Perhaps the fashion landscape in Japan conjures up imagery of the kaleidoscopic Harajuku district and girls dolled up in mounds of ruffles and tulle. Maybe even Gwen Stefani. Sounds familiar?
But according to Reebonz Marketplace merchant fmasarovic, the Japanese are just as passionate about Parisian style as they are about their homegrown brand of dollhouse chic. In particular, vintage French luxury fashion seems to have found its foothold in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Reebonz: Share with us how FMASAROVIC started.
Freddie: fmasarovic was founded by my wife Sayaka and I in 2004. We launched the modest business on eBay with the simple intention of earning some extra money while attending graduate school. After receiving our Master’s degrees, we decided to move to Japan where we quickly realized the enormous potential of building a business based on luxury brands. Sayaka, who had worked for Louis Vuitton and Cartier, applied her luxury brand skills to identify high-quality, pre-owned products throughout Japan. I used my business and marketing development skills to create an online store. As fmasarovic grew, so too did the customer base, who recognized our commitment to online quality, authenticity and safety. These are the values that we stand by in order to make your shopping experience the best it can possibly be.
Reebonz: What did you hope to achieve in introducing FMASAROVIC to the (Asian) market?
Freddie: The Asian market has a lot of potential. Most of our clients in this area are sophisticated, smart and know good value. We hope to further spoil our customers and create for them a lot of happy moments!
Reebonz: What were some of the challenges faced when trying to penetrate into countries other than your home market?
Freddie: These days e-commerce is ruling the world, but despite the advanced tools we have at our disposal there is always the cultural, language and government barrier in any new market. We see a lot of progress with marketplaces like Reebonz to help with these. Reebonz is definitely standing out!
Reebonz: How do you choose which brands you would like to sell in your boutiques?
Freddie: Here it comes down not only to the supply and demand, but also our personal preference and brand knowledge. We like to sell items we adore and know inside out, so that we can offer support on questions regarding authenticity or technical issues.
Reebonz: How does FMASAROVIC guarantee the authenticity of their items?
Freddie: Sayaka is a ex-Louis Vuitton employee, so we are a licensed reseller in Japan with over 10 years of experience to back it up. We guarantee that all our items are authentic and offer lifetime warranty on authenticity on all our items.
Reebonz: Despite fierce competition in the luxury retail space, how does FMASAROVIC stay relevant?
Freddie: Over the 8 years we have seen many new players come and go. Although this industry is very competitive, we keep it simple and ensure that is our customer satisfaction is our highest priority. We love what we do and are improving every aspect of our business on a daily basis to stay ahead.
Reebonz: Share one unique item that FMASAROVIC has in its inventory. Why is it so special?
Freddie: We believe all our items are special and it is hard to choose one, as we specialize in vintage or discontinued items and they all have story to tell. I personally always find small and large trunks from Louis Vuitton special, knowing that they have travelled the world in style. They make me wonder where they have been and where they going to end up!
Reebonz: What are the more popular brands and items that people look for in your boutique?
Freddie: Since we specialize in Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermes, we find a lot of classics to be in demand. For Louis Vuitton they are monogram and epi Alma’s, Speedies or Keepalls. For Chanel any classic black flap bag is always on someone’s wish list. Luckily, we have many lovely unique pieces to satisfy more niche customer needs.
Reebonz: What are the top trends or top picks for the season in your country?
Freddie: The trends are changing rapidly throughout the year, but we are noticing that a classic vintage bag is always in season. They always stand out somehow and are ready for any occasion. As they becoming rarer to find in pristine condition, many creative customers accessorize theirs to refresh the look for the season. A small scarf or handkerchief attached to the bag is the trend these days.
Reebonz: What should one look out for when shopping for luxury merchandise online?
Freddie: Condition, condition and condition! Always invest in the best condition you can afford. We can see on the market that it influences a difference in demand, and the amount people are willing to pay for something in Excellent or Great condition can vary as much as 50% of the price. The value of the item is proportional to the condition.
Reebonz: Can you share some tips on how to care and maintain luxury items?
Freddie: What makes any vintage bag stand out is how the previous owner cared for the item. A few simple tips would ensure your vintage piece lasts another 20 years.
Keep your bag in a dust bag all the time, stuff with paper or shaper to keep its shape if not using. Dust bags not only protect the leather from dust and sun but also polish the surface gently when the bag is moved around inside it. Keep every bag on its own and don’t place them on top of each other as it will wrinkly the leather. Do not use any spray or color to fix any imperfection – use only for edges if absolutely necessary.
Reebonz: What does FMASAROVIC hope to achieve in the future?
Freddie: Glamorizing the world one vintage handbag at a time!
So if you’re looking to cover a piece of fine vintage classic, pop on over to Reebonz Marketplace now! Freddie is offering an exclusive 20% OFF selected products! Hurry, promotion ends today. You might just be a happy owner of a pristine, pre-owned and rare Chanel handbag!