Tell us a little bit about yourselves. What were you both doing before SACLÀB?
Alexandra: I studied Design at the Design Academy Eindhoven, and during my studies worked for the renowned interior designer Ilse Crawford in London, creating designs presentations for restaurants, retail spaces and private houses. After my graduation I worked at Kvadrat, a leading Danish interior textiles company, where I helped to design and develop rugs and floor coverings. I also worked in trend forecasting and interior design. I’m very vision-driven and hands-on – one of my bigger challenges at Kvadrat was to learn how to turn a design concept into a commercially successful product that fits with their target audience.
Oliver: During my last undergraduate year, I developed a particular interest in start-ups and founded Yourmagazine – a company focused on aggregating articles from different magazines into one feed. Sort of like Spotify for reading. However, both the idea and our approach were not mature enough to make this a big success. I went on to study Technology Entrepreneurship at both UCL and London Business School. After graduating, I worked at a young London-based company called TRULY Experiences, and another start-up, optile. It was a great opportunity for me to learn how young companies, e-commerce and especially the premium market work.
It was during this time that I discovered my passion for luxury vintage goods. I opened a sole-trader company in Munich to trade handbags from Givenchy, Celine, Prada and Bottega Veneta. In 2016, I realised that this side business in selling handbags had big potential, so in mid-2017, Alex and I sat down together and brainstormed how we could grow such a company even further. We founded SACLÀB in 2018, specialising in high-value brands such as Chanel and Hermès.
Why did you begin SACLÀB?
A: I’ve always had a keen eye on fashion and trends, while being a huge supporter of upcycled and secondhand fashion. I was eager to explore this business within the luxury market, where the incineration of garments and accessories has been a hot topic since Burberry admitted to burning over £28 million of stock in an effort to protect its brand image and exclusivity. Today, we’re not just wondering ‘Who’s making my clothes?’ but also, ‘What’s happening to what’s already out there?’ Handbags are, when well made, not only long-lasting but can also become collectable and highly sought-after. Why should their life come to an end when the first owner doesn’t like them anymore?
O: I also have a passion for vintage goods and high-value craft pieces. I myself often wear vintage watches, accessories and clothing. I like the idea of having something of high value passed on and restored.
What are your roles in the team?
O: As SACLÀB’s Managing Director, I make sure that the business runs as planned and grows. I think of strategies and how to implement them. In this regard, I take care of sales, operations and, of course, the culture and atmosphere in the Munich office. At the moment, I’ve been focused on developing our business so clients can easily sell their treasures directly to us. Customers can now upload images and details of their bag to our website, and we will reach out to them with a price offer for the bag along with a shipping label. Once they have shipped the item to us, we inspect it, adjust our offer and, if accepted by the seller, we pay out the money right away. This offers a huge advantage to sellers as they don’t have to go through the process of finding a buyer through existing platforms, which can take weeks or even months. We’ll save you 90% of your time.