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Labels on Fashion Clothing

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

  1. The Vintage Merchant

    The Vintage Merchant Administrator Staff Member

    no, they are not completely different... if I ordered a cookie jar and it arrived cracked? I would contact the seller about it ~ just as if i received a garment that wasn't clean? I would CONTACT the seller about it.

    i would NOT jump to the conclusion that because i received a cracked cookie jar from one seller from Ruby Lane, that ALL cookie jars from ALL Ruby Lane sellers would arrive cracked, that is ridiculous. The same with a dirty garment ~ i would NEVER assume the rest of the garments from Ruby Lane would be in that condition, HOWEVER I WOULD probably not order from that PARTICULAR clothing seller, just as i would not order from that particular cookie jar seller, either.
  2. Do you also sell vintage clothing?
  3. foofoogal

    foofoogal Registered Guest

    Here is the fees. I will let Carol answer but unless something very recently changed this is not true at all Catseye.
    I have been at RL 3 different times over the years but am exclusive now. Once I had 6 other venues at once.
    I have always paid what is in the link and sell on all the lanes except artisan one. I also do not sometimes list 7 items in a week?
    oops. sorry Carol.
  4. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    Before I continue addressing the individual posts, let me share the following with you. (This is a result of this discussion and has been added to the TOU on Ruby Lane and the FAQ updated.)

    Ruby Lane considers it important to have the trust and respect of the online community. Our being a niche site with specific expectations regarding listing quality has for shoppers always distinguished our site from others. The following points suggest clothing items with original labels offer better value for the buyer/collector:

    1. Revivalist styles complicate identifications. It can sometimes be very difficult to tell authentic period pieces from items made at a later time.

    2. In conjunction with fabrics and/or styling, original clothing labels help collectors determine correct approximate age.

    3. Clothing labels can identify who designed an item, where it was made, or tell how to properly care for it.

    4. Collectors in general tend to prefer marked examples if given the choice between identical items presented with and without labels.

    5. Regardless of the era during which items were made, vintage fashions that retain original maker's marks (labels) sell for higher prices than those that are missing original labeling.

    We understand honest, knowledgeable dealers in vintage clothing may occasionally be unable to list items in their shops because of certain site requirements. For instance, Vintage Clothing & Accessory items priced under $10 USD may not be listed. But, upon review we still feel it is the best method to help ensure accurate, high quality listings if we continue to require illustration of original maker's labels for post-1945 vintage clothing that was originally sold labeled. This practice also increases buyer confidence, which helps encourage sales both now and in the future.

    As noted in our FAQ Knowledge Base Article Number: 164, added in May of 2007, if a clothing article does not have any label of any kind because it is a tailored or home-sewn item more than 20 years in age, the item can be listed. The reason no label(s) can be pictured should be mentioned in the description.

    While there is no change to our guidelines, we have updated the following
    guidelines text for clarification, which now reads as follows:

    "Listings for post-1945 manufactured clothing, shoes or accessories must
    include clearly readable images of the manufacturer's original labels.
    Pre-1945 items are exempt from this requirement."
  5. foofoogal

    foofoogal Registered Guest

    I am not a member of VFG and a general dealer also so limited in sharing examples Carol.
    I do believe 2007 and now are years apart on the desirability and hence availability of true good vintage clothing.
    Time does take its toll on fabric more so than other categories except possibly paper.
    I am a guest on this site but as a dealer see this:
    "It can sometimes be very difficult to tell authentic period pieces from items made at a later time."

    as important to all antiques and really do not understand the stance on vintage clothing alone. I could also not sell one piece of vintage clothing on RL or RP and still be exclusive. Many of the dealers if not most on this forum sell all or mostly clothing and accessories so it really is their topic. I would love to join the VFG but as stated am a general dealer so cannot.
  6. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    I do understand where folks are coming from and I can't say I disagree with some of what has been posted. But, Ruby Lane makes the guideline decisions, so right or wrong, dealers of vintage fashion and accessories must follow them. Yes, I know there are those who do not, that is what the flag button is for.
  7. Catbooks1940s

    Catbooks1940s VFG Member

    this is true of everything, not just vintage clothing. glassware, cookie jars, jewelry, etc., etc. the vast majority of the time any experienced vintage seller will have no problem making the distinction between a garment in the style of an earlier era and the original.

