Fashion / Shopping

A Pioneering Dallas Consignment Shop Celebrates 50 Years

How Clotheshorse Anonymous Has Evolved Over The Decades and What's In Store

BY // 05.07.24

When neighborhood moms Jan Kennedy and Nancy Ungerman started Clotheshorse Anonymous in 1974, it wasn’t the iconic Dallas fashion destination that it is today. It was but a humble clothing swap on Cinderella Lane in the Disney Streets neighborhood of Midway Hills — but this fairy tale didn’t end at midnight. Five decades later, Clotheshorse Anonymous remains one of the happiest places on earth for discerning Dallas shoppers who love designer fashion at palatable prices.

On Saturday, April 20, the pioneering store celebrated 50 Fabulous Years of being trailblazers in the designer resale industry with a fashion presentation at its Preston Road and Forest Lane location. As guests sipped cocktails from Socorro Tequila and DJ Jenn Miller spun tunes, a Robyn Chauvin-produced runway show featured designer fashion with nods to trends of the past 50 years. It was the perfect opportunity for Kennedy and Ungerman to reflect on how the store has grown into the institution it is today.

Clotheshorse Anonymous
The boutique promised both trust and privacy to Dallas’ social set.

In 1974, few understood Kennedy and Ungerman’s entrepreneurial vision. Even their husbands were unsure of the viability of their novel business idea. Those fears were assuaged, however, when the store made money from the start. Kennedy and Ungerman understood that for their business to succeed, discretion was paramount. Clotheshorse Anonymous offered just that — anonymity. The boutique promised both trust and privacy to Dallas’ social set. They could pull around to the back of the store to consign pieces from their wardrobe, and even today, the store identifies consignors by a number, never their name.

Gen Z shoppers don’t feel the need to be secretive about shopping consignment — they take pride in buying luxury brands secondhand. In a culture that champions reducing, reusing, and recycling, luxury consignment is not only economical, but good for the earth. “It’s very cool, seeing young adults come in and feeling their passion for the planet and upcycling,” says Jennifer Mayrath, the boutique’s director of operations.

Clotheshorse Anonymous’ dedication to providing quality designer fashion at accessible prices fostered this vibrant community that spans multiple generations. The daughters and granddaughters of some of Clotheshorse Anonymous’ first clients (whose names were filed in a recipe-card box) now shop and consign, too.

Clotheshorse Anonymous
With the exception of timeless classics from Chanel and Burberry trench coats, everything in the boutique is less than two years old.

Mayrath maintains a keen pulse on the ever-changing fashion directions that keep the boutique’s 40,000 consignment clients coming back for more. With the exception of timeless classics from Chanel and Burberry trench coats, everything in the boutique is less than two years old. Inventory doesn’t stay on the floor for long, ensuring that customers discover new pieces each time they visit the boutique. As for current trends, Mayrath says that Gen Z buys a lot of denim and crossbody bags — and logomania reigns. There’s an insatiable demand for designer T-shirts and sneakers from Gucci, Chanel, and Chloe. Despite the demand, however, prices remain well below retail. That’s part of the DNA of Clotheshorse Anonymous.

In 2018, Clotheshorse Anonymous began letting clients use their consignment balance on the sales floor — a sage business decision after observing the “one in, one out” shopping philosophy many adopted post-COVID. This firm pulse on the retail landscape and creative adaptability are two of the contributing factors to Clotheshorse Anonymous’ 50-year success record. “I contribute the initial success of Clotheshorse Anonymous to Nancy’s business savvy and my creativity,” Kennedy says.

As Clotheshorse Anonymous celebrates 50 years, their gaze remains firmly focused on the future, with business development plans to expand the store’s online presence and offerings.

Five decades of keeping Dallas’ most fabulous and fashionable ladies in the latest runway-ready looks — let’s toast to that. Cheers to 50 years!