Nate Berkus on Selling His Old Prada, Hermès, and More
Starting today at noon, Vaunte, the online-shopping destination that “recycles amazing closets” belonging to fashion stylists, designers, actresses, models, and more, is unleashing hand-selected wardrobe (and office) pieces from their first guy ever, interior designer Nate Berkus. The Oprah acolyte will offer 136 items up for sale — including Tom Ford suits, luggage sets, and Cartier watches — that are mostly vintage and well-loved. “For the first time, I went through every jewelry box and found gold cufflinks that I never wear — like, really looked at everything with a really critical eye, which I do with my home all the time, but not my closet,” Berkus told the Cut. “I loved the idea of asking myself, ‘Am I really wearing this? Why am I just keeping that stuff? There’s no reason for me to keep it.’” The Cut chatted with Berkus over the phone about his online-shopping habits, his one belonging that he could never let go of, and his upcoming NBC show, American Dream Builders.
Click through the slideshow for a list of items and prices that Nate will be selling on Vaunte. And in the video below, watch as Nate discusses the stories behind the items he decided to sell. To start browsing and shopping, click here to get an exclusive access to Berkus’s luxe goods.
How did you land the honor of being Vaunte’s first man featured?
So I’ve actually never sold my personal contents, like personal things from my closet and my desk and things like that before, but as with many things in life, the way that it came about was that Christian Leone, the founder of Vaunte, is an old friend of mine from Chicago. A lot of our friends have been on the site, and even my little sister will be on the site the week after me. He was like, “You know, we’ve never done a man. I’m sure you have some things that would be really cool things for the site.”
How would you describe your personal style?
You know, it’s really been the same for a long time. I’m interested in fashion; I buy fairly good pieces; and I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve pared down a lot. I used to get a check and run to Barneys [laughs] — you know, a lot of us do that when we’re young — and now I’ll buy, like, two beautifully cut jackets and wear them a lot. I tend not to wear ties very often. I’m usually in old stuff, Hermès or Marc Jacobs boots and jeans and a T-shirt and a leather jacket or a jean jacket. I kept a couple of my suits that have been made for me, but if I’m not in a tuxedo, I’m in a T-shirt.
What’s one item of yours that you weren’t able to let go of over the years?
There’s a vintage Hermès travel bag that I can’t get rid of. I bought it about ten years ago, but it’s really impractical: It’s too big, heavy, it doesn’t have a shoulder strap — but for some reason, I just can’t let it go.
What are some of your shopping habits? Do you shop online regularly?
I do shop online! But I’m shopping online mostly in the home categories — One Kings Lane and Gilt. At a lot of architectural websites, I buy a lot of hardware for cabinetry like hinges and things like that from England. So you know for me, I shop at Net-A-Porter, but I don’t really shop that much for clothing online.
Do you have any favorite items in the sale?
There’s a set of vintage Louis Vuitton luggage that I went and brought with me to Africa that I took to the opening of Oprah’s school and actually used and loved, but I’m just paring down and ready to move on from them.
I heard that you’ll be in a home makeover show on NBC. Can you tell me more about it?
The working title right now, which may change, is American Dream Builders. I wanted to go back on TV and be purely focused on design and people. And so this show is going to be a competition show that travels to ten different cities across the United States. I’m the executive producer as well as the host. We’re going to have challenges every week that are created by me. And we’re going to highlight the best of American regional architecture and design. So we’re going to travel to different areas in the country and really dig in to what makes these regions special and what we have to be proud of with our collective design heritage. I’m really excited about it. It’ll air next spring.
Any future projects you’re excited about coming up?
I’m actually really excited about the new spring things that are at Target now. I keep hoarding the samples — my own samples. [Laughs.] I can’t keep my samples. That’s when you know you love the work that you’re doing, when you’re fighting for your samples.