    they can, yes. but they are certainly not the end-all, be-all of determining age, and shouldn't be treated as though they are.

    same as a maker's mark identifies who designed any other kind of item. where an item was made and how to care for it have only been included on separate tags since the 60s, and many younger than that do not say where the item was made or have care instructions.

    with many garments, it simply doesn't matter. a beautiful, ornately beaded 1950s jacket (or sweater, or dress, or ...) will command the same price, with or without the presence of a label. (unless of course it's by an important, sought-after designer. then one with the label would command a higher price than the one with an ' attributed by' and the label is missing.)

    sorry, carol, that just is not true. again, unless, we're talking about an important, sought-after designer piece. otherwise, a label maybe cute, charming, and be one factor in helping to authenticate era, but that's all it is. ruby lane is giving far too much importance to the presence of a label than is warranted.
  8. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    Remember, I didn't write it. Just shared it. I will be back tomorrow afternoon. I will have more time to spend here digesting and answering your questions tomorrow. This group is really active ... and good! Carol
  9. foofoogal

    foofoogal Registered Guest

    I believe you do. I have learned several things from this thread.
    1. I can list homemade that is over 20 years on RL.
    2. and your no. 2 a about listing 7 items.

    I did know about the Google listings.
    2. My question is not whether or not it costs extra to be featured. My question is why are non-exclusive sellers charged the same fees as exclusive sellers when:

    I certainly cannot answer this. RubyLane is implementing many new features as recently as today. Mainly with social networking but possibly .........Carol started this thread and added this so...open dialogue is always good IMHO.
    Before I continue addressing the individual posts, let me share the following with you. (This is a result of this discussion and has been added to the TOU on Ruby Lane and the FAQ updated.)
  10. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    Carol, this goes to the gist of what many of us have said, and why I, for one, am having such a difficult time with the interpretation Ruby Lane is apparently giving their own wording. Their own wording does not support their own interpretation. The phrase: ".... if we continue to require illustration of original maker's labels for post-1945 vintage clothing that was originally sold labeled" does not say that post-1945 clothing that was originally sold UNlabeled cannot be listed! They are not equivalent statements. In fact, Ruby Lane's own wording supports what all of us have been saying--that is, not all commercially made post-1945 clothing was originally sold with a label.

    The wording they are using is either not saying what they mean it to say; therefore, it needs to be re-worded, or they themselves at Ruby Lane are interpreting that wording incorrectly. I am speaking here strictly from an English-language standpoint, not from a vintage-clothing standpoint.

    It seems that what Ruby Lane wants to say, or thinks they are saying, is this: "....if we continue to require illustration of original maker's labels for post-1945 vintage clothing, WHICH was originally sold labeled." That wording and the addition of the comma make this statement a blanket one indicating that ALL post-1945 commercially made clothing was sold labeled; therefore, if it has no label then the label must have been removed, therefore it cannot be listed. But, that statement is not true, either, even if that's what Ruby Lane means to say.

    So, we are again/still left with the question--which Ruby Lane's own wording does not address: If a post-1945 garment never had a label, was made without a label, never carried a label--can it be listed? If not, why not? The statements they have made in this regard are not accurate.

    What about depression glass? If repros and revivalist styles are a concern with vintage clothing, then why not with depression glass? There was a huge market in depression-ware reproductions, and a casual collector or buyer might not know the difference. But, the experienced dealer would. So, following the logic RL has on vintage clothing, depression glass should not be listed unless it has original hangtags/stickers or carries a maker's mark. Now that is an apples-to-apples comparison.
    Catbooks1940s likes this.
  11. vertugarde

    vertugarde Alumni

    There are collectors of vintage fashion who are looking for items that can be authenticated by a label. However, there are also collectors e.g. fashion designers, textile designers, costume designers, museums and buyers who are looking for items that have other desirability factors;
    Original details that reflect the period
    Socially interesting
    It seems therefore that the Ruby Lane "label" policy excludes many potential buyers.
    From a fashion historian's point of view the 1945 cut-off date for manufactured fashion items is curious. The post-war period (WW2) is particularly significant from the point of view of social history and fashion. Austerity measures continued for several years until the early 1950's. Clothes were altered and handed down. Labels disappeared. These items are still of interest to collectors.
    I'll also echo Joan's comment - "the vast majority of the time any experienced vintage seller will have no problem making the distinction between a garment in the style of an earlier era and the original."
  12. cosmiccowgirl

    cosmiccowgirl Alumni

    I’m glad you came back, Carol. However, I am even more confused than ever by your responses.
    See, the problem with companies engaging in social media marketing programs is that many don’t want to address the issues their efforts bring to light. Social marketing is not a happy rainbow pony land full of free marketing opportunities. It’s the place where you publicly interact with your target market. If you want them to “like” you, you have to show them why they should. And most importantly, you have to be prepared when you kick the hornets’ nest.

