Gilt Groupe / Getty Images
Having been members of Gilt since its early days (when being a member was a slightly tougher thing to be), we thought we were pretty hot stuff. Today, however, we found out about Gilt Noir, a service only for the top .01 percent of Gilt's shoppers (including Gwyneth Paltrow). Let's just say our confidence is now slightly diminished.
The qualifications for Noir status, according to W's Editors' Blog, are pretty exacting: First of all, you have to have spent at least $10,000 through Gilt Groupe in the past year. (Obviously, we were already disqualified in the first round.) Then, even after you've made it through this (hefty) first test, you're still judged on length of membership and "geographical diversity" (i.e. Noir members aren't just concentrated in New York). As you can probably imagine, the freshman class of Gilt Noir is pretty spectacular -- including Gwyneth Paltrow and Google vice president Marissa Mayer in its ranks.
The perks of membership in this elite little shopping group are pretty spectacular. Not only do you get to preview the sale items 15 minutes before they're visible to the public, you also get special access to all manner of fancy-schmancy events -- from cooking classes with Waverly Inn cheff John DeLucie to lessons with the U.S. ski team in New Zealand. The shopping gauntlet has been thrown, people, and unfortunately, we're not sure we'll make the cut for next year either.