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Pandemic lends modern twist to French vintage fashion sales

PARIS (Reuters) – In Artcurial’s auction house overlooking the shuttered boutiques of the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, vintage fashion expert Clara Vivien is overseeing the sale of hundreds of Chanel jackets, shoes and jewelled accessories – all online.

Paris may be the world’s fashion capital, but a third COVID-19 lockdown is once again sending lovers of luxury who have time to spare and money to spend on to their screens in search of a the next vintage Chanel dress or Hermes handbag.

Vintage was already enjoying a revival, Vivien said, driven by a growing discomfort with “fast fashion” among consumers and increasing environmental awareness. But the pandemic shifted more of it online.

“Vintage is exploding on the second-hand market,” Vivien said. “People can’t walk into boutiques and so shop at online auctions.”

Handbags sell particularly well. “People who bought a Chanel or a Hermes bag today delight in the

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