Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, Gucci, Valentino and more. Many women in New Jersey have elaborate designer collections that fill their walk-in closets. And of course, with every chic outfit comes a designer pair of Christian Louboutin stiletto heals. Most women become attached to their precious belongings over time and it is always difficult to part with them. However, whether these women wear their trendy, perfectly fitted outfits once or twice does not matter to them anymore; what matters most is that they quickly get rid of their wardrobe once a divorce is filed for.
Despite the beauty of each and every outfit, most women going through a divorce feel that their clothing collections are unwanted memories of their past marriage. Many women feel that it is imperative to get rid of all clothing that their former husbands purchased for them throughout the marriage. On a Good Morning America interview with mother Michelle Lewis, the mom admitted that “when I wear them [my clothing], I remember the time of when they were purchased for me. And since my life has evolved and moved on, it’s just time to let that go.” Even if a woman’s husband is not the one who picked out and purchased the ensemble, divorcing women along the east coast are constantly cleaning out their closets and having their clothing featured on what the world now refers to as “The Divorcee Sale.”
The Divorcee Sale Only one year ago, divorced mom Jill Alexander began to clean out her pre-divorce closet filled with stylish designer clothing. As she looked through each outfit carefully, some she kept figuring she could still make use out of them, yet other outfits were tossed to the curb. When she finally stumbled upon a sexy, Herve Leger, little black bandage dress that she had wore only once when her husband proposed, she decided to stop throwing out her designer collections. Instead, Jill founded “The Divorcee Sale”, a company she created to help women like herself clear their closets of the past while making them a little extra pocket money on the side.
The Divorcee Sale works like an online consignment store. Divorcing women bring their collections to Jill and she features them on the company’s website at a price lower than the retail value. If an item sells, Jill keeps 60% of the profits and gives the remaining share of profits to whichever woman’s item sold. For items such as handbags and jewelry, depending on the brand, Jill gives a higher percentage of profit to her customers. For items like Chanel handbags, Hermes bracelets, and Christian Louboutin shoes, which all cost over $1000 an item, customers can receive up to 50% of what Jill sells them for.
Although sometimes criticized in the press for being a website only designed for the elite, Jill explains that her site is quite the opposite. It is true that the process for having an item featured on The Divorcee Sale is a selective one. Divorced women must bring their clothing or handbags to Jill to have them inspected for stains, use, and even to verify that the items are real, not knock-offs. Jill says that she has “experienced many cases in which women bring me a Chanel bag, claiming that its value is $5000. I don’t know if these women are just desperate for money, but I’m not trying to rip off my customers. The purpose of the website is to feature authentic, designer items that some women dream of owning but could never afford to pay the retail price. Why would I want to sell them a fake bag at an authentic price point?”
Yet, once the designer items are hand selected, they are available to anyone, typically at 25% less than the retail value. Jill’s mission in founding The Divorcee Sale was not only to provide high-end fashion at a lower price, but was also to donate a majority of her personal profits to charities. One of the main charities that Jill donates proceeds to is the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The foundation’s president, Myra Biblowit, quoted that “women, the sisterhood, are coming together. We get through divorce, we get through breast cancer, and you go on to a healthy and beautiful life in glorious fashions.”
The Divorcee Sale has become such a phenomena that it is now featured in leading magazines like Gotham, The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, and The New York Post. Not only in print, but The Divorcee Sale has also been discussed numerous times on Good Morning America and CBS New York. It even was featured in the 2013 Fashion’s Night Out, Manhattan’s most fantastic shopping event of the year.
In the future, Jill hopes that a divorced male will establish a similar website for divorcing men as well. It is important to always help those less fortunate and everyone should always be able to look their best.