Buying high end clothing
March 24, 2011 3:06 PM   Subscribe

So how do Seal and the Olsen twins do it? I want a leather jacket from Carol Christian Poell. What now?

All I can figure out online is that you have to bookmark a bunch of online retailers, ebay etc. and wait around until you happen to stumble upon the style/size you need and plunk down the cash and hope it clears customs when it's shipped to you. Sounds pretty lengthy and inefficient... the company website is impractical and is obviously not trying to sell anything. Is it just the way with niche / high end makers that combing retailers and forum-sellers is all you're left with? No point in trying to get to the source?
posted by the mad poster! to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Have you tried calling the manufacturer?
posted by Vindaloo at 3:18 PM on March 24, 2011

Response by poster: can't find contact info! The only thing with content that the site leads to is which is like some art projects or exhibitions associated with CCP. Kinda weird and off-putting but it reminds me of another designer I was interested in a few years ago who had the same kinda site, just a couple images and a press contact link. These people!
posted by the mad poster! at 3:35 PM on March 24, 2011

Maybe you could find a trusted Mefite or other to go buy it for you? Calling the company, unless you're press, isn't going to get you much. But I don't know that I'd buy a $4000 jacket that I haven't tried on. is the contact info on the website. There's no retail shopping at that site.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:37 PM on March 24, 2011

Response by poster: yeah the sizing thing is a definite issue. hmm
posted by the mad poster! at 3:39 PM on March 24, 2011

Best answer: I'm pretty sure you need to have your people contact their people :)

I would try the email, and maybe contact some of the boutiques that regularly carry his clothes, like Atelier New York.

(I'm pretty sure is just their web designer.)
posted by grapesaresour at 4:06 PM on March 24, 2011

Response by poster: I'm pretty sure you need to have your people contact their people :)

haha! And yeah that makes sense about the link being their web designer

I'm suspecting the way Seal and Taylor Swift et al actually end up with these things isn't by trying to funnel down from "here's what I need from this maker" but by ending up in retail contexts where these things just happen to be there. What I'm basically trying to do is avoid just going to the regular widely retailing pricey purveyors for this piece (e.g. D&G, Burberry) and dig a little deeper these days about who're the real couture-ish makers for things.. I'm learning a lot about who really makes good stuff vs who just licenses their label randomly to pawn off expensive clothing.. but also getting the sense that it's a lot more difficult to get what you need when you change to that modality.
posted by the mad poster! at 4:10 PM on March 24, 2011

Response by poster: That Atelier New York link looks good! I'm gonna call them tomorrow and report back
posted by the mad poster! at 4:14 PM on March 24, 2011

Best answer: Seal and Taylor Swift have stylists. Stylists have connections. If either of them paid a dime, I'd be surprised. Having your line photographed on Taylor Swift is worth a ton to a designer. If you really want to get hooked up with the highest of high-end, get to know a fashion editor, a fashion blogger, a stylist or a photographer, and get invited to sample sales, get to see look-books early, etc. Or blog yourself and see if you can make these connections for yourself.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:41 PM on March 24, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: IANAfashionista, but you might get some help from this thread. From this other thread on the same forum, it looks like yeah, Atelier is probably your best bet in NYC.

To answer your more general question, I'm guessing the answer is that top celebrities have stylists on their personal staff (preview: jinx, ideefixe) whose full-time job it is to stake out new boutiques and look for stuff/collections that might work on their employer. For mere mortals, the Superfuture maps (select city on the right; some of the markers can be clicked on, others must be googled) are a good resource for finding retailers that stock niche/high-fashion clothing IRL, or for finding places to gawk at pretty people wearing pretty clothes.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:46 PM on March 24, 2011

Celebrities get lots and lots of gifts from designer who hope people will see Seal in a jacket and want it.
posted by theora55 at 9:42 AM on March 25, 2011

Response by poster: Yeah. In fairness though with me it's the
opposite these days in that I discover a name for clothes or jewelry or watches etc and when I google it I find pics of not product catalogs but of blogs posting it being worn by Mary J Blige, Kanye, people at the oscars etc. It does give me pause cause these people are susbstantially wealthier than me by orders of magnitude but my internal luster will have none of it! If Ye can have it I can too!

The thing about them wearing stuff for free is right though I'm reminded of an interview of Madonna I saw when I was in middle school and I was just captivated by her crinkling jacket and the interviewer mentioned it too and she said she got it for free

Anyway I called Atelier and they were nice! I'm gonna work with them over email. Exciting
posted by the mad poster! at 6:58 PM on March 25, 2011

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