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My lightbulb moment: Fashion innovator Virginie Alvarez, reveals the inspiration behind her online shop
- Virginie Alvarez, 35, from London is chief executive of My Wardrobe Mistakes
- Mother-of-three was inspired to open her online shop while on maternity leave
- She now stocks products from a range of designers including Chanel and Dior
Virginie Alvarez, 35, is chief executive of fashion site My Wardrobe Mistakes, where customers sell or buy pre-owned clothes. She and her husband have three children under four and live in London.
Aged 16, I started working part-time because I wanted to buy clothes without having to ask my parents for money.
I worked for clothes label Agatha in Paris for six years, then quit and came to London because I wanted to find love. Paris was too small!
I got a job at Liberty, then luckily I met my husband Emilio. Two years later, I joined designer site Farfetch, where I was tasked with finding new jewellery brands — perfect for a shopping addict.
Virginie Alvarez, 35, (pictured) was inspired to launch online marketplace My Wardrobe Mistakes while on maternity leave with her second child in 2015
But when I was on maternity leave with my second child in 2015, I realised my wardrobe was stuffed with pieces I’d never wear again. Teeteringly high heels. Designer dresses. Skirts I wore on dates.
So I thought, let’s give them a second life. I left Farfetch to create an online marketplace where people can sell gorgeous things they’ve hardly ever worn.
My husband was horrified when I called it My Wardrobe Mistakes. But I know one woman’s mistake is another woman’s dream. I wanted the site to be as beautiful as Farfetch with excellent service. We can reply to buyers’ queries in less than five hours.
As a working mum, I realise the most precious commodity is time. So I offered a ‘hassle-free’ concierge service — from a quick collection to a ‘wardrobe fixer’, who stays with you as you try items.
Prices range from £90 to around £3,000. We have Chanel jackets and coats, Louboutins and Celine leather goods.
Second-hand doesn’t have to be something to be ashamed of. Many of the items we have on the site have been worn less than pieces on the shop floor.
My sellers have taken such good care of their clothes, they want to pass them on to someone who will do the same.
Dior pumps, £220, mywardrobemistakes.com
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My lightbulb moment: Virginie Alvarez, reveals the inspiration behind her online retailer