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Luxury consignment has a Philippine home in Rare Collective |


Luxury consignment has a Philippine home in Rare Collective

GLOSS THE RECORD - Marbbie Tagabucba - The Philippine Star
Luxury consignment has a Philippine home in Rare Collective
Dennis Robles of Rare Collective carries artwork and its wearable iterations, from bags to high jewelry

There’s more to luxury shopping than just dropping hard cold cash. Whether in fashion or in art, access to the rarer, higher-ticket items will be prioritized to those who have built a relationship with the store or gallery with purchases — intentional or otherwise — over time. To the social media-savvy, they call it a game.

Privately, luxury brands expressed the need to honor the handmade craft of their maisons, while galleries say they must watch over the provenance of their artists’ works.

There are no games at Rare Collective founded by Dennis Robles, a trusted figure in the Philippines’ luxury shopping industry through his company Authenticite Manila established in 2003. He has since purveyed hard-to-get goods from the world’s cultural capitals to some of Manila’s most discerning — and demanding.

Over two decades in, Robles shares, “I have clients who are unloading. They want to trade and upgrade. They want to liquidate.”

The elusive and exclusive Chanel “Kelly” on the Rare Collective shelves, for example, was bought by Robles’ friend who had built a relationship with her Chanel sales associate with her tweed collection. He notes, “If you’re that type of client, you have more access to these bags.” She wanted to sell it for a profit, Robles adds, to buy what she really wants — more tweed!

Rare Collective carries hard-to-get luxury bags and Swiss watches as well as designer jackets and coats, shoes, fashion accessories, and homeware–brand-new, pre-owned, or true vintage treasures.

While other consignment shops around the world have been embroiled in scandals over authenticity (for instance, one famous Tokyo shop made the mistake of assuming every authenticity card is real), Robles assures authenticity with the seasoned eye of both a collector and authenticator. He shares, “I’ve been authenticating luxury bags for two decades. People come to me for their peace of mind. I’m always on the safe side when I do it. If there’s even just a tiny bit of doubt, I decline to confirm its authenticity.”

He honed his expertise “through experience in numbers of bags coming,” he explains. “There was no book for that or Google back then. So I self-studied and did research by shopping and personally inspecting bags available in the store to study the workmanship closely.”

The ultimate flex? “Other resellers and buyers of ultra luxury bags in the Philippines trust my certificate.”

What won’t he trade? “The mid-luxury brands I'm not so familiar with, I decline to check due to lack of knowledge of the brand’s workmanship and heritage,” he says. “I choose certain brands to authenticate, those I've traded for years.”

Heart Evangelista

Rare Collective carries a curated collection of luxury bags, Swiss watches, designer jackets and coats, shoes, fashion accessories and homeware — brand-new, pre-owned, or true vintage treasures. Upon request, you can shop for artwork and high jewelry.

Stepping into the Jagnus Studio-designed space, a real rust archway serves as a portal between its microcement facade and receiving area into the store.

The architects Sonny Sunga and Arnold Austria explain, “The initial design concept pays homage to the first store of the client — his very own home. For us, rust represents the passing of time, while retaining inherent beauty; a concept that perfectly ties in the user experience with the (products) being sold.”

Rare Collective is a reflection of the times; one’s quota bag for now is another’s holy grail forever. This is why the global luxury resale market is estimated to reach US$51.77 billion by 2026. Some of these pieces are just too precious to be subject to that “no-repeats” fast fashion culture. At Robles’ consignment shop, a donya’s teatime purse can be a millennial blue-chip artist’s carry-all for the rave — and vice-versa. Here, they can have multiple lives.


Rare Collective is located at Forbeswood Heights, Rizal Drive, BGC Taguig across Mind Museum. Follow the brand on instagram @rarecollectivemanila. For more information, call 0920-9032856.

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