Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Everyone’s Favourite Designer Car Boot Sale Is Going Virtual

When it came to organising the now annual Car Boot Sale in aid of Women For Women International, a global pandemic did nothing to discourage Alex Eagle. Granted, she wasn’t able to gather her friends and family in a Soho car park to set up shop, but she could still mobilise them to delve deep into their wardrobes, pull a selection to donate, and host the whole thing virtually.

“This is the fifth year in a row that we have done the car boot sale,” says Eagle, who is creative director of The Store X and Alex Eagle Studio. “It was heartbreaking to me to think of having to miss a year. People rely on the money we raise, and I just couldn’t face the idea of not being able to help.” All funds raised (£700,000, to date) go directly to help women survivors of conflict and their families, many of whom are on the frontlines of the Covid-19 response in the countries where Women for Women International operates.

“During lockdown I feel like we are all craving an event – away from Zoom! – and while we can’t physically all be together we can come together for this. There is a real feeling of community right now, of people wanting to help one another, which became clear as soon as I started telling people about the Virtual Car Boot Sale,” Eagle continues. “Everyone wanted to donate, and they have all been so generous.”

Unlike previous years, where you might have had to rummage to unearth prize finds, this year is a much more edited offering (though the sale still comprises some 300 items). To whet your appetite: Ruth Chapman is donating a Celine bag, Louise Trotter is giving away her beloved Junya Watanabe jeans, Veronika Heilbrunner is putting her Louis Vuitton sneakers and Miu Miu bag up for sale, and Laura Bailey is offering her Victoria Beckham coat, Shrimps faux fur jacket and a pair of Stella McCartney trainers. Brands are also offloading, from Matchesfashion.com and The Outnet to Chinti & Parker, Jimmy Choo, Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, 111SKIN, and Frame.

There are Chanel handbags, too, and Manolo Blahnik heels. Unsurprisingly, one of the most coveted pieces has been donated by Alex herself: a leopard print coat by Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta. “I love it, but I just thought, I can live without it,” she sighs. “I hope that it makes someone really happy to have it, and I know the money raised from it will be life-changing to someone, somewhere. What’s better than that? It’s a win-win.”

The Virtual Car Boot Sale will go live at 11am on 16 May across Instagram at @womenforwomenuk. Visit www.womenforwomen.org.uk/virtualcarbootsale to sign up for exclusive product previews and a first-look at the full catalogue of items ahead of the launch.

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