Tag Archives: Designer Vault

Investing in Pre-Owned Luxury

Hermes Scarf Portero

I have never been afraid to own something second-hand, especially if it’s been well maintained.  Not only do I shop at secondhand and vintage clothing stores, but furniture stores as well.  I have a desk that I adore that I purchased at an antique shop when I was doing up my bedroom in “shabby chic”.

When it comes to clothing, shoes, purses and accessories, I used to solely purchase pre-owned from eBay.  Lately, I have found myself really enjoying shopping from consignment or pre-owned luxury shops, both mortar & brick as well as online.  Before, I was simply looking for vintage items for the aesthetic feel, but now I’m looking specifically for gently used and well-kept high-end products.  One of my first pre-owned luxury items was Manolo Blahnik shoes from eBay.  For Christmas, my husband bought me the entire “Sex and the City” series.  During my maternity leave with our son Dominic, I binge-watched the entire thing and immediately fell in love with Carrie Bradshaw’s style, because I was hitting that same age range as they were at the start of the series (“nearly 40”).

What I loved about Carrie Bradshaw’s style was the way Patricia Field used luxury items in everyday dressing. She had Carrie in cargo pants and casual tee with Manolo’s and a Fendi baguette while grabbing coffee.  My style goal was to be that effortless.  It only really looked that way if you had the actual luxury items in the outfit.  In the years of trying to accomplish this, but with a bit of 80’s edge, I realized that I needed to step out of my mall habit and start to look at pieces to invest in.  But with the job I had at that moment in time, it wasn’t so easy to pull off.  My husband helped by buying me my first real Louis Vuitton purse for my 40th birthday (the Palermo PM below), but I was still feeling like a poser, getting it only half right in many instances.

Louis Vuitton Palmero PM CollageMy first true luxury item, when it was new back in 2010 (the leather has become more patinaed since then).  Thank you to my loving hubby for giving it to me for my 40th birthday!

With patience and improved income, I finally feel like I can do the “high/low” mix of luxury, vintage and everyday properly, according to my style and taste.  I’m researching pieces to invest in that will still look great over time, and will hold their value.  One of my first investment pieces was an Hermès scarf from Portero, which was in pristine condition (top picture).  It was a smaller scarf, so now I’m on the lookout for a larger piece that I can use as a shawl.

After getting invited to several events for Designer-Vault, I knew I needed to own Chanel.  My first Chanel purchase from Designer-Vault was a lovely necklace.  I knew I had to get something that would be classic, but still keep within my rocker-chic edge, so I chose a gun-metal color that still had the interlocking C’s.  I then made a few more purchases, including the cassette tape necklace (I wore on this blog post), all pictured below.

Chanel Designer Vault

Chanel Cassette Tape Necklace Designer Vault

I purchased my first official Chanel purse from Portero (pictured below).  I know it’s not a coveted classic flap with the chain link straps, but it still looks amazing and has the quilting and interlocking C’s I was looking for.  I’m currently using as my main purse due to its practical size and shape.  It is in amazing condition, and I couldn’t be happier with my first Chanel purse.  While in Last Vegas last month, I tried my best Eva Chen with it (with my new Zara platform espadrilles)!

My Best Eva Chen with Chanel CollageMy most recent purchases have been in the luxury shoe line from The Real Real.  I was amazed at the condition of both of these shoes.  I wore the Chanel maryjane style flats in a recent outfit post, and I’ll be wearing those adorable Christian Louboutins in an upcoming one!

Chanel Shoes The Real Real

Christian Louboutin The Real Real

Hermes Leather Cuff The Real RealFinally, I found this fantastic Hermès leather cuff bracelet, also on The Real Real.  It fits right in with my style because it’s silver and it matched up so well with my Depeche Mode leather wrap bracelet and Jeffery Campbell shoes that I posted recently on Instagram.

My Tips on Finding The Right Luxury Item

I thought I would close out this post with just a few tips on what I do to ensure I find the right pre-owned luxury item for my budget.  Hope this helps you and happy shopping!

  1. Know your budget:  I have realized in my shopping sprees that I just can’t afford an Hermès Kelly or Birkin purse, so I stick to anything that is in decent condition, usually under $1000.  Also, many of these luxury consignment sites have Affirm, which means you can pay for your favorite item over time.
  2. Do the research:  I can’t emphasize this enough!  Purchasing from luxury consignment sites like Portero, Designer-Vault and The Real Real are your best bets for finding authentic high-end items as they have professionals on staff who can attest to their product’s authenticity.  But if you do purchase from eBay or any other auction style site, make sure you know how to differentiate a real from a fake.  I’ve made that mistake with mid-price items before, so I’m very particular to know what I’m looking for in a higher end item.  This means knowing which items have serial numbers, holographic tags and even checking stitching, patterns, and styles.  I only purchase from sellers with at least 98% rating and who provide extensive pictures.  If I can find “New With Tags”, even better!
  3. Be patient:  It takes time to find that luxury item that is not only amazing, but fits into your style and your budget.  I would hesitate buying something just to own it.  That pink fluffy Chanel purse may not be worth it if you’re never going to carry it.  Take your time, search different sites and even go to a brick and mortar store.  There are lots of them out there, and it may be better for those of you who would rather have the item in hand rather than pictures online.

Designer Vault Showroom Grand Opening April 28th!


I purchase all of my Chanel vintage jewelry from one very specific place:  Designer Vault (see one of my favorites here).  I’ve gone to a few of their events in the last couple of years (here and here), and I’m excited to share that they will be celebrating the grand opening of their showroom in Carlsbad!

If you would like to join the festivities, here’s the information.  Hope to see you there!


