A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Designer Revival (324 East 81st Street) while gallivanting around the Upper East Side. This little gem was one of the first luxury consignment shops in the city. In 2015, new owner Tiffany Keriakos bought a fresh and exciting new look to the boutique, all while adhering to the vision the boutique has instilled for many years: making women feel beautiful.
I must admit I have been skeptical about shopping at second-hand boutiques in the past. My mind was forever changed when I entered Michael’s for the first time a few years ago. Low and behold in front of me were designer clothing and accessories in great condition at a fraction of the price. Who would wait on a list for a Birkin when there were plenty of barely used Birkins available at designer consignment shops throughout the city (see Shop The City Guide). I have been converted ever since.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Tiffany about how she found herself at Designer Revival and getting her advice on how to shop smart when shopping upscale consignment boutiques.
How did you get started in designer consignment business?
I have always had a passion for fashion and a love for consignment. After being in the beauty business for many years and after having a child, I was looking for a change and when this store was up for sale it was the perfect opportunity. I have always shopped at consignment stores across the globe and I even shopped at this store when it was Designer Resale years ago.
What is your advice when it comes to shopping at designer consignment boutiques?
Shopping at designer consignment boutiques can be approached in a few different ways. There are some people who come in on a mission searching for a piece by a specific designer from a specific season and make that their constant effort, and there are those who are more open-minded and peruse for hours to find the hidden gems they never realized they’d wanted. Because designer consignment stores tend to only have one of everything, it’s risky business to fall in love with something and think that you can wait a day or a week to buy it – in most cases, it will be gone before you come back! Shop smart, and if you really love a piece, buy it!
Which wardrobe pieces suggest buying consignment instead of brand new?
Think of the brands that never go on sale and use that as a jumping off point – you can find a like-new, never worn classic Chanel Flap Bag at a lower-than-retail price and feel like the smartest shopper on the planet! Other things to buy via a consignment store would be trendier pieces that you don’t want to spend full-price on.
What advice do you have for those who are a bit skeptical about buying items previously used or worn?
There are very few things you cannot clean off with a baby wipe and a bit of work, but obviously bring your pre-loved clothing to a dry cleaner before you wear it for the first time! The deals you get and the thrill of the search more than make up for any skepticism or weird feelings you might have about pre-owned items.
About Designer Revival
Designer Revival is a high-end consignment boutique that specializes in selling new and gently used designer and vintage clothing and accessories. Each item at Designer Revival is hand-picked for its mint condition, quality, and style. The boutique carries such brands as Chanel, Isabel Marant, Givenchy, and Maison Martin Margiela, to name a few.
Address: 324 E 81st St, New York, NY 10028
Phone: (212) 734-3639