Launch of the Fwrd Buy-back program for designer handbags – WWD

Global luxury fashion e-tailer Fwrd wants to buy back customers’ designer bags and give them credit to buy new ones (or anything else on its site).

On Monday, the shopping site, part of the Los Angeles-based Revolve Group, is launching Fwrd Buyback, a program with a customer-centric approach to circular fashion.

The initiative is designed to extend the lifecycle of high-end bags from Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Chloé, Givenchy, Loewe, The Row and more by giving customers the opportunity to exchange past purchases in excellent condition and to receive credit to purchase the complete offers from the Fwrd and Revolve sites.

“We are proud to introduce Fwrd Buyback, which leverages our incredible range of brands, along with renowned customer experience and service to deliver engaging functionality within our trusted premium platform. This significant expansion of our offering leverages feedback and interest from our community to usher in a new era of luxury shopping,” Revolve Group Co-CEO Mike Karanikolas told WWD exclusively.

The program is backed by proprietary data and verified purchase history, and qualifying exchanges will be accepted for up to one year from the initial full-price purchase. Once authenticated, the trade-in credit of 50% of the original price will be issued. Gently used handbags that are accepted will be reintroduced on Fwrd at marked prices between 20-50% below retail price.

“It’s something we’ve always wanted to push forward, it’s something our client has been asking for for so long,” Fwrd Vice President April Koza said at a Wednesday luncheon in Los Angeles for mark the program. “It gives these pieces a second life and gives consumers something they might not otherwise be able to afford.”

Launched in 2012, Fwrd was initially a partnership with LA retailer Elyse Walker. She quietly parted ways with the brand and launched her business online, and in 2021 Fwrd named Kendall Jenner as fashion director. The model/influencer is in communication almost daily, lending her fashion know-how to the buying team, bringing them new brands and contacts, and using her social platform to leverage the business, Koza said.

“Fwrd’s client is young and sexy, or she wants to be. She is also a bit older, has disposable income, may have daughters she also shops for. Our main customers are suburban moms who like to host events, big fashion collectors who like new and emerging designers,” added Koza, a 15-year veteran of Revolve Group. “Fwrd’s client wants to walk into a room and yes, she’s wearing a designer bag and shoes, but she’s wearing a dress you’ve never heard of on Fwrd and now all her friends want it.”

Fwrd joins a small but growing number of traditional brands and retailers that have begun running their own buyback programs, including Levi’s and LA handbag designer Clare Vivier, among others.

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