The world of real-life personal shopping is anything but glamorous. Perhaps you've wondered what it's really like being a personal shopper. Though far from a highly coveted fashion industry job, personal shopping takes a lot of patience, especially when you're dealing with wealthy clients who have no qualms about dropping a cool $1 million on a rare handbag but refuse to drink coffee unless it's heated to their preferred temperature.
Personal shopping isn't only for the rich and famous - plenty of affordable options are available, including free personal shopping services at department stores, including Nordstrom or Topshop. The wealthiest 1%, however, make for the best personal shopper stories - like the kind seen in the movie Personal Shopper, starring Kristen Stewart, and other fashion-focused films.
True tales of shopping for the elite will enlighten and perhaps disturb you. Personal shoppers may not lead the privileged life, but they're certainly well acquainted with it.
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Buying Cheese Isn't Simple, Even In New York City
Valerie Halfon, owner of New York City-based personal shopping service Shop With Val, had an uncanny experience while searching for cheese. According to Halfon, a woman from Saudi Arabia messaged Shop With Val because she had trouble finding Formaggio, a certain kind of fresh mozzarella, in her home country. Halfon took on the task, thinking it would be no problem.
After striking out at every grocery store, Halfon learned that the specific cheese was on backorder through a grocery delivery service, so she waited two weeks for it to arrive. One of the delivered boxes had a cracked container that leaked oil everywhere, including on Halfon's fancy blouse before a night out. She had to leave a fancy fashion show to buy 10 pounds of dry ice that would preserve the cheese and prevent it from spoiling.
She spent more than $500 - between mailing costs and the actual cheese - to get it to Saudi Arabia. But only two of the boxes arrived in good condition; the rest of the cheese was inedible.
"Now I know to stick to fashion - I love my cheese, but I'll never look at mozzarella balls the same way again," Halfon said.Is this weird?
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The Clothes In This Closet Were Worth $150,000
Sometimes the people who hire personal shoppers are so wealthy they have more stuff than they know what to do with - meaning a lot of newly purchased items remain untouched. Alarna Hope, a Sydney-based personal shopper, claimed that she has cleared out closets stuffed with never-worn clothing that are worth enough to make a down payment on a house.
"I cleaned out $150,000 worth of stuff still with the tags on it," she told News.com.au.
Apparently, the spend-happy client loved glamorous going-out outfits, but she never had time to go out due to her 90-hour work weeks.Is this weird?
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Wealthy People Like One Number To Be Small: Their Clothing Size
Some wealthy women still get sticker shock - and we're not talking about the price tag. Many refuse to accept their true clothing size. Alarna Hope has met numerous shoppers who don't want to wear what fits.
Hope says she's seen clients turn their nose up at a perfectly fitting jumpsuit because it was not a size 8. In addition, Hope claims one client wore two pairs of Spanx to squeeze into a dress two sizes too small, and another bought an absurd, unlined velvet dress with elastic solely because the tag read Yves Saint Laurent.Is this weird?
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All In A Day's Work: Finding A Rare $1 Million White Crocodile-Skin Bag
Purses made from standard green-colored crocodile won't do when a rare white crocodile-skin Hermès Birkin bag is available. According to Nicole Pollard, who owns LalaLuxe, fetching a handbag made from such skin is no sweat in her line of work, as she told Vanity Fair:
I've cultivated a strong network of dealers to help me find everything from Kanye West Yeezy sneakers (now selling for upwards of $500 on secondary markets) to really rare gifts, like the Hermès Birkin with diamonds and crocodile skin that is pure white... No matter what it is, we find it. That's our job.
I've had to work with auction houses and dealers from around the world to find those bags, which might sell at a store for $250,000. If it's not available in the store, we have to go to a secondary market, where that might go for $1 million.Is this weird?