kristin davis sarah jessica parker and cynthia nixon on the set of and just like that
Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Cynthia Nixon on the set of "And Just Like That…"James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images
  • Costume designers for "And Just Like That…" sourced some of the clothes on resale website ThredUp.
  • The pandemic reduced the hours of many locations where the costume designers normally shopped.
  • "The fashion industry is trying to figure out ways where they can be more conservationist." 

In the television show "Sex and the City," stylish sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) was obsessed with luxury brands like Chanel, Prada, Fendi, Gucci, and Manolo Blahnik. Even though her shopping habits constantly drained her bank account, Bradshaw's memorable style set off several fashion trends over the show's six seasons.

This month, Bradshaw returned to screens in the new HBO Max streaming series "And Just Like That…" — and her closet is still packed with designer items. But now, some of them carry a sustainable twist.

For the new show, costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago sourced items from the popular secondhand marketplace ThredUp as part of a larger sales partnership. The wardrobing choice on the high-profile streaming program could further boost the growing sales and popularity of secondhand online marketplaces. While "Sex and the City" featured luxury labels out of most viewers' budgets, the sequel's costume designers are highlighting how buying secondhand can be trendy and stylish.

While Rogers and Santiago don't tend to specify designers when they're shopping, they said they found some items for the show on ThredUp, such as secondhand shoes from Kate Spade and Marc Jacobs.

The designers have come to trust the quality of merchandise on the site. "I've found Gucci on ThredUp," Santiago told Insider. "I found Jimmy Choos, Mahnolos, Milly, Theory, Ralph Lauren. There's so many different brands that we use that we saw on there, like Dior, Celine, and Saint Laurent."

"Nobody would know the price of them," Santiago said. "They looked beautiful."

A potentially endless closet

Rogers and Santiago needed to source clothes, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and other accessories for the show, so they took countless trips to vintage stores, consignment shops, flea markets, thrift shops, department stores, boutiques, and private spaces across New York City, as well as upstate, and even New Jersey.

"You're constantly looking," Santiago said. "You never know what you're going to find." The show has a history of finding gems in unlikely places: The white tutu in the original show's opening credits was found in a showroom bin for just $5. 

Sarah Jessica Parker seen on the set of "And Just Like That..."
Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of "And Just Like That..." in New York City.James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images

While the designers didn't mention specific items they used in the new show, in July, Sarah Jessica Parker was spotted on set wearing a printed maxi dress over a blue button-down and carrying a Gucci X Balenciaga handbag. Fans initially suspected the dress was from fast-fashion retailer Forever 21. But Rogers and Santiago later told WWD it was a vintage design they had found at a thrift store that the fashion company replicated.

"I think I paid maybe $5 or $6 for it," Rogers told WWD.

Secondhand marketplaces have thrived despite COVID-19 restrictions

Sourcing those high-end and expensive fashion items for "And Just Like That..." was more difficult due to the pandemic. "We had such a short window of time to be able to do a lot of our shopping, because stores at the time weren't up to their regular store hours that they used to have," Santiago said.

Santiago and Rogers said ThredUp's large inventory of high- and low-end items fit with their existing approach to styling the characters. They also used the website to efficiently search for specific sizes, colors, designers, silhouettes, or colors, even late at night. "That was a big, helpful tool, to be able to shop at any hour," Rogers said.

That convenience is one of the big reasons why the secondhand trend is growing and expected to expand 11 times faster than the broader retail industry by 2025. The secondhand-clothing market is currently worth $30 billion, according to a Jefferies research note earlier this year, and is estimated to rise 18% annually through 2024. The trend is driven by millennial and Gen Z shoppers who prioritize sustainability and have embraced thrifting for its cost savings and bragging rights. In September, industry consultant Doug Stephens told Fashion magazine that resale revenue is expected to exceed fast fashion and "sustainable" clothing in the next decade. 

Financial and environmental benefits

Even with Bradshaw's well-known label obsession, buying secondhand in store and online helped her stylists stay on budget. "Good costume designers are very concerned, conscious, and aware of the bottom line," Rogers said. 

Secondhand marketplaces also increase the reuse and recycling of items, instead of them adding to landfills, according to reports. "I think the fashion industry is trying to really up their game and figure out ways where they can be more conservationist," Rogers said.

Following a wider entertainment trend

"And Just Like That..." is one of several television shows lauded for style whose costumes included items from secondhand marketplaces. Earlier this year, "Gossip Girl" costume designer Eric Daman told Refinery29 he purchased items for the show's reboot on ThredUp, TheRealReal, and Depop. And in 2019, actor Dan Levy told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation he spent hours searching on eBay and Etsy for specific designers due to budget limitations. It paid off: His stylish looks for the Emmy-winning show "Schitt's Creek" were also critically acclaimed

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