Imperfections Were the Inspiration for The Real Real’s Fourth Original ReCollection

The 90-piece collection gives new life to unwanted pieces.

The Real Real ReCollection 04 on fit and campaign models
(Image credit: Hunter Abrams)

The Real Real, the largest authentic resale site, has amassed 28 million shoppers over its 11 years in business, all of whom— whether they know it or not— contribute to the site's mission of extending the life of luxury goods. The company, in turn, has saved 59,374 metric tons of carbon and 3.1 billion liters of water by buying and selling over 26 million pre-loved luxury items. Still, there's more work to do.

While luxury pieces in good or pristine condition have a chance at a second life, that prospect is unlikely for items with even small flaws. "More often than not, these are the pieces in people's homes that end up in the landfill—alongside the 10.5 million tons of clothing sent there each year," explains The Real Real's Senior Fashion Lead Noelle Sciacca. She says, "Ninety-five percent of products destined for landfills could be reborn if they're repaired or upcycled in some way."  

For their ReCollection 04, TRR took that statistic to heart, and the drawing board— pushing their boundaries, the team harnessed the power of the imperfect— using damaged, ripped, stained, and destroyed clothing as the inspiration for the 90-piece size and gender-inclusive collection. 

Pieces from ReCollection 04

Fit models became campaign faces for The Real Real's ReCollection 04.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Hunter Abrams)

With a little creativity, you can do so many things to keep an imperfect-looking piece in circulation.

Trench coat and denim

A trench coat and pair of denim from the ReCollection 04.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Hunter Abrams)

"In past collections, we first identified how to get rid of the damage. For example, if there was staining at the dress's hemline, we cut the dress shorter. This time, we embraced signs of wear and tear," Sciacca says. The goal was to create beauty out of perceived brokenness. Water stains were enhanced with elegant hand-drawn patterns, while holes became focal points, trimmed with Victorian-era embroideries. "These new pieces, originating from high-quality fabrics, are the true definition of one-of-a-kind," Sciacca explains.

A collection like this also opens the door for more conversation. "There's a lot of untapped opportunity with upcycling and we're hoping to inspire and empower people. With a little creativity, you can do so many things to keep an imperfect-looking piece in circulation, says Sciacca. "Giving them a second or third life is absolutely possible." 

First Look members can shop the ReCollection 04 today, with access to the public starting Tuesday, August 16th.

ReCollection 04 pieces

A dress is repurposed with new sleeves and pockets, while a previously damaged button-down and skirt are also given a second life through The Real Real's ReCollection 04.

(Image credit: Hunter Abrams)
Sara Holzman
Style Director

Sara Holzman is the Style Director for Marie Claire, where she's worked alongside the publication for eight years in various roles, ensuring the brand's fashion content continues to inform, inspire, and shape the conversation about fashion's ever-evolving landscape. With a degree from the Missouri School of Journalism, Sara is responsible for overseeing a diverse fashion content mix, from emerging and legacy designer profiles to reported features on the influence of social media on style and seasonal and micro trends across the world's fashion epicenters in New York, Milan, and Paris. Before joining Marie Claire, Sara held fashion roles at Conde Nast's Lucky Magazine and Self Magazine and was a style and travel contributor to Equinox's Furthermore website. Over her decade of experience in the fashion industry, Sara has helped guide each brand's style point of view, working alongside veteran photographers and stylists to bring editorial and celebrity photo shoots to fruition from start to finish. Sara currently lives in New York City. When she's not penning about fashion or travel, she’s at the farmer’s market, on a run, working to perfect her roasted chicken recipe, or spending time with her husband, dog, and cat. Follow her along at @sarajonewyork