New York Paris London Palm Beach Hudson Valley


Aug 18

The Preview of What Goes Around Comes Around’s 25th Anniversary Sale at Christie’s Is a Fashion Week Must

Vintage powerhouse What Goes Around Comes Around is celebrating 25 years in business with a one-off sale at Christie’s that will be on view during New York Fashion Week and go under the hammer on September 18.

A lot has changed since cofounders Gerard Maione and Seth Weisser moved to the Big Apple in 1991 and hit the party scene, which “was definitely about fashion back then. If you didn’t have good style,” Weisser recalls, “you weren’t going to get into the party.” Maione, who spent his day hours working for Ralph Lauren, that conjurer of Gatsby and turn-of-the-century English country life, had firsthand experience of how high fashion could be informed by vintage. Together, the friends came up with the idea of presenting vintage with a point of view and putting it in a curated environment that would attract tastemakers and high-profile personalities. Weisser can’t, or won’t, name a unicorn (rare item) that he’s searching for—“I’ve really bought everything I ever wanted,” he demures—but is happy to share one of WGACA’s “holy grail moments.” The Japanese market was denim mad in the 1990s, especially for vintage Levi’s. And while early-20th-century jeans came up on the market, not even Levi’s had pre-1900s dungarees. WGACA got its hands on a pair that had come out of a coal mine in Colorado and sold them to the company for $25,000.

By choosing to have their 25th-anniversary sale at Christie’s, WGACA is aligning fashion with art, though Weisser clearly states that only certain pieces—like a hand-painted Hermès bag from the 1930s that will be in the sale—justify that title. Still, there are key pieces and collections that “aren’t coming back,” and he and Maione are determined to position luxury fashion as a collectible. The two have spent a year putting together pieces that will make a memorable sale. “So many people think they’ve seen everything,” Weisser says, “It was our challenge to bring pieces that have never been exposed, or only once in a blue moon, to Christie’s.” Look forward to lots of Chanel, including a rare surfboard; pieces from Yayoi Kusama’s collaboration with Louis Vuitton; and, of course, Hermès bags, the rare fashion purchase that has a ROI. “The investment value of these special pieces, notes Caitlin Donovan, the auction house’s Handbags and Accessories Specialist, “is largely tied to the exceptional craftsmanship implemented in creating each piece.” Weisser puts it more bluntly: “If you bought [a Birkin] 10 years ago, it’s already worth more than you paid for it,” he says. “The luxury customer is beginning to understand that there is always going to be a residual resale opportunity.”

An inherent selling point of vintage is rarity, but the biggest change Weisser’s clocked in his quarter-century in the business isn’t scarcity as much as a shift of interest from period pieces to brand-name ones.Generally speaking, collectors are less interested in clothing that evokes the world as it was and more interested in trophies from notable collections. Calling all retro hypebeasts . . .


Written By:  

Share this