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Emily Abraham, partner and CEO of Love Luxury in Dubai. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Emily Abraham is a woman with style. The 46-year-old half-Hungarian-half-British social media sensation, who co-founded Love Luxury, a designer-led curating service in London, has just moved to Dubai - “with good reason”.

“My family and I have always loved our trips to Dubai and have a real connection with the UAE,” said Abraham, who “reverted to Islam” in 2017.

“Dubai is a brilliant and safe place for families to live which is very important to me when considering any locations for new stores. Our expansion to Dubai was an obvious next step for us at Love Luxury. My daughter Moo now studies here. It’s a really exciting time for Dubai at the moment, it feels like all eyes are on the city, so we’re thrilled to be a part of it,” she said.

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Emily Abraham with her husband Adam Abraham and daughter Moo. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Abraham, who boasts of over 1.8 million followers on TikTok with more than 100 million video views on YouTube, said, “The lifestyle in the UAE is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious in the world, and therefore the clientele for the goods we specialise in is obvious here. We already had a huge client base of UAE residents that would come to us when visiting London so it made sense to open Love Luxury in Dubai. People have a lot of disposable income for luxury here.”

Love of expensive things

Abraham’s penchant for a life of luxury began as a child. She said, “I’ve always had a love of expensive things from a young age. My Hungarian grandfather was a gold trader, so as a child I’d spend hours helping him sort through coins and gold. This is definitely where my obsession with shiny things started, I’m like a magpie. What luxury means to me is exclusivity, it’s attainable but uncommon. It’s also a representation of a lifestyle that’s a result of determination and hard work, it’s a sign of success to be able to enjoy the finer things in life.”

However, a candid Abraham said it wasn’t always a smooth sail for her. “My early life wasn’t the easiest, I had lost my mother when I was six years old and entered the foster care system. My education luckily wasn’t affected by this as many are, and I continued my studies up until university,” she said, adding that she and her husband Adam have now been trading in pre-loved luxury now.

But why pre-loved luxury?

“For more than six years, the company started as a side business, running alongside other London buy-for-cash stores we had. It was during COVID-19 three years ago that we recognised the demand for pre-loved designer goods and the boom in the market and decided to re-brand and focus predominantly on growing this arm of the business. Love Luxury was officially born in early 2021 and we opened our first store in London’s Knightsbridge.”

Abraham clarifies that pre-loved doesn’t necessarily mean something that has been used by someone else. “Rather, it is something that has had a previous owner. A lot of the stock we have is brand new, in ‘box fresh’ condition. This allows people access to designer goods they may never ordinarily be able to purchase because of exclusive waiting lists and limited edition launches. Buying and selling pre-loved allows people to invest in the luxury goods market, one of the safest and most lucrative ways of investing, but is also a much more environmentally conscious way of shopping. People are more environmentally conscious than ever before, there’s a definite shift in consumer behavior when it comes to fashion, favouring pre-loved over brand new,” she explained.

The Abraham family at Love Luxury, Knightsbridge, London. Image Credit: Supplied

Pre-loved price points

She said, “The pre-loved market that we specialise in includes products you wouldn’t usually be able to go into a store and pick up immediately. They’re models that you need to be on waiting lists and have relationships with the brand before they’re going to offer you the opportunity to purchase. We don’t hold back products or prioritise customers as retailers do, and we treat all of our customers with the upmost respect.”

Abraham sells pre-loved products whose price points could vary from Dh10,000 to over Dh8million. The highest sale she made was a Richard Mille watch, she recently sold to a high net worth client for Dh6 million.

“Our customers come from all walks of life. A majority are high net-worth individuals who do not want to play the waiting game when it comes to purchasing directly from the brands themselves. Waiting lists for sought after watches and bags can be months and months, our clients come to us at Love Luxury directly as we can source their required piece in a fraction of the time,” she shared.

According to her, the UAE market is top heavy , and people definitely have more disposable income for high end luxury shopping.

Tips on how to invest in pre-loved designer bags or other items

The first thing that buyers should look for is a third party authentication certificate. That is your guarantee that the bag is genuine. Cross-reference the certificate with the serial number in the bag to ensure that it’s the correct one. Ideally, you want to purchase a ‘full set’, this would include all original packaging and receipt, this will ensure you are able to sell for the maximum price, a full set heavily influences the resale value.

Emily Abraham says her penchant for a life of luxury began early on. Image Credit: Supplied

Of course, the condition is the biggest factor when it comes to the resale value, even the smallest scratch or stain can devalue a bag by thousands.

If the prime reason you have bought a bag is for investment purposes, then don’t be tempted to use it even once! A ‘box fresh’ bag is much greatly desired and can sell for a huge amount more. The size, skin and colour of a bag also hugely influences the re-sale value. It depends what is on trend at the time. At the moment, smaller bags are on trend, therefore they generally sell for more than larger styles, despite the fact they’re obviously a lot less to make.

Stay away from flash trends when possible though, such as very unusual colours and shapes and go for classic styles and colours for investment purposes.