With our newly launched Accessories collection and with so much going on here at Xupes, we thought it would be a great idea to delve into the thoughts of the team members who are heading up our newest department to get the inside information on how things began, as well as what's in store for Xupes next...
We speak to Directors of Handbags, Jewellery and Accessories, Reece Morgan and Debra Willis.
Reece, you joined Xupes as an assistant photographer in 2014, you then went onto set up the Handbags department and now we're announcing the launch of the Accessories department! How would you describe the process from then to now?
R: The Handbags department began in 2015, when our Founder and CEO, Joe and Co-founder and Director, Frank had the idea and offered me the opportunity to head it up. We started with a very small budget, choosing just a select few pieces but we quickly learnt that there was an appetite for a handbag offering through our clients. We were also attracting new clients, so from there we expanded to stock the collections you see today. We have toyed with the idea of having an Accessories department throughout the years and it’s something our clients have asked us for. Now just feels like the right time to be launching!
Debra, you joined in 2020 as Head of Jewellery and you're now Director of Handbags, Jewellery and Accessories. How have you seen the business change since you joined the company?
D: I was originally bought in to focus on expanding the jewellery offerings and broadening our core brands. From this, I bought in the sought-after ranges from Cartier like the Love range and the Juste un Clou range as well as more from Tiffany which are now staples within our collections.
Accessories was always in the pipeline but as Reece says, now is the right time for it to be launching.
What would you say is your favourite part of your role day to day?
D: My background is in Buying so for me, sourcing special items is one of my favourite parts of the role. Not to mention when you’ve managed to find a certain piece, at the right price for a client and they absolutely love it, that’s really fulfilling!
R: I’d have to agree with Debra, I love the sourcing side and the investigation of hard-to-find pieces. It can be really rewarding when you finally find the thing your client has been unable to find elsewhere and seeing how happy it makes them. Another thing is that no two days are the same so there’s a lot of variety involved.
What would you say the most sought-after item in accessories is regardless of brand?
D: I would say small leather goods are most popular as they tend to be a great starting point for people wanting to invest in designer brands. They’re a great entry investment into a brand, perhaps as a 21st birthday present which then stays with the recipient for many years as they add to their collection.
R: I totally agree. We all carry a wallet or a card holder and it’s the kind of item you would invest in anyway, so people aren’t afraid to spend that bit more knowing they’re investing in a brand they love and that it’ll be great quality.
What’s been your favourite client story in your time at Xupes?
D: There have been a couple of occasions when sourcing items as replacements, for example, when sentimental pieces have been lost. If you saw our TV programme on Channel 4 last year, you may remember Rebecca who had her beloved Prada bag stolen which was a gift from her family before her mum passed away. It was really special to her, and the bag was incredibly rare. We were determined to find it for her and luckily, we managed to. Rebecca was over the moon so that was really rewarding.
R: Flying to LA to hand deliver the Louis Vuitton handbags to Kylie Jenner has got to be a highlight for me! I really enjoy sourcing for our celebrity clients; however, all our clients get the same experience.
Which accessory could you not leave the house without?
D: I am partial to a scarf and when it comes to designers, Chanel has to be my favourite. I just feel a scarf can transform an understated outfit into something quite special. The team are all in love with the Hermès Twilly’s which are also really versatile as you can wear them in your hair, round your neck or tied to your bag!
R: I couldn’t leave the house without all my Louis Vuitton accessories. I am a major collector of the brand, so their accessories are a must-have for me. I have all the daily essentials from my laptop case, cosmetics pouch, card holder and even my keyholder! All the items I need with me on a day-to-day basis.
What’s been your vision throughout setting up the Accessories department? And has this aligned how you’d imagined?
D: The vision was to bridge the gap between our departments. We had clients asking for certain accessories when buying a handbag for example, so it just made sense. It now means we can provide clients with the whole offering when they come to see us!
It has aligned how we’d imagined; we are thrilled with the launch collection.
R: It has aligned with how we’d first envisaged. We’re really pleased to now be offering, not only something our current clients have asked for, but we can now also reach new clients who may want to dip their toes into the world of pre-owned! I’d say it’s also opened our eyes as to what’s out there and there are already items we hope to stock in the future.
How do you see the Accessories department growing? Are you planning on adding any other product ranges to the offering? As we know sunglasses and trainers, for example, are becoming more and more popular on the resale market right now, is that an avenue you see for Xupes in the future?
D: We will probably begin by bringing in more seasonal items, for example, heavier scarves, gloves and some more playful items around Christmas which will make perfect gifts.
R: We see the Accessories department becoming as big as Handbags and Jewellery. There are no barriers as to what we can offer and that’s what makes it so exciting. If we want to add a Chanel basketball to our collection we can. In fact, we have just sold a Louis Vuitton one!
You can explore the newly launched Accessories department here whether you’re looking to purchase your first item of a brand you’ve loved forever or you’re looking to add to your ever-growing collection, there’s something for everyone!