    “Oh I’m in marketing and take care of social media marketing” doesn’t cut it. When you engage in social media, you are the company — no matter what your formal job title or description may be. Your original mission here was to promote Ruby Lane, not to solicit input on the importance of labels from the highly experienced vintage veterans here. Unless we all agreed with you --- then I’m sure you would have found a way to leverage that.

    Flagging? Well I suppose it’s great when it works. But first of all, it leaves you relying on your customers and other vendors to do your job of policing your marketplace. Ruby Lane positions itself as a premiere marketplace for vetted goods from quality dealers but depends on tattling and seemingly random application of the rules.

    But as I mentioned in my earlier post, flagging doesn’t seem to do much good in my experience anyway. As I mentioned, newer items abound in the designer vintage segment on Ruby Lane. I’d really hate to think that the attractive key words, higher dollar value, and prestige of having these particular items listed on your site have made Ruby Lane turn a blind eye to flagging them.

    I mean, I can certainly understand how having been the venue where an Hermes Birkin bag recently sold for over $10,000 would provide Ruby Lane with a certain level of cachet amongst online vintage selling venues. Why worry about a niggling little detail like how that bag carried an M in a square blind stamp which makes its production year 2009?

    That Birkin was an item that depicted all the original maker’s marks and labels — but one doesn’t even have to know anything about blind stamps, date codes, serial numbers, issue dates and collections to see what kind of ridiculous violations are in the designer categories. Hermes scarves that the sellers date from years 1994, 1997 and 1995 directly in their listings and titles. A Louis Vuitton bag that celebrates the monogram centennial of 1896 — which of course is 1996 and described as such in the listing. And those are just what I saw in a simple one minute search of two designer key words today.

    Yet Ruby Lane seems to be too busy aiming their lasers directly on something much more important — telling dealers who’ve run ethical and respected businesses for decades that they can’t sell a 1950s dress because it lacks a label. Or maybe they can? Who knows? Ruby Lane’s rules quoted here and your evasive answers to that particular issue have left my brain mired in a bottomless pit of sticky kerfuffle.
  13. Great points Leigh!

    I don't sell at RL either, but I find the label-focus curious: as others have pointed out, labels are just one part of the authentication puzzle. In my 30 plus years of buying and selling vintage clothing I find that what sells is a good style in a nice fabric, good condition and the right size for the customer. There is a market for designer fashion but most of us are playing in the other end of the pool and the designer fashion end has it's own issues - like fakes. It's much easier to fake a Chanel label and sew it into a suit than it is to fake an ordinary 1950s dress which will be made with older fabrics, some of which aren't even made anymore, and out-dated and superior construction techniques.

    Like many professionals, I've seen some very suspicious labels in vintage and know well that I can not rely on them: labels are so easy to fake, so easy to remove and replace. Thankfully the garment will have many other clues to it's originality.

    The message I'm getting from Ruby Lane is that they're not comfortable selling vintage clothing - that there is an "icky" factor not present with other second hand goods, and so different and very precise rules need to be applied.

    A marketplace should be egalitarian, with simple rules applied across the board. If it's okay to sell jewellery, cookie jars and depression glass without labels, why is not okay to sell clothing this way?
    vintagebaubles likes this.
  14. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    What Leigh said....

    I have over the years flagged items on RL, only to be told that my estimated dating or my submitted "evidence" is "inconclusive," and that the item will remain. Once, I provided a photo of an identical dress (other than a different length) that was listed on Ruby Lane, by the same maker and from a collection dating to just a few years ago. Even without the photo, anybody knowledgeable about vintage fashions would know that the dress wasn't vintage. However, because the photo was blurry (I had to blow it up from a screen capture) and the RL staff member who reviewed the flag clearly didn't know much, if anything, about vintage clothing, this item (priced at more than $100 but not vintage) stayed on the site. How does this serve Ruby Lane buyers?

