Based in London Aqila Agha is a fashion connoisseur and the brains behind the globally popular preloved luxury ecommerce Papillonkia. She talks to Secret Closet in detail about her venture, why she gave birth to it and how it works, to assure audiences about the authenticity and quality of the luxury designer brands they stock. The value of extending the life cycle of a luxury item is a cause close to her heart, given the steep increase in prices and currencies, it is important to be able to sustain the value of designer goods. A medium for buyers and sellers, Papillonkia specialises in the finest preloved handbag, shoe, jewellery, and accessories brands, maintaining the highest standards of quality. The website also offers personal shopping services so you can order directly from London through Papillonkia.com for shipping worldwide. Lets learn more from the CEO Aqila Agha in our exclusive interview.
1. What made you want to start a website for pre-loved luxury items and personal shopping?
I started Papillonkia in 2014 and the whole concept actually started regarding pre-loved items was to be part of the circular economy and sustainable fashion. It’s actually a big issue now at the moment, but that is something I thought and read about a quite a while ago. Basically it’s having 1 item with many uses in its life cycle. And for me it was about changing mind sets about pre-loved and that it’s actually ok to buy pre-loved designer items as long as they are authentic and that we can use.
Personal shopping came about cause I had so many clients and ladies who actually loved what I was wearing and I would always end up getting the latest pieces and lots of women who did not have access to designer products and designer boutiques or felt awkward and uncomfortable about going in and shopping in some of the boutiques, they wanted these items so I was quite happy to get it for them.
2. Which designer labels can we expect to see when using papillonkia.com?
We deal with all high-end branded items. So predominantly, Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, those are main products and brands that we sell. But we do also sell Givenchy, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and others.
3. How do you vet and authenticate sellers to ensure their items are genuine?
We take authenticity very very seriously and in our entirety of six years we’ve actually not sold a single item that was not authentic. So we have our in-house authenticators as well as external authenticators if we want a second or a third opinion. So everything on our website has been authenticated and that’s actually our USP. So clients can rest assured and feel extremely cared for that our process is all very transparent and honest. So anything they do buy from our website they actually have the knowledge of knowing that it’s all authentic. When we actually receive items from clients who do want to sell through us or want to sell to us, we authenticate them again. If they are not authentic then we do not entertain any of those products at all and send those items back.
4. How can someone sell their pre-loved items to you?
If anybody wants to sell their pre-loved items to us, all they need to do is go to the website, click on sell to us and fill out the form. What we do is within 48 hours of receiving the form we will get back to you and give you a cash prize if you want to sell right away to us or a consignment prize where we would actually sell the items for you, less a fee.
5. Tell us about your personal shopping services, how does it work?
Personal shopping is something we’ve recently entered into and we cater to all the latest collections from Chanel for example or Dior, Hermes or Gucci- any of the brands we sell. We have quite a lot of networks and we can obtain those items for a client and we would just charge a small fee on top. Then we post them out with the receipt to the client.
In the first instance when we are offering our personal shopping service, people will have to contact us via the website or Facebook or Instagram- just message us and send a photo of what they require and what we will do is we’ll shop around our networks to see if the product is available. We then get back to the client giving them the price with our fee and postage. We will accept Paypal or bank transfer for payment of the item and once we receive the item we will ship it out to the client whether they’re in the UK or worldwide we will use DHL Express.
6. Which designer brands sell out fastest on papillonkia.com
Certainly, the fastest brands that sell out on our website are Chanel, followed by Dior and Gucci- these are the three major brands that we sell on our website. But as I said we do accept other brands- Hermes is another one as well and the list gets longer and longer.
7. How often is the website updated with new items?
We have items in every single day and at our offices we have boxes of items that come in and what we do is we try to list all the items every single day trying to do a quick turn around so that every day there is a new item on our website.
8. What can we purchase other than bags and shoes?
As well as bags which is what we originally started out with we do sell shoes and weve just started to enter the clothing market as well. We also sell fine jewellery so Van Cleef Arpels, Cartier and also other costume jewellery as well. These are the main things we sell on our website but you never know we could expand into other areas such as art who knows and luxury is all across the board.
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