Bay Area resale boutique ReLove builds community, democratizes luxury fashion

Saturday, October 28, 2023
Bay Area resale boutique ReLove democratizes luxury fashion
ReLove resale boutique in San Francisco and Oakland makes luxury fashion accessible for all.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- ReLove is a highly-curated resale boutique with locations in San Francisco and now Oakland, founded by the delightful Delila Hailechristos.

She opened her San Francisco location in 2014. She was the only employee and her DNA is all over the store.

"I really wanted to be in the conversation of sustainability," Hailechristos said. "I wanted to be in the conversation of resale fashion and I wanted to do it from my perspective."

ReLove smells like your favorite incense and has an intriguing playlist that features musicians from all over the world. Hailechristos and her team have created spaces that make you feel like you are browsing your most stylish friend's closet that bridges the gap between vintage and luxury fashion.

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Hailechristos described to ABC7 News anchor Jobina Fortson other important factors of her stores, "Prices that were really accessible, with people that worked here that looked like me and shoppers that looked like me and community members that looked like me."

Creating a welcoming environment is in the fabric of everything the team at ReLove does. A 2022 Ipsos poll found that twice as many Black respondents than white ones report being followed, or watched by a store employee. Latino respondents shared a similar experience.

"As somebody who loves luxury, who hasn't walked into a space and felt like they were followed, or they were ignored, or they were questioned, or they were treated like they were

suspicious? All of us have," Hailechristos replied.

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ReLove is working to democratize luxury resale shopping.

"The idea is to not have anything feel so precious that it makes you feel like it's inaccessible," Hailechristos continued.

People can truly learn about fashion at ReLove, from its beauty to its downfalls."Our motto is less waste, more style," Hailechristos said.

By now, most people are aware that fast fashion is hurting our environment, but it affects wages too.

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Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division's Southern California offices investigated several contractors in the region's garment industry. They found that 80% of contractors were violating minimum wage and overtime laws and one contractor was paying garment workers $1.58 per hour.

The impacts are disproportionate and global.

Hailechristos is from Ethiopia, and has watched these issues unfold there as well.

"From people's livelihoods in terms of the air quality and the soil quality, the economic quality is all impacted," Hailechristos responded.

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"So, Black and Brown folks are affected from the production sense, like the hands that make it, to the very end of the cycle of that textile to where the textile ends up in waste."

Hailechristos is preaching that same gospel on the other side of the bridge.

During a time when it at least feels like we are seeing more stores leave than open, ReLove unveiled its second location in Oakland in February.

"Oakland is so stylish," Hailechristos said. "It's so vibrant. It's so alive. It so dope and my experience has been that it is not the first place I think of for shopping. It's been such a beautiful welcome from the community."

Hailechristos confirmed that her "firstborn" is not going anywhere.

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"I will always have a store in San Francisco," she said. "It is my protest. There will not be a time...I will stick it out until the bitter end. I think it's so important to have Black-owned spaces in San Francisco."

So, how do you define ReLove? It appears to be many things; a place to learn, find community, maybe catch a cool collaboration with the DeYoung Museum or Levi's, and of course a place to shop.

"We purchase for our muses," Hailechristos said. Our muses are our minimalist muse, our designer muse, our contemporary muse, or our vintage-lover muse."

The muse is really whoever you want to be.

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