Like most women, Victoria Ronco loves to shop and she isn’t afraid to admit it. The Vancouver-based entrepreneur buys clothing from local boutiques, often shops online, and is a self-professed shoe addict. Her only problem—she lives in an apartment with minimal closet space downtown.
“Every woman I’ve talked to has said the same thing,” Ronco told the Georgia Straight during a recent phone interview. “Everybody has too many clothes in their closet and can’t have a garage sale because they’re downtown.”
Ronco tried selling her clothes on eBay, but found photographing, listing, and managing sales of all her pieces too time consuming. She also considered selling her clothing and shoes through local consignment stores, but didn’t like that she would be losing a large percentage of the profits from sales of her items.
So in 2012, Ronco and her business partner Dave Kelly launched Re-Fashion Vancouver, a one-day community-driven clothing and shoe sales event at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). This year, Re-Fashion returns to the Roundhouse on April 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We try and bill this as a high-end fashion clothing sale, so the brand isn’t that important. What’s important is that it has to be brand-new or nearly new,” Ronco said. “We want people to think of it more of a huge fashion sample sale, but instead of buying from a fashion house, you’re buying from the middle man.”
Last year, more than 70 people signed up for vendor spots at the event, selling everything from Hugo Boss men’s blazers and lululemon yogawear to Betsey Johnson dresses and Manolo Blahnik high-heels at deep discounts. Vendor applications for this year’s event have already been finalized, but shoppers attending Re-Fashion (admission is $5) can expect to see clothing and shoes that reflect a wide range of styles and sizes.
“Because we want there to be a good cross-section of sizing and age ranges for maturity levels of clothing…the applications are done by size,” Ronco confirmed.
Shoppers can also look forward to free treats and prizes from event sponsors, including cupcakes by Love Your Cake, canapés from Yaletown restaurant Caché Bistro & Lounge, and mini-manicures from Luxe Beauty Lounge. Last year, Re-Fashion saw more than 800 shoppers, so attendees are advised to go early—and bring cash.
“Most people selling designer items will have high price-points because they price everything themselves,” Ronco said. “So even if you are getting a really great deal on a pair of Manolos, it’s still going to be a pair of Manolos.”