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Labels on Fashion Clothing

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by rubylane, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    No, Amber you cannot list the item. It must have a label.

    I have to head on out the door but we can continue the discussion tomorrow.

  2. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

    ok, now substitute "cracked cookie jar" where the bold words are, and disregard the words "fashion item"

    do you see how ridiculous that argument is?

    I have no idea what that means.

    that is very apparent.
    MyVintageCocktail likes this.
  3. That's too bad Carol. You just cut a huge percentage of beautifully manufactured garments sold in the 50's and 60's out of the picture.
  4. cmpollack

    cmpollack VFG Member

    Hi Carol--late to this thread, but I've been a RL dealer for several years.

    I've always admired RL's determination to maintain high standards, and, in the vintage clothing offerings, to really try to keep non-vintage stuff off the site. But...

    Your policy as stated really has some elements that strike me as incredibly wrongheaded...

    If you insist that something originally sold with a paper tag still be sold with that tag, you are essentially requiring vintage clothing to either be labelled or deadstock. That puts unrealistic constraints on your sellers (vintage labels are quaint, often quirky, and fun in and of themselves, and deadstock is great to find, but both are only a fraction of what's out there). And it also drastically curtails the shopping opportunities for RL customers, who will have to go elsewhere to find the full range of wonderful vintage clothing available to them at this point in time--just as they have to go elsewhere for their vintage swimsuits... ';)

    If you insist that only labelled or hangtagged post 1945 clothing can be proved authentically vintage, despite the ability of every dealer in the VFG to point out telltale characteristics of construction, style, etc that help to date vintage clothing--even without the benefit of consulting the hundreds of label examples in the VFG Label Resource--then why don't you impose the same constraints on post 1945 costume jewelry, which often does not bear a manufacturer mark and must be IDed/dated through dealer expertise rather than through what's been stamped on a cartouche? (Also, to extend the analogy, just as labels originally present on vintage clothing detach or fade, so too manufacturer imprints on vintage costume jewelry can become so worn they're just about illegible--but that doesn't make them unlistable on RL's jewelry lane).

    How does one distinguish a vintage 50s rhinestone pin from a contemporary Made in China piece of junk, without benefit of a maker's mark to guide them? Well, even though a buyer unfamiliar with vintage jewelry may be stumped, it's not really a very tough call at all for an experienced dealer. And you seem to accept that fact in your vintage jewelry listing policy. In fact, you even have an article detailing how to correctly ID Delizza & Elster jewelry--which was originally sold only with a hangtag. Why not announce that D & E jewelry can't be sold on RL unless it retains the original hangtag? Well... because there's a ton of gorgeous D & E jewelry out there, almost none of it with the original hangtag, and you know that you would only be hurting your sellers, your customers, and your site by needlessly restricting its sale.

    Same thing here. You're not protecting customers, you're depriving them, ensuring that they'll have to shop elsewhere. And you're irritating and alienating some of your most knowledgable, experienced, and ethical vintage clothing dealers as well, so that they feel they must sell elsewhere. Why on earth would you want to do that?

    I really hope you'll find a way to incorporate the ton of excellent advice/feedback/info you have gotten from VFG members on this thread into your policy, before RL is irreparably hurt...
  5. foofoogal

    foofoogal Registered Guest

    Thank you Carol for coming back and reporting what you are able to.
    I appreciate it. I am not a member of the VFG as I am a general dealer and think like one.
    A main problem I see with this to be honest is time.
    Time will eventually force a change in this policy.
    People want mainly what they played with, saw, wore, etc. on their mom, aunt etc. Clothes, toys etc.
    1. Eventually pre 1945 clothing will wear out or be extremely rare with these guidelines I would expect.
    2. Limited customer base for this time period.
    Supply and demand.

    Thank you again for your time. I would be more than willing to run items through the vintage experts here and on RL.
  6. cosmiccowgirl

    cosmiccowgirl Alumni

    Carol, can you please tell me why all the labeled "vintage" Chanel clothing items currently listed on Ruby Lane were produced in 2000 and sooner? Chanel garments have very specific and easily read date and collection codes on their labels so there is no question about their age. This is a chronic problem on Ruby Lane --- not only with Chanel items, but many "vintage" designer accessories which are either date coded or collection specific. In the past, I have flagged these items until I am blue in the face without results. I would appreciate some attention to and consistency in Ruby Lane's policy in that arena as well.
  7. MyVintageCocktail

    MyVintageCocktail VFG Member

    Carol, may I ask exactly what is the reason for this policy of requiring either a label or a hangtag on post-1945 garments? Nowhere have I seen an explanation that logically and reasonably explains it, including justification by stating absolutely that labeled garments are more desirable and garner higher prices than non-labeled garments. This is simply not so. I've sold many a non-labeled dress for much higher pricing than many labeled, designer garments. I also was once told by RL that "all" post-1945 garments carried makers' labels, thus any garment missing a label must have had it cut out. This is also not so.

