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Prada sees opportunity in resale market, considers future partnerships

Jeremy Lim
01 December 2021

Prada is weighing up partnerships with resale platforms amid the rise in luxury fashion houses joining the secondhand market.

The Italian fashion group sees opportunity in the booming second-hand fashion market which it can develop both in-house and through partnerships, marketing chief and heir designate Lorenzo Bertelli told Reuters.

The luxury resale market is experiencing record growth over the last three years, driven by younger, more environmentally conscious shoppers looking for affordable high-end goods. According to consultancy Bain, it is expected to reach €33 billion ($37.2 billion) in size this year after growing by 65% between 2017 and 2021. This compares with 12% growth for brand new luxury goods.

Some rival luxury brands are already exploring the sector. Last year, French conglomerate Kering's leading brand Gucci formed a partnership with US-based resale platform The RealReal. Earlier this year, Kering, who owns Gucci, Balenciaga, and Alexander McQueen took a 5% stake in resale platform rival, Vestiaire Collective.  In October, French fashion house Jean-Paul Gaultier offered a resale category in its revamped website, while Valentino entered luxury resale with its “Valentino Vintage” initiative.

Lorenzo Bertelli, the eldest son of co-Chief Executives Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada and the future brand leader, said in an interview at the Reuters Next conference aired on Wednesday: "Second hand is a strategy we have been investigating for more than a year. I cannot disclose too much but for sure second hand is there. We will take it as an opportunity. It can be a partnership with a player or it can be something more in-house, or both of them, a sort of hybrid solution like for e-commerce."

The heir to Prada’s empire also told Reuters that he wants to keep the family-controlled group independent when he takes the reins in a few years and is not fazed by the future challenges of the ever-changing luxury sector.

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