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7 Must Shop Consignment + Non-Profit Shops for Designer Clothing, Handbags, Shoes and More

Exquisite pieces at the Helpers House of Couture. Photos by Kingmond Young.

With countless weddings, lawn parties and BBQs to attend, who can afford to wear a new designer frock to each event? My secret is consignment. Buy mint-condition pieces for a discounted price, sell your next-to-new goods, and sometimes even help a great charity. Check out these 7 must-shops:

 

1. Helpers House of Couture:  International style icon and philanthropist, Joy Bianchi, turned her love of fashion and good deeds into this 9-room, 100% charity-driven boutique. It features everything from couture to brand-new, an entire men's room, a jewelry room, and one room where everything is under $100. Not to mention, it was named one of the 10 best fashion stores in Vogue's Best Dressed special edition last year. Prices range from $10-$10,000.

How it works: All items are donated and all proceeds benefit the Helpers of the Mentally Retarded. The boutique is by appointment only -- phone 415.387.3031 to schedule. 
Hot right now:  A Manon for Bergdorf Goodman circa 1950s evening gown with a watermelon velvet bodice and pleated pink chiffon from the waist down. Size 4/6, $2,200.

 

2. Helpers Bazaar:  The sister-boutique to Helper's House of Couture, their collection is vibrant with jeweled brooches, and a hearty mix of European and American designers. Prices range from $1-$400.

How it works: All items are donated and all proceeds benefit the Helpers of the Mentally Retarded. 
Hot right now:  A wide, orange cuff with royal blue stone, and rhinestone trim (think David Webb!). 

 

3. Cris:  A lovely consignment boutique featuring modern designer pieces for 1/3 of the original retail price on clothing, accessories, shoes and leather goods. They always have a large selection of Chanel, with some Lanvin, Balenciaga and Hermes thrown in for good measure. Prices range from $200-$800.

How it works:  Come in during their buying hours, price each piece together, leave it in the store for up to 2 months, and split the profits 50/50.
Hot right now: A large, Hermes Kelly bag in black, priced at $13,000.

 

4. Simply Chic: This cute little shop features a wall of handbags, hovering over their fabulous designer clothing selection. They carry a lot of Chanel, Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Chloe pieces, and also have everything listed on their eBay shop. Prices range from $100-$12,000. 

How it works: The consignment split runs 60% (seller)/40% (boutique) for handbags, and 50/50 for everything else.
Hot right now: A vintage Louis Vuitton monogram print travel trunk for $12,000.

 

5. Seconds to Go: Try this consignment haven for younger, contemporary brands like Juicy and Theory. Once you're there, indulge in their fabulous higher end collection of Escada and St. John. Prices range from $5-$4,000 with designer goods starting at $45.

How it works: Donation only. Profits benefit the financial aid program at the Schools of Sacred Heart.
Hot right now: A St. John black, a-line dress with belt, priced at $125.

 

6. SuiGENERIS: For the men out there, check out this top-tier menswear-only consignment shop. They have everything from casual sportswear to vintage suiting, with brands including Gucci, Prada, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and Jean Paul Gaultier. Prices range from $15-$1600.

How it works: Schedule an appointment to sell your pieces. The owner prices each piece and the split is an even 50/50. Local designers are also welcome to sell consignment. 
Hot right now: A vintage, double breasted, peak lapel, Ralph Lauren 3-piece suit, in dark brown with chalk stripes, $324.50.

 

7. SuiGENERIS illa Boutique: illa is the women's counterpart to the SuiGENERIS men's store. They launched a few months ago, so they are still building their collection, which means this is a great place to sell your past treasures. That's not to say they don't already have some great Prada, Phillip Lim and Alexander McQueen pieces. Prices range from $15-$1600.

How it works: Schedule an appointment to sell your pieces. The owner prices each piece and the split is an even 50/50. Local designers are also welcome to sell consignment. 
Hot right now: A vintage Christian Dior floor-length, full skirt with polka-dot print, $920.  

 

Lily Ko (lily.7x7 @ gmail.com) studied fashion design and merchandising at Central Saint Martins and the Academy of Art University. In addition to writing for 7x7, Lily is an editor at SF Station, works as a freelance stylist and covers food, fashion and fun on her blog, Curated SF.