A guide to buying iconic vintage pieces and trendy accessories online

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A consummate style ally that looks beyond trends. They can spot a good pair of stilettos and a real investment-worthy satchel from a mile away. It-bags or must-have shoes do not arouse much enthusiasm among them. You can, however, expect a generous helping of compliments from a die-hard fashion enthusiast when they lay eyes on limited-edition collaboration collections or an unusual chunky strap on a pair of slides. Likewise, they’re likely to go over logo-studded clothing, but spring over a rare and well-preserved vintage dress.

In a limitless digital space that is home to countless retail platforms, you’ll be lucky to find a handful of sites that offer a distinct, quality, and reasonably priced product offering. There are extremely popular luxury multi-brands that are perfect when it comes to showcasing only the freshest and most coveted pieces from the runways. These are inspiring digital spaces to visit when you want to keep up to date. You’ll also likely max out a credit card with just two or three coins when shopping around there.

The pre-loved creator platforms are absolute treasures. Not only are pre-loved purchases a more sustainable way to appreciate and consume high fashion, but they also elevate any wardrobe with iconic vintage pieces. The True True is a standout style space that houses an impressive collection of clothing ranging from Alexandre McQueen dresses (circa 2010), Alaia laser-cut bags to ethically-inspired Dior skirts. When shopping vintage online, take the time to inquire about the condition of the items you want to add to cart. The Obsessions feature is also a great way to tweak the countless finds before making an actual purchase. There are other vintage online sites worth checking out, but I personally find TheRealReal to do the best job of curating, presenting products, and ensuring that every piece is authentic. The other sites I’ve seen so far leave a lot to be desired when it comes to online visual merchandising.

The truth is that modern, well-rounded wardrobes are a mix of vintage and new pieces. A new pair of shoes, or that current bag that has caused sleepless nights is an occasional indulgence that completes our fashion experience. When I first fell in love with Bottega Veneta’s woven leather slides in 2019, it seemed like all hope was lost of having my own pair. On a trip to Paris that year, sales associates in every boutique in the city confirmed that “Of courseevery fashion girl has stocked up on these shoes. Sorry, miss.” It was the same in other major fashion capitals, and even in airport luxury boutiques. That year, I heard the word sorry in at least five languages.

That’s how I came across the new luxury multi-brand e-commerce site, BALTINI. Not only did the site have the coveted Bottega shoes I craved, it also had them in my size and in a wide range of colors. I was particularly impressed by the efficiency and speed of the logistics. Considering I was getting packages all the way to Manila (Baltini’s offices are in Dover, DE), my box arrived quickly. Updates while my package was on the way were frequent and most importantly accurate. The customer service channels were not only easy to access, they were also responsive.

After writing about BALTINI two years ago, several new clients privately messaged me asking if the site was legit and trustworthy. To which, the response was: “They exceeded all my expectations in terms of service, product range, quality and price.” More key accessories – shoes, mainly – have since been added to my cart. And during that time, I’ve seen the range of the platform expand and the customer experience improve.

As I decided it was time to park my favorite pair of slides and find a new one, I headed back to BALTINI. This time around, the designer selections had expanded to include indie and emerging talent. Brand founders Vincent Moiras and Josh Leonardi explain, “We try to include as many brands as possible on our website. Not only do we specifically choose brands that are very popular with our customers, but we also try to introduce independent brands.

While collections from popular shopping sites tend to be almost identical, BALTINI’s pieces are decidedly more distinctive. Vincent and Josh admit, “We don’t have exclusive items, but we personally curate each collection on our website to meet our customers’ needs and requests.” This includes an exclusive designer collection at 65% off, which includes most of the bestsellers from the previous season. “Just because he’s from the past doesn’t mean he’s not in demand.”

The site’s secret to staying competitive, particularly in luxury fashion, is in the partnerships it has forged with specialist boutiques across Italy. According to the retail duo, they have enjoyed strong working relationships with their Italian partners over the years. “We can source our items directly from Italy, which allows us to offer suits at greater discounts.”

New collaborations are high on the BALTINI team’s list of priorities this year. Its founders reveal that “we are working with a few local brands in Italy and the collection should be out by the end of the year”. The website back-end is a constant work in progress, especially for a company dedicated to providing customers with a seamless online luxury shopping experience. Vincent and Jost finish: “We will also have a VIP member area where members can get exclusive to buy exclusive pieces as well as high demand products at a special price.”

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