How to buy and find vintage Paul Gaultier jeans, according to experts
Very few brands can impact the market like Jean Paul Gaultier. In fact, the designer’s archival drawings have become therefore popular among millennials and Gen Zs that the legendary house announced earlier this year that after being out of service for nearly a decade, it would be bringing back its ready-to-wear line.
Before the news, the brand posted an obscure post on Instagram in May to signify the end of an era, sending fans of the brand into a frenzy as they rushed to get their hands on something, anything from past collections. As prices started to rise almost immediately, it was clear that dealers, too, wanted to join in on the action. According to Vestiaire Collective, as reported by WWD, vintage Jean Paul Gaultier searches were up 570% from May and six months ago, while sales in the first quarter of 2021 were up 30%.
Buyers’ demand makes the market shipping for the Gaultier vintage even more delicate. So if you’re looking to snag a few pieces now during the height of the brand’s excitement, resale revival, and its latest fashion show, you’ll want to be a lot more strategic.
For Collin James and Brandon Veloria, vintage (and Instagram favorite) boutique owners James veloria, the process behind collecting vintage JPGs begins with knowing the brand’s history.
“Gaultier clothing is so desirable because everything he released was always well-made, unique and innovative for the time,” they told NYLON in an interview. “He was ahead of his time in many ways with inclusive sizes, playing with gender norms and representing so many different subcultures through his clothes in really exciting ways. We can’t think of another designer who created such iconic collections year after year, who always pushed the boundaries and each of these collections had so many special pieces.
When you first think of Gaultier, it is likely that these super grandiose pieces come to mind. However, once buyers dig a little deeper, they will find that there are plenty of options for everyday occasions as well. “Mesh pieces, in particular, are great for going out and dancing,” the duo explains of the brand’s overall portability. “[While] nylon mesh fabric is stretchy, comfortable, easy to clean and almost indestructible. These instantly recognizable styles have been seen on celebrities like Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian West, to name a few, which alone have sparked the brand’s resurgence among the masses.
Ready to take the plunge and invest in this on-trend JPG style? Going forward, we’ve compiled a well-organized list of tips to help ensure (mostly) smooth navigation. In addition, with a brand as popular as Gaultier, there is bound to be a fair share of counterfeits, so it is essential to keep a few tips up your sleeve to avoid being fooled.
How to find Jean Paul Gaultier vintage advice n ° 1: Know the Gaultier eras
Those who know Jean Paul Gaultier, the brand, know that there are several defining collections with immediately recognizable prints and patterns. So it helps to know exactly what epoch you are looking for. Plus, personal preferences and aesthetics aside, some eras are more popular than others, which will likely be reflected in the price (and quick sell rate). What are buyers buying now? James Veloria customers enjoy sexy sheer mesh styles, in addition to select tailoring finds.
“We can’t think of a more recognizable impression of JPG than the fall of 1995 ‘Cyberbaba’ polka dot print in a mesh jumpsuit or a top with pants, ”they tell NYLON. “Plus, nearly every artistic body-contour print and trompe-l’oeil he has created sell out quickly, as well as anything that wears a corset or the iconic structured tapered bra shape.”
The pieces you’re likely to see in your favorite street roundups or red carpet looks go the fastest. But true fans of the brand are looking beyond the obvious. In other words, don’t be afraid to change it.
How to Find Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier Tip # 2: Secure Trusted Sources
Of Depop and Etsy at Wasteland and 1stDibs, there are a plethora of reputable places to find that perfect vintage Gaultier find to add to your personal archival collection. Many marketplace sites have an authentication team solely dedicated to ensuring that articles posted by community members are the real deal, making them the perfect starting point for those just starting their research. Once you have a shortlist of places, you’ll have an idea of what each has to offer, and you can make adjustments accordingly. It should also be noted that some sellers on sites like Tradesy publish their articles on several different platforms. So be sure to research their usernames on a variety of channels for additional product images, details, and more.
How to Find Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier Tip # 3: Don’t Be Afraid of eBay
In its heyday, eBay was the place to go for all things vintage and archival fashion. However, now that a bunch of fake clothes is being trafficked all over the site, it has taken a back seat to more niche luxury resale sites. But believe it or not, there is a very specific group of insiders who list their best Celine and Gucci from Tom Ford’s Phoebe Philo era on their eBay stores for sale. The key, however, is knowing where to look. These small batch preservatives also often have a decent amount of Gaultier in their arsenal and the best part is you won’t have to worry about overpricing these items.
How to find vintage Jean Paul Gaultier trick # 4: spot the hang tag
Each Gaultier item has a black label with the brand’s creator logo pasted on the back. However, it should be mentioned that it is not only any old label – the font looks like a typewriter and is neatly sewn rather than screen printed. “The little hang tag on the back of all of her pieces is a very easy way to identify one of her clothes,” advise James and Veloria. “If it’s not there, it’s not JPG.” If you come across an item that you can’t quite tell if it’s genuine or not, this subtle indicator is one of the first things you should look for.
How to Find Vintage Jean Paul Gaultier Tip # 5: Pay Attention to the Construction
With fools becoming more accessible when shopping online, another way to see if your Gaultier coin might not be real is its overall construction. The brand is known for its precision and attention to detail, so if the stitching looks patchy or a print isn’t aligned properly, you can bet it’s a fake. “The tailoring and tailoring have always been impeccable, especially with the pieces from the main line. If something looks badly sewn or badly sewn, it’s probably not genuine, ”James and Veloria share with NYLON. This is especially evident with the coveted couture pieces and knit finds that are circulating the internet.
How to find Jean Paul Gaultier vintage advice n ° 6: a price too good to be true? It probably is
While you can find occasional bargains here and there, when it comes to vintage Gaultier higher prices are the norm. Of course, less recognizable collector’s pieces could go for a lot less than say, something sporting a monarch print. But on average, one should expect to spend a few hundred (if not thousands) of dollars to bring home your own JPG archive piece. If you find something for less, especially for the impressions you’ve seen on someone like Bella Hadid or Kendall Jenner, you should be skeptical of its authenticity. On the other hand, beware of salespeople from retailers with no reviews, as well as reputable references who value their parts as they might overcompensate as well – this is where your personal knowledge comes in handy.
How to find vintage Jean Paul Gaultier tip # 7: when in doubt, hire an authenticator
If you’re still unsure whether the Gaultier coin you’re considering is a fake or a real one, consider investing in an authenticator to do the hard work for you. These archivists are experts in their field for a reason: an unparalleled sense of detail. They will be able to devote the time and effort necessary to research the authenticity of a piece. In addition, companies like those in Atlanta Youri’s market offer sourcing services, which basically means you tell them what you want and they go find it for you. While it might cost you a little more in the end, it saves you the guesswork out of a specific designer piece, saving you time and energy in the process.
How to find vintage Jean Paul Gaultier tip # 8: care label is the key to conservation
Since you’ll likely be spending a fair amount of money on your vintage Gaultier find, it’s also important to know how to best care for it. There is arguably nothing worse than caring for an item incorrectly and ruining it. Not only are you losing an investment you just saved, but it takes value away from your personal records and leaves you where you started. If necessary, don’t be afraid to cash in on delicate washing formulas from companies like The laundress to wash the parts yourself by hand or find a trusted dry cleaner to handle more special (and delicate) cases.