April 28, 2016, 5p – 9p

RSVP by 4/26/16:

[email protected]


Designer Vault

2734 Loker Avenue W, Suite H | Carlsbad, CA 92010

Designer Vault’s Vintage Chanel Trunk Show December 16, 2015


Designer Vault is having another fabulous Vintage Chanel Trunk Show this Wednesday at The Lot in La Jolla.  I’ve attended the last two events, and they’re always so chic and fabulous.  Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to attend this year’s due to a conflict with my son’s Winterfest assembly.  But I still wanted to share the information about the trunk show because it’s such a great event where 10% of all sales and consignments from the show will directly benefit the wonderful non-profit organization, Promises2Kids.

All of my own Chanel pieces were purchased directly from Designer Vault, so I personally know the quality of what Christina Samoylov has to offer.  Here are a couple of pictures from the last two events I attended, just to give you an idea of what to expect.  Cheers!

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2013 Trunk Show


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2014 Trunk Show

Designer Vault Vintage Chanel Trunk Show 11/20/2014

Designer Vault Vintage Chanel Trunk Show 2014

Last year, I attended Designer Vault’s “Vintage Designer Trunk” show, which featured so many wonderful vintage designer items, including the most Chanel I’ve ever seen in one place at one time (original post here).  It was a lovely event, where a percentage of the sales went to benefit Promises2Kids.

Since then, they’ve been put on the Coco Chanel map due to Miley Cyrus and Refinery 29 (click the link for their blog post).  So it’s no surprise that this year, Designer Vault will present another vintage trunk show, but will feature all Chanel clothing, handbags and jewelry, where 10% of the sales will again benefit Promises2Kids.

Promises2Kids annually provides over 3,300 current and former foster youth in San Diego County with the tools, opportunities, and guidance they need to address the circumstances that brought them into foster care, overcome the difficulties of their past, and grow into healthy, happy and successful adults.

All of the details are below on how you can RSVP, and I’ll be in attendance so I hope to see you there!

Who: Designer Vault
What: Vintage Chanel Trunk Show
Where: The Cresta
6005 Avenida Cresta
La Jolla, CA 92037
When:  Thursday, November 20, 2014
VIP Reception, 4:30p-6p
General Reception, 6p-8pm
RSVP: Via Facebook invite here or email Sandra Taylor at [email protected]

A Sea of Chanel: Designer Vault’s Vintage Designer Trunk Show

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 Picture #2 on the right was a display made of real shoes that was later auctioned during the public sale.

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A couple of Saturdays ago, I was invited to attend a VIP viewing of Designer Vault’s Vintage Designer Trunk Show, prior to opening to the public (Designer Vault is a luxury consignment e-boutique).  The event took place at The Headquarters at Seaport District (right next to Seaport Village on the waterfront in Downtown San Diego), in a creative meeting space called preFAB.  I have never been surrounded by so much Chanel in my entire life, except for maybe visiting the Chanel store at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas.  Celebrity stylists Daniel Musto and local stylist Dean Hall (of Hall & Saks) were on hand to help create the perfect look for patrons, and a percentage of the sales went towards Promises2Kids.  I had a great time window shopping all of the beautiful designer treasures, as well as hanging out with stylists, fashionistas and fellow San Diego Style Bloggers.  One of the highlights of the day was finally meeting Cindy Matalucci of The Pulse, her “interview style” marketing company.  Thank you to Andrea Landis with Designer Vault for the invite!  There are quite a few pictures to get through, but it is SO worth it because Chanel is so lovely to behold.  Enjoy!

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Designer Vault Owner Christina Samoylov, with celebrity stylist, Daniel Musto.

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Although there were many other designers to choose from to fit your haute couture needs, my senses were working overtime because of all of the Chanel.  The following pictures are of my favorite pieces.

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The purses above are all mini, and completely adorable.

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This patterned houndstooth Chanel in tweed was so incredibly stunning up close.

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I could not stop coming back to this beautiful vintage tote in navy blue caviar leather.  Someday!

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Another lovely, but this time in navy patent leather with silver hardware…

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I had to carry it because it was just too beautiful (and it matched my outfit)!

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Maria of Savvynista looking absolutely fabulous in a gorgeous Chanel coat.

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With the lovely Cindy of The Pulse.  I was so excited to finally meet her!

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Maria, Cindy, Daniel with Vanessa of Vanessa Balli.

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With local stylist Dean Hall of Hall & Saks.  So awesome to meet him as well!

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With Abigail of The Fabulous Life of a Natural Disaster.  Between myself, Abigail and Cindy, it truly was a furry vest kind of day!

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This Chanel burlap briefcase goes wonderfully with Abigail’s outfit!

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With Heidi of A Fashion Statement.

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My poor boys!  We planned to spend the day together after the trunk show, and I ended up staying the entire length of the VIP showing.  They were troopers waiting for me to finish up, and we finally headed out for lunch and some fun at Seaport Village next door.  I love them!

My outfit details:  Aqua vest (Bloomingdale’s, but similar here); The Limited Perfect Tee (currently only $10!); Buffalo Jeans from JC Penney; unknown brand suede over the knee boots (from eBay, only $40!); Topshop purse; Suki Bijoux necklace; London Underground cuff c/o Designhype; Eva glasses in Sepia Kiss c/o BonLook

Vintage Designer Trunk Show This Saturday (12/14/2013) at The Headquarters at Seaport District


Here’s  fun shopping and styling event from Designer Vault happening on Saturday December 14, 2013 at The Headquarters (in Seaport Village), for a good cause.

If you go, let me know how it went by leaving your comment here, cheers!