One of the hardest things about buying pre-loved fashion is the question of its authenticity. Is it real? Is it fake? Is it just a really, really good fake? These are the kinds of questions that plague any would-be buyer, the issue of validity a very real (or fake!) peril when purchasing pre-loved designer fashion. This is particularly pertinent in the digital space, whereby the opportunity to inspect the garment physically is void and quality control is questionable. You can’t touch it, you can’t hold it, you can’t see it, which means trusting the seller is paramount. And in faith we trust Vestiaire Collective, the luxury consignment e-tailer with an infallible authentication process (so no sneaky fakes can fall through the cracks).

So what makes Vestiaire Collective so trustworthy? A rigorous, multi-tiered process carried out by staff who know their luxury inside out (literally). “Our authenticators come from experienced fashion, luxury and auction houses,” says Victoire Boyer Chammard, the Head of Authentication for Vestiaire Collective, meaning employee pedigree is of the highest order. “Each person in the team specialises in a specific category, which enables us to run authenticity checks on numerous categories including accessories, ready to wear, jewellery and watches.”

But arming yourself with the right, erudite people is just part of the process. An ideal authentication process requires multiple checkpoints to sign off on an item, and what follows is a painstakingly punctilious process which involves expert examination. The first step of the authentication process is carried out by the curation team who diligently check all of the submitted images for any irregularities, and also check the reliability of the seller. The second step is perhaps the most important, however, with a physical check of the product carried out by the expert authenticators. “We had to build a strong in-house team of authenticators to facilitate this,” explains Boyer Chammard, who inspect each product from its tag down to its seam.

But their discernible eye doesn’t stop at veracity. Like fashion gatekeepers, the curation team also takes the responsibility of items entering the vast Vestiaire catalogue, “they are trained to keep an eye out for products which best fit within the existing catalogue, they’re also knowledgeable on the current desirable pieces come through from current collections,” adds Boyer Chammard. So not only are you getting the real deal, but the most stylish, expertly curated pieces, too.

True vintage Chanel? Add to cart, quick.