Limited edition runway pieces and buying an international fashion designer's first, last or graduate collection is your likely ticket to hitting the collectable vintage jackpot. But just how you go about securing these highly sought-after pieces come down to research, using trusted online sites and subscribing to newsletters for a sartorial advantage.
"It's important to look for pieces that were produced at an important point in the designer's history," says Farfetch's Buying and Merchandising Director, Candice Fragis.
"Runway pieces with limited availability and media attention are a good investment and these tend to become collectibles and increase in value" she says.
There's a huge demand for bold printed vintage shirts by Comme des Garçons and Jean Paul Gaultier –if you find these items you're heading in the right direction of collectable gold.
"Versace and Issey Miyake have strong pieces too and we have seen increased interest over the past year," explains Fragis, who also says leather goods and vintage watches also make the top list of collectable must-haves.
Online site Grailed has built a buzz around collectable menswear while also selling second hand owned goods. The peer-to-peer site prides itself on having access to pieces that have just come off the runway or from collector's archived collections.
There's everything from Gucci Elton John sweatshirts to Nike X Supreme sneaker collaborations on sale.
The Real Real's Men's Category Director Mayola Martinez says the rise in vintage archival pieces is becoming a huge trend worldwide.
"We're seeing certain menswear greats steal the spotlight," says Martinez.
"We've seen an increase in demand for archival collections and an increase in sales from the likes of Tom Ford era Gucci, Margiela and Helmut Lang.
"Collaborations are also hotly sought after and becoming the new archival piece; the LV X Supreme marriage of streetwear and luxury is a notable one. Logo-based collections, iconic patterns and insignias are in high demand too," she adds.
According to Martinez, it's the reissuing of logo based collections in the modern era of menswear that's seeing Dior, Gucci and Louis Vuitton become cult favourites.
An issue of trust
Some folks turn to eBay to find collectable pieces, but it's becoming more the case you need to source them via trusted online portals. The advantage of using sites like Farfetch, Vestiaire and The Real Real means your purchase is always guaranteed.
"We only work with specialist vintage boutiques who certify the authenticity of the products," says Fragis.
"Some of our vintage partners also hold infinite archives of specific collections and designers, so they are incredibly knowledgeable about the specific pieces they are selling. Information on the year and season the collection was produced is also a good indicator," she says.
Tips for nabbing gold
The key to finding collectable comes down to knowing what's happening behind the scenes at various fashion house headquarters.
When Louis Vuitton's exiting creative director Kim Jones announced his departure earlier this year, sales jumped 87 per cent on the American site The Real Real on that day alone. A further 57 per cent increase in sales took place for those purchasing the LV X Supreme collaboration. In a nutshell, it's these sort of career moves that make collectors anticipate the next important fashion exit which will see your luxury items become a whole lot more valuable.
What's more, when Virgil Abloh announced his move from Off-White to Louis Vuitton, a search for LV on the Real Real doubled by millennial men to 135 per cent with a resale value of his latest collection at Off White increasingly by almost 45 per cent.
And never underestimate your size. Fragis says men need to keep in mind that these collectable items generally run smaller than other modern cuts.
Later this month, Vestiaire Collective teams with Byronesque, a personal shopper service from the USA) in an exclusive online pop-up featuring hard to find vintage up for auction grabs. There's a Helmet Lang Police vest from his AW 1999 collection and a 1985 Comme des Garcon show robe in the mix. But it's a Johnny Rotten Mohair jumper from 1976 that's been authenticated by the Westwood clan that's your likely ticket to owning a piece of punk real estate and only available via a luxury price tag.