    This policy, it seems, actually encourages, rather than discourages, unethical & dishonest practices, particularly for Ruby Lane sellers who are "exclusive" on RL. If a seller has a large quantity of inventory from the late 40s into the early 70s that's not labeled and which doesn't retain its original hangtags (and this is likely true for many sellers), then might not some less-than-honest dealers be tempted to sew in labels just to satisfy this requirement? It also encourages "exclusive" sellers to sell elsewhere while retaining exclusive status on RL, and just risk "getting caught."

    Carrie's excellent correlation with D & E jewelry clearly points out this inconsistency in Ruby Lane's policies .

    And, what about garments with Union labels but no makers' labels? Union labels can be used to verify a general date range and to prove commercial manufacture. At one time, I was told by RL that Union labels in lieu of makers' labels were acceptable. This doesn't appear to be addressed in the current guidelines.

    As pointed out above, there are designer items listed on RL that, while they have labels, are not vintage. One can peruse the site any day and find hundreds of non-vintage clothing items, with their labels pictured. In most cases, the sellers should know these items aren't vintage, but either don't do their research, or figure they'll just try to get away with it. This is preferable to authentic vintage items without labels? I'm totally mystified by this.
    The Vintage Merchant likes this.
  8. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix VFG Member


    I wanted to add my opinion to this thread, although I am not a Ruby Lane seller. I agree with what many of the other VFG members have posted here, and I feel the Ruby Lane rules about labels on garments after 1945 are hurting the sellers, and RL itself. There is a vast sea of wonderful high quality vintage out there, and none of it will wind up on the RL site as a result of this rule. May I add 1 more thing?

    Because of this rule, I will not be a Ruby Lane seller, and I surely would like to be. My specialty is hats and millinery and I have been doing this for over 30 years. Believe me, many of the finest and best vintage post 1945 hats I have ever seen, and which have fetched incredible high prices for me, have not had a label. So, I am unable to sell on Ruby Lane. As a millinery historian, I can tell a new hat from a vintage hat just by looking at a photo and seeing the materials, trims, style and workmanship. I know the same applies to clothing. Seasoned buyers can tell if a dress or hat is 1951 and not 1980 "doing the 50s".

    Also, do the buyers know they are not getting the best that the Ruby Lane sellers have to offer? Are the buyers aware of this rule? I would think they, the customers of RL have a right to know and to voice their opinon as well.

    Just my thoughts. If you ever change the rule, I will be first in line to open a hat shop on ruby Lane.

    Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion.

    Sincerely, Barbara Troeller
    Rue de la Paix
  9. Midge

    Midge Super Moderator Staff Member

    I have been reading this whole conversation with a lot of interest. I would just like to add my comments as a buyer.
    I am not a dealer, just someone who loves vintage clothing, accessories and jewelery and buys it to wear it. All I sell is stuff that I am phasing out of my collection. I often buy on impulse, but every now and then, I search something specific, and I trawl all the "usual" websites - VFG member's online shops, Ruby Lane and a certain other page, on which I sell my occasional stuff.
    Looking for jewelery, I have found and bought great stuff on RL, but looking for clothes... I usually find what I want somewhere else. Up to the point that I actually stopped looking through RL as well. No small wonder with those restrictions that RL puts on vintage clothing. I was not aware of those restrictions, but it does explain a few things now. I have a lot of unlabeled vintage clothes in my closet that are absolutely fabulous and easily identifiable as vintage by fabric, style, construction etc. Some of my best and most spectacular vintage evening wear was probably made by seamstresses - no chance of them ever having had a label. As everybody else has already said - these things, if they were post-1945 (and in case of my evening wear, they all are), they would never have had a chance of being sold on RL.
    So I have the same opinion as already voiced by so many others here - these rules regarding vintage clothing are un-realistic and keeping lots and lots of great vintage clothing away from RL. Which doesn't help buyers like me either, and might make them actually turn away from RL as well, because like me, they might start to think "I never find anything I want there".

  10. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s VFG Member

    hello carol,

    i'm glad you came back to continue this important discussion.

    i too am baffled by ruby lane's decision. i've been collecting and wearing vintage clothing & accessories since the late 60s, and have been a dealer for over 10 years. many of the items in my own personal collection over that period of time, as well as many i've sold, have been post-1945, with no labels - many of them have been choice items, and have sold for well over the $100 mark. i will tell you frankly that this restriction would prevent me from opening a shop on ruby lane.

    i don't understand why ruby lane is placing the entire onus of whether or not an item is vintage or not - or its value - on the presence of a label. as others have said, there are many other ways to tell if a garment is vintage or not, and from which decade, other than the label.

    i agree that vintage clothing & accessories on ruby lane are being subjected to restrictions other items on the site are not. as a long-time devotee of vintage clothing, this strikes all of us as a very strange thing to do. i don't understand why ruby lane is not understanding just how strange this restriction is.

    one last thing, can you please explain what this means?

