Luxury consignment website the RealReal officially opened its first West Coast bricks-and-mortar concept store Tuesday, a 12,000-square-foot space at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood that aims to make the buying — and selling — of high-end goods as fun and frictionless as possible thanks to dedicated areas for womenswear, menswear, high-end sneakers, children’s clothes, women’s handbags and jewelry as well as a snack bar and consignment office.
The brightly lighted, glass-walled space with minimalist wooden fixtures and concrete floors marks the second permanent retail space for the company, which started online in 2011 and functions as much as a retail laboratory as a West Coast flagship. (The first permanent RealReal store, which opened in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in November 2017, is about half the size of the new space.)
To that end, the assortment of pricey pre-owned and always-authenticated designer apparel, accessories and footwear are grouped thematically. One section of the 5,000-square-foot men’s store, for example, has been dubbed “future surf,” showcasing bold Hawaiian-print shirts by Valentino and Hermès alongside open-knit Saint Laurent sweaters; another is merchandised with suiting, and another with weekend wear. One section of the women’s store — it’s separated from the men’s by a small outdoor staircase leading to other businesses upstairs — tells a “modern bohemian” story; another area overflows with designer denim. Nearby one rolling rack holds nothing but Chanel tweed jackets; another rack is filled with evening dresses. Both sides of the store have glass jewelry and watch cases filled with brands such as Panerai, Patek Philippe, Tiffany & Co., Chopard and Cartier.
In addition to the 5,500-square-foot dedicated men’s store, notable features include an installation dubbed “the sneakerdome,” an oval-shaped shoe closet piled high with more than three dozen pairs of super-covetable kicks. Among those on display Tuesday were a couple of pairs of Yeezy X Adidas Boosts ranging in price from $575 to $1,395; a pair of white and red monogrammed sneakers from last year’s blink-and-you-missed-it Louis Vuitton X Supreme collaboration ($1,195); and a pair of Christian Louboutin high-tops embellished with crystal octopuses ($2,795).
The equivalent on the women’s side is a 1,500-square-foot handbag vault against the back wall where once-loved Hermès Birkin bags ($5,700 and up) and Chanel purses ($795 to $20,000) and other similarly luxe bags, clutches and totes wait patiently for forever homes.
Signage throughout the store contains factoids that manage to be half-educational and half-sales pitch. One, titled “The resale value of Yeezy,” notes that “The Yeezy has seen a 262% increase in sales year-over-year, and a pair can sell for up to 4 times their original price …” Another sign reads, “Consign your denim, and you can help reduce the 2,905 gallons of water that goes into producing a single pair of jeans.’”
Other Melrose Avenue store offerings include free onsite valuations for fine jewelry, watch and handbags by the RealReal’s in-house experts and authenticators (a service that was previously only available locally at its Century City valuation office); curb-side consignment drop-offs; and a coffee, juice and snack bar called the CafeCafe, a nod to the doubled-up RealReal name.
One of the best — or perhaps dangerous if you’re a luxury shopping addict — features of the new store is that its complete inventory, both what’s on the shelves and the not-yet-merchandised back-stock, can be searched in real-time online using the RealReal’s website (the same filter feature allows you to search what’s in stock at the SoHo store as well). That means if you’re hunting for something super-specific, say, an Amiri men’s distressed red sweatshirt with an alligator embroidered across the chest, you’ll be able to get your pre-shop on. And yes, as of this writing, there’s at least one in stock — priced to move at $525.