How Second Hand and Vintage Purchases Affect Consumer Experience of Fashion & Luxury Brands? Luxury Brands as Liquid Assets for a New, Sophisticated Fashion Consumer

Silvia Arditi di Castelvetere

Student thesis: Master thesis


This research attempts to explore the ways in which consumers experience second hand and vintage fashion & luxury brands through qualitative research methods. Most innovative contributions are the application of Fournier’s consumer-brand relationship concept (1998) to pre-owned fashion & luxury purchases, with the introduction of two new relationship typologies in the specific domain of fashion & luxury brands bought pre-owned, as well as the identification of consumer sense of psychological empowerment as fundamental driver for both second hand and vintage purchases in fashion & luxury. According to the research, “as long as it lasts (on trend)”, consumer relationship with fashion & luxury brands bought second hand, appears superficial, short term oriented and characterized by low commitment levels. Oppositely, the relationship customers create with fashion & luxury brands bought vintage, “true fashion romance”, seems more intense, long-term oriented and defined by greater levels of intimacy. Consumer sense of psychological empowerment arising from pre-owned purchases in fashion & luxury results connected to price consciousness in second hand purchases (customers limit resource expenditure by bypassing conventional market channels), and to need for uniqueness in vintage purchases (buying vintage, consumers feel part of an elite of fashion experts). After giving a set of managerial implications to both re-sale sites and established brands in fashion & luxury, the research highlights how the spread of business models involving the re-sell of luxury goods could potentially both guarantee new profitable opportunities for fashion & luxury brands and have positive consequences for the environment, with the ultimate scope to integrate ethics, aesthetic and economic principles in the successful management of fashion & luxury companies.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages106
SupervisorsFabian Csaba