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“At Re-SEE, every one of our vintage pieces comes with a story. This is, in large part, thanks to our unmatched community of consignors.
Though parting with such sartorial treasures may not be easy, the exceptional personal care we put into ensuring that they will go on to live a second (or, sometimes even, a third, fourth, or fifth) life offers a thrill — one rivaled only by that of the besotted shopper who adds them to her wardrobe.
But don’t just take it from us. Here, in the Seller Series, our consignors — from industry titans to world-class collectors — open up their archives, revealing the items they gave up (and those perhaps they never will), and, ultimately, why they’ve chosen to place their inestimable trust in Re-SEE.”
Portrait Alex Nataf
Though The Line closed its Greene Street doors in 2019, images of the expertly pared-back SoHo loft-cum-lifestyle shop still regularly appear on the social media feeds of well-heeled women the world round. And with good reason: The carefully considered curation, which ranged from streamlined separates to vintage Cartier earrings and Manuel Álvarez Bravo prints, was shaped by none other than Vanessa Traina, the Manhattan-based creative director and brand consultant known for her exacting eye.
“I’ve always naturally been drawn to pieces that aren’t specific to one period of time, so my wardrobe is minimalist because it’s very timeless,” says Traina, whose day-to-day uniform includes slim-legged Khaite jeans and a rotating cast of Hermès bags, before adding with a laugh, “but I definitely maximize space.” Nevertheless, she still adheres to a seasonal closet cleanse to clear out the pieces that no longer serve her. As she puts it, “I feel like I’m always moving forward.”
Here, Traina discusses the iconic runway items that she’s consigned with Re-SEE — and the heritage pieces that she’ll hold onto for life.
Why do you consign?
As we consume, it's also good to purge — and, naturally, we’re always looking for something new or something that’s more fitting for our lifestyle as we’re moving along and getting older. Throughout my life and career in fashion, I’ve collected pieces that were meaningful and special to me at a certain time — and maybe there’s still a nostalgia for a lot of items I’ve sold through Re-SEE — but they’re not appropriate for me anymore. I feel like I’m always moving forward. I don’t hold onto anything for a certain nostalgic sentimentality. If it’s not circulating in my life, I still love it, but I can move on.
I think these items take on a second life. As I release them, someone else is taking them into their wardrobe and they are moving along, as they should. The pieces all have such a story — a lot of the ones I’ve sold are very iconic and have an importance in the history of fashion. I think they’re almost like art; they deserve to be shared. They’re like pieces that circulate through museum shows.
How often do you consign now?
I do a little cleanse in my closet almost seasonally. I have a lot of older fashion pieces that I keep at my mother’s house in San Francisco, so, if I’m home for a holiday, I’ll go through my closets there and find some things that I feel like I’m ready to move on from.
How do you decide when to part with a piece?
It’s when I haven’t worn a piece in a long time or I feel like I’m not going to come back to it. Working in and collecting fashion, so many of these pieces have been so inspirational to me, but I also am not a personal archive, so, if I don’t have a use for it in my life, I don’t feel like I need to hold onto it. That feels really good as well: to let go of things and put them out into the world for someone else to enjoy.
When I was younger, I used to wear a lot more fashion-forward, runway items, like old Balenciaga or things like that that feel very specific to a time and maybe aren’t as appropriate to my life now. It just feels very natural to sell them on Re-SEE, where collectors and people who care about the garments are looking for pieces — all of their pieces feel very intentional and important.
You’ve worked with a handful of contemporary brands, like Khaite, Altuzarra, and Brock. How do you make room for these new pieces in your closet?
I really do try and just bring things in that aren’t specific to one time or one season. I’m not a trend shopper. I buy things that add to my wardrobe and can be worn in a multitude of ways or across seasons. I’m very conscious and aware of what I’m buying.
I think if a piece felt hard to part with, I wouldn’t be ready to part with it. I haven’t regretted anything that I’ve moved on from.
What’s something you’d never give up?
I don’t think I could ever part with certain things that my mother has passed down to me, like an Hermès bag or my Chanel collection. I have a harder time letting go of things like that that really do feel absolutely timeless, especially because I always come back to those items in life.