Eastern Exposure: Harari
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked where something I’m wearing is from, told the person it’s from eBay, and gotten a response like, “I have no idea how to shop on eBay,” accompanied by something like a shudder indicating that they don’t really want to know, either.
In this day and age!
I am going to tell you a secret. Unless you have something ultra-specific in mind, like “pink mohair cardigan sweater Italy” or “floral denim mini skirt small,” the key to navigating the utter infinity of eBay is knowing your brands.
Obviously, I’m not talking about Marc Jacobs, Pucci, Gucci, Prada etc etc. Because while there are big-name designer deals to be had on eBay too, they’re far fewer and farther between, and the likelihood of buying a fake is astronomically higher. I prefer seeking out lesser-known labels sold at high-end boutiques and department stores in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s (and if you don’t know your brands, “Neiman Marcus” and “Saks Fifth Avenue” are excellent search phrases to get you started). For example…
With the fashion focus turning East — see the influx of Asian models on the runway and the glut of luxury brands opening stores in China — I have vintage Harari on the brain. My introduction to the California-based, Asia-influenced brand was a splurge at No. 6 years ago: a full-length, parrot-green sheer silk skirt with dramatic side slits, multiple buttons for creating avant-garde silhouettes, and an intricate geisha print.
Like my skirt, the best Harari clothes tick off so many of my fashion-fetish boxes: the fabrics (washed silks, sheers, rayon), the offbeat prints (scenics, animals, Asian motifs, exotic florals) and the quality — plus, their skirts, pants and caftans are often one-size-fits-all, so you don’t have to worry about weird vintage sizing or the fact that most eBay sellers don’t do returns. If I could afford it (it’s not dirt cheap, but most $400+ items can be had for $25-$60 on eBay) AND I didn’t fear looking even MORE like a 1970s kindergarten art teacher than I already do, I’d snap up these three auctions faster than you could say “Buy It Now.” But if you’re looking to inject a little artful whimsy into your wardrobe, a well-placed Harari piece could be just the ticket, don’t you think?
Left to right: Black and gray flowing silk tunic, bidding at $49.99 from 03bellasmom; Sheer silk floral print pants, bidding at $29.99 from mwg145; Neiman Marcus watermark olive silk tank top, buy it now for $39.99 from 1stneptoon.