Label conscious and wallet friendly

Second Time Around is the latest addition to downtown Ithaca consignment scene
By Katie Hudy
Special to the Journal

High fashion and low prices. It's not common to see these two phrases in the same sentence, but the arrival of another new clothing store in Ithaca makes it more of a reality.

Second Time Around, 105 S. Cayuga St., is the newest addition to the downtown shopping scene. Selling both, big city boutique items and locally consigned pieces, the store offers a selection of some of today's most well-known fashion designers.

The company, which is based in Boston, chose Ithaca as the first part of its push to put more stores in New York, said Regional Manager Jeff Wexler. Second Time Around saw Ithaca as a “really active community” Wexler said. “Amazing things happen in this little town.”

When looking at New York, the company intentionally avoided New York City, focusing instead on Upstate, Wexler said. “When people think fashion, they automatically think New York City. We are trying to shorten that drive for them.”

Label lovers

With “great labels” ranging from Gucci to True Religion to Prada, designer jeans to designer suits, there is something for every fashion conscious yet still money conscious shopper, said store manager Beth Lynch. The store hopes to bring these brands to Ithaca where designer labels are not prevalent, she said. Shoppers can make appointments to sell clothes to the store. The original owner can then keep track of the sale of this item with an online consignment account. The seller makes 50 percent of the sale price of the item.

The store has a policy of only accepting clothes that are less than two years old and in perfect condition, Lynch said. The store's website lists the brands that the store accepts for consignment.

“Yes, we're label conscious,” said Wexler, “We want what's hot right now.” Still, Wexler points out a pair of True Religion brand jeans that retail for $216 at a Boston boutique selling for $88 at the Ithaca store. This price cutting is possible because of a good relationship with New England boutiques and a lack of competition in the area, he said.

Long term

Wexler and Lynch spoke about their excitement to get involved with the Ithaca community. “Some retail companies go somewhere, stay for a couple years and then leave,” Wexler said. “We plan to be here long term.” There have been talks to make South Cayuga St. the place to go for fashion in Ithaca, Wexler continued. They hope to find a way to market this to the community soon, Lynch said.

Second Time Around began in Boston 35 years ago and has expanded in the last 17 years to include 11 other stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine.

“It's not this big corporation; it's a real mom and pop thing” Wexler explained. “It's fun to be a part of.

Overall, Wexler is proud of the success of the company. “You know when you are part of a company and it just feels right?” he asks. “It feels like the right time for Second Time Around.”

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