Fwrd Wants to Buy Back Your Designer Bags and Give You Credit to Buy New Ones

·3 min read

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

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

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The initiative is designed to extend the life cycle of high-end bags from Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Chloé, Givenchy, Loewe, The Row and more by giving customers the ability to exchange past purchases in excellent condition, and receive credit to shop the full offerings of both 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 an engaging feature within our trusted, premium platform. This significant extension of our offering harnesses the feedback and interests of our community to usher in a new era of luxury shopping,” Revolve Group co-chief executive officer Mike Karanikolas told WWD exclusively.

The program is being supported by proprietary data and vetted purchase history, and eligible exchanges will be accepted up to one year from original purchase at full price. Once authenticated, the trade-up value credit of 50 percent of the original price will be issued. The gently used handbags that are accepted will be reintroduced on Fwrd at prices marked between 20 and 50 percent below retail.

“This is something we always wanted to push forward, it’s something our customer had been asking for for so long,” said Fwrd vice president April Koza during a lunch on Wednesday in L.A. to mark the program. “It’s giving these pieces a second life and offering consumers something they might not be able to otherwise afford.”

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

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

Fwrd joins a small but growing number of traditional brands and retailers that have begun operating their own buy-back programs, including Levi’s and L.A. handbag designer Clare Vivier, among others.

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