As the resale market continues to grow, companies like The RealReal are identifying innovative ways to partner with celebrities cleaning out their closets — including, most recently, Lena Dunham.
Dunham is selling 169 items from her personal collection and donating her 70 percent cut to Planned Parenthood. Dunham announced she will send a handwritten note along with items, which range widely in both price point and style — from the Elizabeth Kennedy gown she wore to the Met Gala to casual items seen in episodes of “Girls,” including a swimsuit top. The RealReal has sold several celebrity-owned items, including apparel from the Kardashian family through multiple sales since last August. Dunham is among the first to connect her effort to a major national charity organization.
As of this morning, a large majority of the garments were either sold or on hold. The collection comes as The RealReal continues expansion efforts that include a push into brick-and-mortar stores, coming off a recent infusion of $50 million in new investments. A New York City-based store is expected to open later this year, building off a successful two-week experimental pop-up shop in SoHo in December.
Im cleaning out my closet by partnering with @therealreal to sell items directly from my closet to benefit Planned Parenthood. I’ve been lucky enough to own some truly special (often custom) pieces from innovative designers and selling items that have been worn down Brooklyn streets, on the set of GIRLS and at awards shows and book signings. Each purchase will come with a note from me that documents my experience wearing the piece. I hope you enjoy the pieces and the stories behind them. Link in bio to shop. 💃🏼🎀🛒#realrealedit #IStandWithPP
Dunham’s decision to partner with Planned Parenthood also points to an increase in demand for luxury resale services that benefit charitable organizations. In 2014, Christena Reinhard, a former educational fundraiser in San Francisco, created Union & Fifth, an e-commerce resale site based entirely on giving back. Much like The RealReal, users receive 75 percent of the profits from a sale, and then are asked to select from one of several partnering non-profit organizations to receive the money. More recently, the luxury resale site Olivela launched last month in conjunction with the Good+ Foundation to donate a portion of sales to families in need.
On The RealReal site, Dunham previewed the stories behind a few select pieces, including the Kenzo x H&M ruffled print dress she wore to Hillary Clinton’s election watch party in New York City in November.
“This is a rough one folks: I picked this Kenzo dress to wear to the Javits Center on Election Night, 2016,” Dunham stated on the site. “I’ll be honest and say it was selected with a different outcome in mind than me sobbing with my head in Lady Gaga’s lap, but the best laid plans etc. etc. But we continue to fight, we always fight for progress and the future, for our planet and our children, and this dress to me represents so much the spirit of hope that I know will get us through.”