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Is buying celebrities closets the newest trend?
History proves that celebrities have long been trendsetters. Even before our current Instagram-obsessed era where fans now can easily find the exact clothes and accessories that celebrities own, celebrities still managed to transmit a culture with much provenance. Take the great Marilyn Monroe for example. The famous actress’s dress, that she wore to serenade former President John F. Kennedy was auctioned off for a whopping $4.8 million.
While time surely increases the value of certain pieces, even more current items sell for quite a hefty price — accessible to only certain fans. American actress Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection was auctioned off and managed to generate $116 million in 2011, likely making her possessions the most pricey celebrity pieces. Worth $11.8 million in its own right, was her famous “La Peregrina” pearl necklace.
Even more outlandish than the price of Taylor’s jewelry collection is the limited functionality of celebrity items. Back in 2008, late night TV host Jay Leno jokingly asked Scarlett Johansson to blow her nose into a tissue that would be sold on eBay. The germ filled piece of trash sold for a not so trashy price of $5,300.
Where does this history situate the recent trend of celebrities selling off their gently used clothes? For one, people are naturally drawn to the excitement of celebrities and what they own. Beyond just a stamp of celebrity approval, celebrity pieces contain a certain aura to them. Are they magical? Maybe. Just like magic, it is hard to exactly pinpoint the reason for this aura, we just know it exists. Possibly owning something from a celebrity gives fans insight into what it feels like to wear the fame of their idol.
However the recent trend of celebrities selling off their clothes on E-commerce sites like Depop is noteworthy because it fuses the magical aura of celebrity culture with functionality, also marking changing shopping habits. Now, instead of aimlessly searching for the type of crop-top that Emily Ratajkowski wears, fans can buy her exact shirt without all the searching on her personal Depop shop.
A favorite among Gen Z, Depop makes shopping a scrollable activity. Likely a popular app among fans of Olivia Rodrigo, the 18 year-old star has become the latest celebrity to sell her personal items on Depop.
Within a second, items worn in her hit single “good 4 u” and “deja vu” sold out instantly. Even if Depop is still a stranger to some, it highlights an obvious fact that shopping habits have changed as many people do most of their clothing shopping online. Recently, the original handmade vintage e-commerce powerhouse, Etsy, bought Depop for a staggering $1.62 billion dollars. Recognizing the shift towards E-commerce, leave it to nobody other than the Kardashians to enter the market of selling their old clothes on their own branded platform titled: “Kardashian Kloset.”
Buying celebrities’ closets is also in line with the times as more consumers are becoming cognizant of where their clothes come from and of how the fashion industry can shift towards becoming more sustainable. Therefore, buying celebrities’ used clothes also contains an altruistic benefit, for both sellers and customers. Realizing the draw their items have, many celebrities are even leaning into the altruistic benefit and donating much of their proceeds. For example, proceeds from artist Doja Cat’s shop go towards a non-profit focussed on ending sex-trafficking. Similarly, items bought from Megan Thee Stallion and Maisie Williams Depop benefit cancer research. Recently, musician Raveena has entered the Depop game, and all net-sales benefit National Bail Out and Sakhi for South Asian Women.
Rich Fury/Getty Images
From Winnie Harlow to Ashley Tisdale, the number of celebrities selling their closets is a rapidly growing trend. While there is surely a strong history to why people love celebrities’ clothes, their personal online shops are nothing other than a twenty-first century invention, mixing social causes with celebrity culture, and technology with shopping.
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These Celebs Are Opening Up Their Closets for a Cause