Monday, December 15, 2014

What makes antique fashion valuable?

As more and more people buy into the vintage trend, distinctive and well-made fashion accessories have increased in value. The greatest prices are likely to be paid for pieces made by couture houses, but stylish items from other makers can be surprisingly valuable too.


If you are planning to sell, bear in mind that while some collectors buy shoes and accessories to record developments in fashion or because they like the work of the particular designer, most people buy to wear. For many, wearing a vintage accessory is an easy way to add an individual touch to a modern outfit and there is a young and enthusiastic market for pieces such as handbags, scarves, shoes and ties.


Because vintage accessories are usually bought to be worn, condition and appearance are extremely important when assessing value. A striking design will usually attract buyers, particularly if it is typical of a popular era of fashion, such as 1950s and 1960s. Good prices are paid for vintage spectacles in the 1950s 'cat's eye' style and pairs with the circular frames popularised by John Lennon in the 1960s. Accessories from the 1970s and 1980s are less valuable but are growing in popularity and can fetch relatively good prices, particularly if they evoke the disco period.


Even the name of lesser-known makers can add to value to an accessory if they have a desirable address, such as Fifth Avenue, New York, or Bond Street, London. These locations indicate that an item was originally expensive and is likely to be fairly rare and of exeptional quality. In general, the better and more typical of the era the design, the more valuable an item will be, so a quirky chrome lighter, or one associated with a celebrity, could be worth as much as a gold equivalent.


Fashion accessories by famous and desirable manufacturers or designers, such as Dior, Chanel, Herm├Ęs and Gucci, can attract much interest and may be worth selling with a specialist auction house, such as Kerry Taylor Auctions or Christie's South Kensington. The most visually appealing or typical pieces from these makers often fetch thousands of pounds. Pieces by lesser and unknown makers are worth anything from few pennies to £200. Some general auction houses have fashion and textile sales. Otherwise, search the internet for specialist dealers in the relevant field or sell online.


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