Three days ago, WePhotoshoppedWhat2, the Instagram watchdog account dedicated to calling out Danielle Bernstein’s photoshop fails and bad behavior, made public a Pandora’s Box of a DM. The message they received was from a shopper who was influenced by Danielle’s posts to purchase a pair of $500 vintage Chanel earrings.
Harmless sounding enough, no?
The particular pair of double C earrings which the shopper fancied had been gifted to Danielle by her friend Sasha Benz, who owns the Montauk-based boutique Wyld Blue. Though the earrings were marked as vintage, somehow, questionably, Sasha seemed to have a number of them to sell. But more on that specific red flag later.
As the below relates, things quickly took a turn for the fake. Before purchasing, the shopper contacted Wyld Blue to confirm that the earrings were really Chanel, which she was assured they were. But upon receiving them, she immediately reached back out in concern. Ultimately, the shopper brought the earrings to Chanel, where they were quickly identified as knockoffs.
Upon receiving this revelatory information, Sasha, who was responding to the shop’s DMs, related that she would of course recall the other earrings, not wanting to knowingly sell fakes.
But of course that is not exactly what happened. Because that wouldn’t be interesting enough to write a whole article about. I mean, neither one of us is here to be bored, right?
What did happen was that Wyld Blue blocked the shopper on Instagram, just days later Sasha posted herself wearing the earrings on Stories, as did Danielle, the shopper had to DM Sasha directly on her personal account to continue to straighten out the situation, and Sasha got upset with the shopper for saying, “you sent me a fake product.”
Respectfully, the shopper responded to the latter, “the fact of the matter is that you did send me a fake product. I have never insinuated that it was intentional, but there is no denying that it happened.”
I know what you’re thinking – wouldn’t this story be so much juicier if she had sent her a fake intentionally?
Well, following WePhotoshoppedWhat2’s release of this story, the account was flooded with girls sharing similar tales of suspicion surrounding the boutique’s “vintage designer pieces.” Suddenly, all of the store’s inventory was called into question, with luxury fashion resale professionals sharing their own history of distrust with regards to Wyld Blue’s handbags, jewelry and more.
After inspecting the photos from the Wyld Blue site, a number of the account’s sleuth followers discovered that a majority of the store’s vintage inventory was being marketed using photos taken either from the item’s designer’s site, from other re-sale sites, or from sites that sold designer fakes.
Now, in the world of buying vintage – which let’s just remember is really just a barely fancy word for ‘used’ – seeing the exact state and condition of a piece is critical. Perhaps, the entire point even! Personally photographing all of a shop’s inventory would be a non-negotiable for a serious vintage dealer. As would including detailed notes regarding the item’s wear, age, dimensions, etc. But for some reason, the online description section for all of Sasha’s vintage pieces sits completely empty.
And as it turns out, Sasha hasn’t just been selling these pieces through her Wyld Blue shop, she’s also been listing a number of the same allegedly designer pieces on Etsy and Ebay. And let’s just say, her Ebay account left a digital breadcrumb trail of reasonably incriminating photo evidence.
Now, just for the fun of being foolishly understanding, let’s put that aside and say that photography just isn’t her thing.
When digging deeper into the shop’s other designer pieces, one WePhotoshoppedWhat2 follower pointed out that not only did the store’s image for their used Dior Rose Des Vents Leather Tote image seem to come from the Dior website, but their used tote costs more than a new tote does. Wyld Blue’s used “Dior” handbag costs $3,750 while Dior’s legit Dior handbag costs $2,500!
In the interest of remaining impartial-ish still, let’s just play stupid again and admit that hey, who likes math and numbers anyway!?
But let’s return to thinking about the fact that the store has multiple versions of the same vintage items. Take the original earrings in question. In her exchange with the Chanel whistle blower, Sasha confessed, “I don’t have any details – as mentioned I bought these for me and Danielle when in Tokyo from Vintage Echoland – she sent directly to my hotel. When I reached out to my contact here in US she said she would source more for me, and found me 10 pairs. And sent them over.”
Now, I don’t know how often you might peruse high end vintage shops, but in my experience, having sourced many pieces from New York’s most reputable vintage boutiques for magazine fashion photo shoots, them carrying ten pairs of the same vintage earrings is not a thing. And on the bizarre off chance that that would happen, each of the earrings would have a different online listing explicitly detailing its specific conditions.
Following all of these revelations, Sasha posted the following statement to Wyld Blue’s Instagram stories:
A statement which was then deleted hours later.
As frustrated fans of the brand began to question the authenticity of products promoted on the shop’s account, Sasha deleted and limited comments while claiming that all items were professionally verified.
Now, all of this would just be a great dish of gossip to serve up with likely no real consequence other than Sasha and the store’s reputation suffering, except that either way this gets cut, whether she’s in on it or not, if the pieces aren’t real, this is a matter of fraud.
With every inch of this saga exposed and played out over Instagram, the next question is will these accusations have IRL repercussions?