I somehow magically stumbled across Vaunte.com yesterday, a website that is an instant obsession. I had no idea what was awaiting me when I clicked on a link to shop Jennifer Mankin’s closet – who is, by the way, the owner of the Bird boutiques we all hate to love. It’s a magical world where you literally get to shop the closets of the fashionable at shockingly reasonable prices. I would call it an online Ina, but the Vaunte crew seems set on avoiding the title of the consignment store. Call it what you will; the important thing to note is that you can get gorgeous clothes at a fraction of the original retail price.
You can choose your shopping experience based on your styling affinities. Find a designer/shop owner/fashionista on the site whose style you love, and Vaunte will suggest other personalities who have similar taste. You an also search through filters, choosing by category and size to find that long out of season Louis Vuitton bootie that you thought you’d only ever be able to find on Ebay. What’s more is that there’s the occasional opportunity to have your closet splurge contribute to a charitable cause. At the seller’s discretion, part of the proceeds from selected items go to a charity of her choice.
The site does have its limitations. This is not a flash sale site, despite the fact that Leah Park, CEO & Co-Founder, was an original member of the Gilt Groupe crew. What I mean is that you’re literally shopping someone else’s closet – and you’ve got to cross your fingers and hope that your style mate is your size mate. There’s also the issue of no returns – know what cuts look good on you, what designers work well for you, and you probably won’t have too many disappointments.
I encourage you all to sign up, take a tour, and let me know what you think of this new e-commerce model.