‘Classy Missy’ makes luxury brands affordable in Dubai

Estimated read time 5 min read

Joy Daquis is the owner of Classy Missy in Dubai. JONATHAN YBERA/EXPAT MEDIA

Dubai may be the luxury shopping capital of the world, but this hasn’t stopped savvy shoppers from buying preloved luxury, says Joy Daquis, owner of Classy Missy luxury preloved shop in Dubai.

We are wrapping up the interview with Joy in her boutique in the upscale Wafi City mall when two young women wearing an abaya excitedly walk in. One has her eye on a pair of Louis Vuitton sneakers. The other is asking about a Gucci handbag.

“I wanted to bring luxury to a lot of people, to make it affordable,” Joy tells Expatmedia.net. Her boutique shop has an inventory of over 400 luxury preloved bags, shoes and accessories from brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Hemes, Prada, Balenciaga, Dior, Fendi, Christian Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent and more.

The Filipina says buying preloved luxury is becoming a trend. “It’s luxury you can afford, plus it is sustainable since it is a form of recycling. When you want to upgrade, you can still sell the item at probably the same price you bought it, or swap it with something interesting,” Joy says.

Classy Missy works on consignments, while also selling its in-house luxury collection. With high footfall from sellers, shoppers and swappers, the model has been so lucrative for the homegrown business that it is opening a sister outlet in Dubai’s Business Village later this year.

“We receive new items every day. We reach a lot of people and many repeat customers. Some come here because they want to purge their closet. Others come to buy something valuable, while others come to swap their item with something interesting in our collection,” Joy explains. Some of her celebrity clients include filmmaker Darryl Yap and actress Cristine Reyes, who both posted about their bargain finds on social media.

Joy says going for vintage preloved luxury items is a wise investment. “You are buying something affordable with the luxury brand you like,” she says, adding that prices start from Dh500 for vintage luxury accessories. She says bags are best sellers, along with shoes.

Joy says Classy Missy authenticates all of its items to make sure that products are genuine. “We have highly specialized staff who can spot fakes, we also have a special machine to scan the items, plus we are a member of Entrupy, which certifies the authenticity of luxury products.

She’s an expert herself, she says. “Because of experience, I can tell with just a look or a touch. There’s a lot of things to consider. The material, stitching, patterns and logos, hardware, even the location of the date code. High-end luxury brands are consistent in their work. You must know where to look,” she explains.

From jobless to jackpot

Joy says she got the idea of opening a preloved fashion boutique in Dubai after she lost her high-paying job. “I cried and thought it was the end of the world. The next day, I focused on how to move on. I thought of opening a business, that way I can stay in the UAE,” she recalls.

Joy says her fighting spirit kicked in, the one that helped her rise up the corporate ladder in the 18 years that she has worked in the UAE, starting from being a receptionist to being promoted to business development manager and account manager.

“I listed everything I owned: How much money I had in the bank. My car. All my bags,” she recalled. Joy had amassed quite a collection of high-end bags from her trips abroad. She then prayed about starting a business that wouldn’t require a high capital. “As I was thinking about this, one of my bags fell from the closet. My bags are all neatly arranged so I don’t know how one could have fallen at that precise moment. I took it as a sign,” she says.

Starting with her own bag collection, Joy started selling them online. She also tapped friends to give her their bags on consignment. It was such a hit, particularly during the pandemic when sales hit the roof, that she was able to afford leasing a space in Wafi City mall. She will soon be opening a second outlet in Dubai.

The fallout of the pandemic forced people to change their spending habits, she says. More people are embracing frugal shopping as steep price increases in luxury brands boost the growing popularity of the resale market. The solo entrepreneur says it is always a smart move: “We all don’t start big. We start small.”

Tips to buying preloved luxury items

Joy says: Look for pieces that maintain their value. Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Hermes: These are the top brands that maintain their value. Their prices always go up exponentially. They’re really a good investment. DAM/Expat Media

Follow Classy Missy on instagram.com/classymissyfashionllc. A condensed version of this story also appears in the Expat Media Special Edition magazine

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