    Also, I would so appreciate it if you would address the issue of Union labels in a garment in lieu of a maker's label. Union labels are "proof" of general vintage age, so if that's truly RL's labeling concern, a Union label should satisfy that. But it doesn't look like the issue is really accurate dating; it's that Ruby Lane has a distorted perception of the desirability of labels and its own self-perceived "cachet" in the marketplace by offering only labeled items.

    As Leigh so clearly points out, whether an item is vintage or not is of little concern to them. It's all about the label.
  15. This is an excellent point. Many items retain a union label but not a makers label. The union labels directly date an item to a specific time period. If the worry is indeed fraud and mis-dating, then garments with a union label should be allowed as they are proof of garment age.
    vintagebaubles likes this.
  16. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    CosmicGirl, . "Your original mission here was to promote Ruby Lane, not to solicit input on the importance of labels from the highly experienced vintage veterans here." (Anyone who participates on the other forums where I show up knows this is not a true statement. Further, how do you promote a venue if the venue isn't giving folks what they want. Kind of counter-productive if the goal is to attract sellers of vintage fashion and accessories, don't you think?) I asked a question and 'kicked the hornets nest' for a reason. The 'clothing and fashion guidelines' had come under review because RL received several questions from shop owners similar to the ones discussed in this thread. As a result RL decided to review the guidelines (once again) to determine if changes should be made. I posed the question here to get 'feedback' from the 'experts' in order to take back to RL for consideration. I believe I have said this before in this forum, I personally would love to see swimsuits allowed on Ruby Lane and some of the guidelines 'relaxed' but it didn't go that way. So, what was given to me is what I shared with you above and is now on the TOU page.
  17. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    Carol, would you kindly ask for clarification from Ruby Lane on both their ambiguous wording, as I asked about above, as well as about the issue of the Union labels? I'm not asking you to interpret them.... Because, you see, they have not made the guidelines clear at all. If I were still a seller on Ruby Lane, I would assume, according to the wording in the guidelines, that post-1945 garments that were never labeled to begin with are indeed allowed on the site. Their own wording implies that. I know you've tried to answer the questions you were asked, but RL's wording is just SO not clear. Also, the Union label issue. As I had stated in an earlier post, I was told by RL while I was a seller there that yes, I could show the Union label on a garment if there was no maker's label present. But their guidelines don't address this issue, and you've not, apparently, been able to answer it.
  18. And what did you tell them per chance??

    Carol, I think by now most of us are coming to the slow realization that you are not Ruby Lane's official representative. I think you are getting so many comments thrown directly at you because you chose the screen name "Ruby Lane". This makes it sound like you ARE Ruby Lane. Hence we naturally all want to discuss our issues about Ruby Lane. If you're not able to explain these things or even understand what we're asking, I can't see that this situation is going to be defused any time soon. The frustration comes from evasion of our questions and blanket answers that do not clearly address the questions being asked. If you don't know the answer, I would really love for you to just come out and say, I'm sorry but I don't know, instead of using tactics of evasion to just move around the question without directly answering it. Then for you to go back and get a clear answer from Ruby Lane and return with it here only when you yourself have an answer that you feel is honest and answers the questions being asked.

    I think all we want is clear, honest answers to our legitimate questions. If you can't offer us that, then it looks very unlikely that we will trust Ruby Lane enough to bring, or keep, our businesses there.

    Also, does Ruby Lane have a vintage expert on staff?? If so, may we have her/his name?
    vintagebaubles likes this.
  19. rubylane

    rubylane Registered Guest

    These discussions have become hostile, not constructive, and we are closing our account on Vintage Fashion Guild. We will no longer be participating on VFG.
  20. vintagebaubles

    vintagebaubles Administrator Staff Member

    That's too bad, Carol, because if you, or Ruby Lane--through you--had simply answered the questions we were asking without evasiveness, and if their guidelines were clear and made sense, I doubt there would be anything approaching "hostility."

    I don't understand what is hostile about asking "If a post-1945 garment was manufactured without a label, can it be listed?," and, "If a post-1945 garment carries a Union label and not a maker's label, can it be listed?" I would love to know what is hostile about that? The guidelines as stated by you do not answer those questions. We're simply trying, very hard, to get answers to legitimate questions.

    And yet, you blame us for getting frustrated at the inability or unwillingness of Ruby Lane to answer them?

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