Clothes horses empty their closets at Re-Fashion

Second-hand clothing market unzips this Saturday

Lauren Mateo doesnt like to be photographed in the same clothes twice.

Its kind of vain but its the truth, the 31-year-old nurse said. Like, on social media.

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So when she heard about the Re-Fashion Vancouver event last year where she could rent a table, sell her unwanted clothes and retain all the profits, she was sold.

I had a baby, so a lot of it didnt fit anymore, she said.

The resident of Richmond and a friend rented a rack for $60 and Mateo earned more than $500 for clothes and shoes that shed never worn, no longer favoured or didnt fit.

This year, Mateo has rented a rack and table for $80. She hopes to sell shoes and a pile of designer jeans at Re-Fashion, at the Roundhouse community centre, Saturday, April 20.

Overstuffed closets pushed Victoria Ronco to create Re-Fashion.

I have a serious shopping problem, she said. I have so many clothes and most of them still had the price tags on them because I buy them thinking that Ill wear them and then I never do, or I never find the right thing to wear them with, or they dont fit quite right and I think Im going to alter them but I never get around to it, and I wanted to sell them. I wanted to make back some of the money I spent.

She notes consignment stores typically keep 50 per cent of the sale price they set, so youre losing a lot of money.

Roncos friend and business partner, David Kelly, encouraged her to create an event where she and other fashionistas who live in a shoebox downtown could sell their new or nearly new clothes and shoes theyve only worn a few times.

They rented space at the Roundhouse in Yaletown, corralled 78 sellers to rent 60 spaces, convinced small beauty businesses to offer free services and served 800 shoppers.

We had a lineup outside the door two hours before the event started, Ronco said.

This year, Ronco and Kelly received 130 applications for 65 spaces. Ronco says they selected sellers by clothes size, to make sure they offer a range, and on a first come, first served basis.

Sellers set their own prices, which range from $10 for a tank top from Le Chateau, to $200 for a bebe dress, to $500 for a pair of brand-new Christian Louboutin shoes that cost the owner $750.

Ronco says a few vendors earned a couple thousand dollars last year. Those that were personable, not just staring at their cellphones, saw the most success.

We opened it up to men this year, she said. But the men just did not jump at that.

Admission is $5 and shoppers can receive free beauty treatments and edible treats. The first 20 visitors will receive swag bags. Shoppers should expect to pay for goods with cash. Re-Fashion runs 10 to 5 p.m. For more information, see refashionvancouver.com.

crossi@vancourier.com

twitter.com/Cheryl_Rossi

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