too many items felt like that lone sock I hung onto hoping the other would reappear. A feeling, I suspect, that resonates with just about every woman at some point in her life.
As life changed from a Sex & The City episode to motherhood, I reassessed the relationship that I and so many women have with our clothes
Arriving in Paris, I wanted to build the perfect Parisian wardrobe. Where, I wondered, are all those chic French women I read about? Where do they shop? After hitting the Champs Elysees I realized it was full of brands I could get in the U.S. Meanwhile, I began noticing intriguing storefronts labeled “depot-vente” filled with iconic luxury labels. Stepping inside was a revelation. Two fashionably dressed women, chatting in French. Luxury clothing at 70% off retail. I had discovered the keys to the kingdom.
After several years in Paris, I’ve learned from those chic Parisiennes. I know how to create a luxury wardrobe with previously-loved garments and make quality clothing more attainable. And this, my dear reader, is why I started LACOCAIGNE.
For all of you women that love fashion or just want to feel good in your clothes, building a luxury second-hand wardrobe is transformational. Purchases become more considered and thoughtful. When you see something to add, it becomes practically reflexive to think about what to relinquish. You begin to level-up on the quality of your clothes. Just try and you will understand.