    this is very confusing. you've already stated an item must be 20+ years old to be listed in the vintage clothing & accessories lane. also, why specify available for retail purchase in the past year?
  11. foofoogal

    foofoogal Registered Guest

    I have contacted Carol and she has stated she is going to try to come back to this thread tomorrow. She is quite swamped at the moment.
    In advance I thank her for any information or help she can offer.
  12. Metro Retro Vintage

    Metro Retro Vintage VFG Member

    I've been wanting to ask this question and so finally will. What is significant about 1945? How did this become the cut off date? And why? Many thanks.
  13. foofoogal

    foofoogal Registered Guest

    1945 is a standard for some Antique Shows in the real world traditionally and for cars, guns, jewelry at some. 1970s is now accepted at most. Perhaps this is where RL is getting it from? Some little old ladies see (or used to see) the 1960s or 1970s stuff traditionally and think well I have this in my closet at home. The collecting of vintage clothing may be huge on this site but it is still not seen as a huge category. Still in its infancy IMHO. I practically got ran out of a show once as the only one showing vintage clothing. Many brick and mortar malls will not even carry vintage clothing. Some hats or purses perhaps. Certain areas of the map or location of course determines this and as popularity grows hopefully this will change. It really is the one area mall owners in real world from my experience hesitate on.
    As RL has been around for a long time possibly this is the thinking. Just thinking out loud and IMHO.
    Good ?
  14. Metro Retro Vintage

    Metro Retro Vintage VFG Member

    I'm still not understanding Foofoo -- which standard? Antiques? Wouldn't experienced show dealers abide by the 100 year 'import law' rule of thumb?

    I've been following this discussion with interest -- and intrigued by the chosen point of focus (the label). An apple has a stem, and it's only one component. If it's missing it's stem, is it no longer an apple?
  15. MyVintageCocktail

    MyVintageCocktail VFG Member

    The deal with 1945, to the best of my memory, is that Ruby Lane believes/has stated that all commercial clothing made after that date was subject to industry labeling rules and/or standards. They feel that the majority of commercially made garments that date after that time carry sewn-in maker's labels. Apparently they believe, as a consequence, that "a label" is either proof that a garment is vintage and was commercially manufactured, and/or that somehow this "proof" makes a garment more desirable. Also, that if a post-1945 garment is missing a label, it means that the label was removed by a seller (possibly in an attempt to defraud buyers by hiding the true age of the garment).

    Carol, if I'm misstating this, please correct me. I'm going by what I was told when these rules were put into effect, and I questioned them. (Especially with regard to coats, as my experience is that most coats made prior to 1960 do NOT carry maker's labels, usually just a Union label or the fabric maker's label, such as Forstmann or Stroock. However, a fabric maker's label doesn't necessarily provide proof of dating, as some of those labels were used over a long period of time. The style of a coat, its construction details, and due care in research when needed are generally the best way to date it.)

    Homemade garments 20 years old or older have always been allowed, but the seller must state that it's home tailored, custom made, whatever, and that's why it doesn't carry a label.
  16. Metro Retro Vintage

    Metro Retro Vintage VFG Member

    Ah, thank you Anne. I understand the idea behind the position now -- you explained it very well.
  17. foofoogal

    foofoogal Registered Guest

    Fifth, traditional antiques—those that dominated the 1990s and early 2000s mall and show circuit—continue to disappear. The percentage of post-1945 material grows. Much of this merchandise falls outside categories appearing in antiques and collectibles price guides. Nostalgic and decorative focused material is king.
    This is a quote from Harry Rinker but it is a standard or norm in the general antiques field.
    Vintage clothing is still a newer category as a whole to the antiques field. I again am and think as an antiques dealer. As an exclusive dealer on RL this is important to me as it limits me in this category. Odd as to me as it is just another category and should be held to the quality control as any category.
    I would not knowingly dream of selling glass, pottery or clothing less than vintage.------and yes true Antiques are 100 years old with exception of autos.
  18. MyVintageCocktail

    MyVintageCocktail VFG Member

    Sandy, what you say seems very logical....

    It's really helpful to have RL sellers here, such as yourself and Mary, who have more and recent experience in selling on Ruby Lane. I can speak only to what I knew in the past, so I need to be clear that what I say may not be currently "right."
  19. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    Hi everyone,
    I apologize for not being here to answer your questions. Let me read through the posts and I will reply to each one that requires a response.
  20. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    No, I think it is comparing apple with oranges. Nasty clothing is totally different than a cracked cookie jar.

    I want everyone to keep in mind I am not 'Ruby Lane' and I don't make policy or guideline decisions. I can only help you to interpret the guidelines, voice my opinion from a shop owners perspective when it is called for, and to assist you or anyone else selling online by providing tips on selling and marketing their goods. I work for the RL Marketing Department and my responsibilities primarily deal with Social Media. I am an editor, writer and take care of social marketing which includes discussions on forums. I am here to help you.


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