Buying Vintage in Japan: 9 Reasons I’m a Vintage Brand Fan

So many reasons I’m a vintage brand fan especially a vintage Chanel fan, but here’s a few and maybe they’ll inspire you to look to vintage.

vintage chanel flap

1.  The price of a classic Chanel flap has tripled in the last decade. After 1950 through 2000 having a moderate steady inflationary rise in price. 50 years of Chanel steadiness and yet it’s gone crazy. This has led a lot of store-buyers to head to the vintage aisle. Thankfully I bought a bag before they raised but in 7 years my bag has raised 2.5k. That’s USDollars. I could instantly sell my bag for how much I paid for, with all possibility even make a profit on it. Admittedly I think the pricing hikes will slow down soon, but it’s still ludicrous.

2. The Chanel flap along with other brand figureheads are the longest lasting bag styles. Coco Chanel herself introduced many of the signature aspects of the bag. In 1955 the signature chain woven strap was introduced and started the flap. The CC pushlock was introduced by Karl in the 1980s however. It is a truly timeless bag both on trend and classic at the same time. Both traditional leather types are surprisingly long lasting. The pebbled Caviar calfskin and the butter soft lambskin. A repairer can repaint, restitch and remake a vintage Chanel bag but it will keep going years after you’re at the cash register (or eBay checkout).

I have two Vintage Chanel bags from the 1980s, they’re pretty solid looking still. I wore one to Disneyworld because I think it’s still very hardy.


3. Vintage brand costume jewelry is amazing and lasting. The quality of costume jewelry has decreased in the last 10 years. And this is my own experience talking, but I’ve been greatly disappointed with a lot of costume pieces I’ve bought. So much so that it’s made me mostly ban myself from purchasing a lot of recent designs because I see their flaws or bad metal choices. Even seeing some of the resale pieces you see the wear and tear on the newer pieces.

Vintage brand costume jewelry is quite different. It feels more weighty and gold items are 14K plated sometimes double to ward off chipping. Vintage jewelry can be repaired by a third party often easily. They actually sell at-home gold plating kits to fix issues. Jewelers will repair as well. I just bought an item needing a fix and found three jewelers in my area to fix it. SO much is repairable and re-wearable of vintage jewelry!

Although prices on vintage Chanel jewelry has risen quality and beautiful designs by Yves Saint Laurent and others have stayed at a low price.

Also, vintage costume jewelry is an easy way to make an outfit look fancy. A $4.00 beanie with a $100 Chanel brooch = Chanel beanie. An that brooch can go onto a jacket, shirt, skirt etc…

vintage chanel earrings

4. Fakes have clouded the resale market with newer bags and accessories. Some professional authenticators have refused to authenticate anything from 2013 onwards if they don’t have it in their possession, these are the so-called “superfakes”. In contrast, the vintage brand market is less clouded by fakes thus far (knock on wood). Old fakes look really fake or were done in a style never released by the company.

5. Quality workmanship lasts. I have bags 20 and 30 years old and there’s no rusting and only minor wear. You may look at yourself and think differently being 20 or 30 years old. I tore my MCL tendon from running, the doctor asked when was my car wreck. I still have feelings from it 7 years ago. Vintage can take more than my bum body.

A lot of brands including Chanel have taken decided against quality workmanship that got them to their status. They’ve stopped gold plating their hardware or testing leather dyes or sticking with certain colors that didn’t show wear as much. I’ve seen two year old bags look older than 20 year old ones.

6. There are still bargains to be found. Although the vintage brand secondary market is rising. Within the last 2 years the vintage brand market has skyrocketed. More people are getting into it for the reasons above and it’s created a lot more competition. But with some thorough hunting and willing to compromise you can find some really lovely items.

vintage versace ad

7. What goes around comes around (actually thats the name of a vintage store, an overpriced one). A lot of what brands do is either funky or classic. The funky feels neat even 20 years later and the classic is always classic. In my next post I’ll show celebs wearing lots of vintage Chanel and they wear it all in casual or modern ways. I think so many brands such as Yves Saint Laurent, Versace and Chanel all have produced very youthful clothing at times. Karl Lagerfeld has taken Chanel so many ways. There was even a punk collection or two. However you feel like dressing, Larme, Otona Kawaii, Rock etc… vintage brands can have a seasonal answer for you. Look back to to look forward!

Beyonce in the Formation video? Reminds of a wonderful twist on 1980s Yves Saint Laurent

vintage ysl runway

7. It stops the cycle of producing new goods. Consumer waste and excess which admittedly makes me feel guilty. Sure I want to buy, retail therapy is my therapy. Thanks to vintage I’m not creating more material use and waste to do so (other than shipping).

8. Because there’s a thrill in finding something hard to find or a good price. There’s a joy in being a cheapskate. I’m so proud of being cheap and it feels weird, but getting something and paying less for it than market value? Oh I’m at my happiest! Bargain hunting feels amazing!

9. The Japanese Yen is steady at 110-120 yen the dollar. Bad for Japanese wanting to go overseas, good for travelers and shoppers! When I was living in Japan it went from 120yen to the dollar to 90 yen to the dollar. UGH! Tough times! It’s back at 120yen mostly and that makes it a wonderful time to buy from Japan. New or vintage. Abe seems to be very set on keeping the yen low to encourage tourism. There’s so much money spent on tourism recently and there’s even been word creation and new businesses based on the new tourism. My next posts are all about why how and where in Japan so I’ll explain why brand in Japan is such a big thing!

Vintage Brand especially in Japan

:bow: Intro to the Series

:bow: Where to Buy Vintage Brand online Worldwide (Japan concentrate)

:bow: Reasons I’m a Vintage Fan

:bow: A History of High Brands in Japan and Japan’s First Wave of Resellers

:bow: Japan’s Second Wave of Resellers store talks and reviews (multipost)

:bow: Popular Vintage Brands and key pieces from each brand (multipost)

:bow: Navigating on-line and in personal buying of Vintage Brand and learning market price (multipost)

:bow:  related eating at the Chanel restaurant Beige in Ginza Chanel

:bow:  possible… My full vintage Chanel collection

:bow:  possible… Chanel vintage jewelry and clothing authentication guide

Sorry I took two weeks off between posts! It wasn’t my intention. I took a week trip to Disneyworld and brought my laptop but I was go-go-go at Disney, and between I got quite busy with day to day boring stuff. Alas I’m back and ready to blog a lot for a month until I head for Japan again! Sakura, Chanel, Make-up, Skincare all coming!

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  1. February 22, 2016 / 2:41 pm

    I was never really into vintage items until I started reading your vintage related blog posts, now I’m on a look out for vintage things. I’ve discovered a liking for vintage furniture and art work, and maybe I might look into vintage jewelry, clothing, etc.


    • Mitsu
      February 24, 2016 / 1:52 pm

      That is such a wonderful compliment! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it! Smile on my face now :)

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