Luxury Consignment Shopping Platform ChadiLuxury Launches in Hong Kong
In a bijou space set high in a modernist office complex overlooking Wong Chuk Hang, an up-and-coming recently-post-industrial cityscape on the south side of Hong Kong Island, Chadi Nouri, a former product director at Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Audemars Piguet, has set up virtual shop. Nouri's consignment resale business, ChadiLuxury.com, soft-launched earlier this month and features a broad range of covetable, pre-owned apparel, shoes, bags, and accessories—think: rare Rolexes, Birkins in near-pristine condition, and more Louboutins than you can count—all Swiss-authenticated and competitively priced.
"It's actually the first time I'm launching my own business," she tells Tatler Asia. A veteran of the luxury industry in Europe—she cut her teeth working in high jewellery at Avakian and Cartier before taking the reins at Audemars Piguet—Nouri has a keen understanding of the market, and what modern luxury consumers are looking for, experientially, in the 21st-century.
"It's all about the product—how you emphasise it, how you highlight it," Nouri says. "Selling high jewellery is selling something that doesn't make noise, like a Ferrari, that doesn't give you emotional speed, but gives you another emotion altogether. You have a lot of storytelling—each stone has a story, but it's not just the stone, it's the craftsmanship and savoir faire that goes into making a high jewellery piece. It's not [even about] investment; investment in jewellery only works when you talk about one mega-big stone—the intrinsic value of the diamond or the sapphire. In the high jewellery sector, I learned about emotion and how to attract our clients to come back—and make them really love their pieces through emotion."
As it turns out, many of the principles behind successful ideation, creation, and the consumer experience in watches and jewellery apply to the luxury consignment market as well.
"Mainly, my role [at Cartier] was to [figure out]: How do I make sure that I have the right piece at the right time for the right client?" she says. "The right place, the right piece, the right person—once this was in place, the most important thing was: How do I share the passion and how do I make the client feel emotional about what they're seeing.
"I'm always thinking about: How are we going to sell a product and how are we going to make it shine—either the product itself or the package around it, so it can be sold."
At ChadiLuxury.com, Nouri caters to seekers of rare, vintage, and hard-to-find designer pieces—many of whom are lured and motivated by a passion for product, the thrill of the chase, and the satisfaction of acquiring sought-after items that hardly anyone else has.
"The fact that today, women have more purchasing power now than ever before—they're able to buy for themselves, and that becomes really interesting," Nouri says. "When a man buys a piece for his wife, it will absolutely be based on emotion, because he wants to make her happy. When a woman buys for herself, she wants to make herself happy, too, but it's all about the value she will get from wearing it—the emotions she would feel."
And, as consumer awareness and education grows, especially among younger generations, those feelings become increasingly complicated—more and more inextricably linked to a sense of principles and values as well as individual behaviors and their impact on the world at large.
"Because we're in the 21st-century and because we are in a fast-paced world, whenever you have something, you want something else," Nouri says. "Once you move onto the next, what happens to the old item? I was living in Switzerland, surrounded by fabulous things, and thinking: What do I do with this sense that I can't waste things anymore?"
For Nouri, the answer came in the form of the launch of ChadiLuxury.com, a platform and designer resale eco-system that focuses on what she calls "Feel good luxury"—in all aspects: both a waste-reducing outlet for recouping value from designer goods languishing in the dark corners of (fabulous) overstocked closets, but also a personalised, luxury customer experience, not far afield from the polished and packaged transactions online shoppers have grown accustomed to via retailers such as Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion.
"If I cater to a segment of the population that cannot buy [luxury] first-hand, and bring them into the luxury ecosystem—they can enter a world that never ends," Nouri says. "As a consumer of second-hand, you can edge, depending on where you sell it in the world—you can sell it for higher, lower. This, for me, is one of the biggest reasons I was always attracted to the pre-owned world—you can find things there you can't find anymore, at optimized prices, and you can buy them right there, right now."
There's also a story behind every item—and those are priceless.
"The emotion you have wearing a patina-ed bag that someone else wore—you feel the story around it," Nouri says. "For some people, in some minds, they're not there yet, but we're going to get there for sure."