Danielle Goodwin, founder of Hawkeye Vintage. Image supplied.
Danielle Goodwin founded popular luxury vintage brand Hawkeye Vintage in Melbourne in 2012, starting with a sell-out pop up store on Greville Street before holding pop-up sales around Australia and New Zealand. The brand is focused on selling luxury designer bags, accessories, clothing and homewares from some of the biggest fashion brands in the world such as Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Givenchy and Yves Saint Laurent. Hawkeye Vintage sources covetable pieces from around the globe offering rare items amongst its many beautiful finds.
Since 2020, the business has focused on online live sales, with founder Danielle Goodwin pioneering all-day Instagram Live sales to engage with her customers. Due to many of us being stuck at home for extended periods and unable to travel, Hawkeye Vintage has seen a huge demand for the brand’s offerings, with an increase of 170% in sales since the pandemic started. Consumers becoming more aware of making sustainable choices and shopping second hand has also helped Hawkeye Vintage, and is something Danielle is also passionate about.
We caught up with Danielle to find out more about her brand, how she sources her luxury stock and what her tips are for shopping second hand vintage?
Where did the idea for Hawkeye Vintage come from and how did you go about creating it?
It came from being a luxury vintage clothing collector myself and an excessive collection bursting at the seams. I wanted to have my own business and combining my passions together into the one is how I created Hawkeye.
Since launching in 2012 how has your business evolved? Especially in light of the pandemic – has that caused a shift in how you sell vintage?
It has evolved from bricks and mortar, online stores on multiple platforms, to pop up events and other similar events created along the way, to now instagram live sales. We have grown in so many ways and offering multiple services and products to our customers, expanding into other countries and widening our demographic. We are forever growing and coming up with new ideas to keep up with the unforeseeable future especially during the pandemic. The pandemic caused a shift for us in some ways for the better for us and our customers, we streamlined our system every sale we had to the point of having it down packed. The customers like to be able to see products from home and make decisions that way and it also allows people from anywhere to watch and shop as apposed to being limited into one location or store.
How would you describe the Hawkeye Vintage customer and what are they looking for from your brand?
The Hawkeye Customer is a savvy shopper, someone who loves their brands and quality goods, finding a gem that makes the heart flutter.
Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel are among the luxury brands sold second hand by Hawkeye Vintage.
How are the pieces sourced for Hawkeye Vintage and how much of your time is spent on sourcing?
I am the full time buyer, its a full time around the clock job which I love, I source the products via private clients selling, overseas I have buyers and suppliers with contacts I’ve had for 15 years, and its really about being that first person from networking so many years in this industry so that people know to come to me when they want to sell something or any word of a huge collection being passed on, there is a wide range of avenues that I source from and its really about having the best eye for the products and knowing what to buy and for the right price as we don’t work with normal retail margins. For me its the thrill of the find and every time I find something I get excited.
With the shift towards sustainability in fashion (and in general) have you seen a shift in perception about second-hand/vintage shopping?
We have always from the beginning been aware of the importance of sustainability and proud to be in that space, when I first opened Hawkeye it was a slow movement, people needed a lot more educating on it all but now we find people are more aware and if they want a luxe item they will prefer to buy it second hand. You also save money when buying second hand as opposed to new so it has a lot of positive factors.
What’s your favourite piece that you’ve found that is in your personal collection?
Currently in my collection I have an incredible lime green Chanel flap bag from the late 80’s. it’s very rare and I’ve never seen another before! Its lambskin with 24k gold plated hardware.
What are your tips for buying vintage designer handbags that everyone should know?
Authenticity is number one – make sure its a reputable brand and they know their stuff! Knowing its authentic is a must! If its your first time to buy a vintage bag I always say to get a classic first and then the second can be something more fun!