Live for fashion (but can’t quite afford it)? SavoirLuxe is the destination for you. Wardrobe consultant and SavoirLuxe founder Mindy Loll has got your back! She talks style and shopping for the frugal fashionista.
Tell us about your expert services and what you offer your clientele via SavoirLuxe?
SavoirLuxe is an online luxury designer consignment company, specializing in men’s and women’s clothing, handbags, shoes, fashion and fine jewelry and luxury home goods. We bring to our buyers the designer elite at a fraction of the original cost, while offering our sellers the opportunity to recycle their unworn pieces for a fantastic price. We strive to create an individualized experience equivalent to walking into a luxury boutique on Madison Avenue. The only difference is that our boutique is open 24/7. A Christian Louboutin craving at 3:00 am? Come on in.
What is your background and how did you segue into starting your company?
A Korean adoptee at the age of six months, I was raised by a Nebraskan family. My mother had already given birth to two boys and very much wanted a girl. Like any mother, she dreamed of me being a ballerina… or a famous pianist. Or years later, when she had finally given up all hope, a nurse. After growing up in the heart of the Midwest with two brothers and a stepfather, playing cops and robbers and fetching tools and beer while they worked on their vehicles, most would have thought I was destined to be a truck driver. Throw in the fact that my mother picked out my clothes all through high school, with her own fashion sense consisting of men’s Lee jeans and bright T-shirts with “Branson, MO” across the front (I love you, mom!), I was doomed to a life of fashion don’ts. Ironically, this is what destined me for a life in fashion.
My professional fashion journey first began on the Collector’s and Couture designer floor with Nordstrom. Later I transitioned over to Oscar de la Renta where I delighted and thrived in the one-on-one exclusivity of a luxury boutique setting. It was during this time that I founded what was to become SavoirLuxe.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you see over and over with regard to women and their clothes and closets?
A flawless look begins with the right base layers, ones that cannot be seen or detected. One word: thong. We have been trained to believe that thongs are only meant for women who are young or slender. Since when did the right underwear come with qualifications?
Of course there is also the issue of comfort, which I understand. I also used to be one of those who adamantly opposed suffering for fashion… until I saw a picture of myself looking lovely in a body-skimming Roberto Cavalli jersey skirt… with a serious case of double butt. Granted it took me nearly two weeks to become used to wearing a thong, but afterward, I might as well have been wearing a cloud.
When you closet edit, are you brutal and how do your clients react?
When asked to edit a client’s closet, I first ask a series of questions to determine their individual lifestyle and taste. If they tell me, “I rarely wear prints or anything that bares my shoulders” and find a Dolce & Gabbana Rockabilly polka dot halter dress, well out it goes. I prefer to take the “gentle but firm” approach, offering constructive feedback through a fresh perspective. By the end of the session, clients are grateful to once again own a closet that has a purpose–to make them look and feel fabulous with as little effort as possible. Even better, to know the clutter they just rid themselves of will soon be coming back to them in the form of a check.
Do you keep anything for totally irrational reasons when you know you should throw it out or consign it?
I actually find it very therapeutic to schedule regular purging sessions. If anything, I have donated, thrown out or consigned pieces I perhaps should not have. The feeling of lightness that comes afterward is almost addictive, a cleansing. I make it a rule to never hold onto anything I have not worn at least once in the last year, that is damaged beyond a simple repair, that no longer fits (this includes alterations I have procrastinated on), that has no hope of ever being in style (no matter what they say about it “coming back”), or does not go with anything else I own. I find doing this at least once every six months, ideally once every three, keeps me and my closet streamlined, stress free and looking fabulous.
What has surprised you the most in your line of business?
As a member of the eBay community since 2003, I find myself continuously amazed over its growth and change. eBay is a trading and shopping phenomenon, surpassed by none. In a down economy, it has flourished into a formidable powerhouse of commerce, benefiting both buyers and sellers alike. Today, even luxury designers and sellers, such as Neiman Marcus, are working alongside eBay, bringing deep discounts to hungry fashionistas. It is a destination shopping mecca. No longer just a “bargain basement” thrift store, a buyer can now purchase a $21,000 Patek Philippe luxury timepiece from a trusted Power and Top Seller called SavoirLuxe.
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