Paris, the undisputed center of fashion and home to illustrious brand names like Balenciaga, Chanel, Balmain, Jean Paul Gaultier, as well as, adopted base for avant-garde labels like Comme des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto, Undercover - you don't reckon fashionable Parisienne would have their own concept of ukay, too!
From my copy of the International Herald Tribune, I've read the growing rise of what they call depots-ventes, a sort of secondhand emporium much like ukayan but of course with more flair and that unmistakable Paris chic. There, the merchandise are edited to certain brands or style. Thus you have a shop that only display bags. Some are into more youthful clothes from Miu Miu, Chloe and Marni. Some only accept stuff from Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Givenchy - mainly classic brands.
The shops, located somewhat near the fashionable streets of the fashion rues of Paris thrived because a lot of those fashionistas, in an impulse buy bought something they regreted later, were looking for places to dump their unused clothes. Some of them wants to move on to what is new fashion and these depots-ventes were a good way to dispose of their off season wares. It lessens their consumption and spending to a degree, I guess, which makes them less guilty in buying new stuff.
At a fraction of the price if newly bought, it attracts style conscious college students who usually don't have the means to buy new stuff each season. Fashionable housewives have become regulars too especially those who favor certain styles of a brand but couldn't find them any longer because it's not produced anymore.
With the recent economic downturn and with all these global concerns about how we deal with our carbon consumption and the waste we produce, it does make sense to go thriftshopping. Whatever we can to use what's been discarded, recycle stuff and all, makes all the big difference. And that to me is really fashionable.