luminaire: Saw it? Loved it? Get it anywhere in the world.

Sukina Rao didn’t flinch as she picked up the phone.

One of his customers was horrified. She had come to a luxury resort in Indonesia for a friend’s 40th birthday party and realized how badly she had packed.

Rao, 45, a two-decade veteran of personal shopping at the likes of Harrods and Harvey Nichols, stepped in, securing a few key items at luxury stores in Singapore and shipping them to customers via three flights to Hand delivered. an audience

“When someone’s lifestyle is global, they see no problem in making products for wherever they are in the world,” Rao explained. That kind of support defines Luminaire, which Rao launched this spring. His partners are Harriet Quick, an old friend and former British Vogue employee, and Olivia Scanlon, a financier.

The goal of this 10-person company is to find and supply essential and even sold items and deliver them anywhere. According to Quick, 55, Luminaire’s stated position is the global jet set and is distinguished by its round-the-clock responsiveness.

“We offer 24/7 service,” he said. “There’s always someone at the end of a WhatsApp message who can get back to you very quickly. The 1% are not in one place – they’re moving between continents and different assets in their portfolio, and that’s shaping the business.” And work helped.

These requests are mostly focused on luxury brands such as Prada, Bottega Veneta and Celine. Often, customer requests include seemingly sold-out or impossible limited editions. Quick and Rao’s jobs gave them access to such seemingly sold shares. (The couple stress that they always try to minimize the carbon footprint of such global shopping and shipping by securing goods from close proximity, if possible.)

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Requests can also be more impromptu. Some customers simply rely on Luminaire’s taste and speed to handle their fashion emergencies. The company may also receive an image of something seen on the red carpet with a customer’s request to wrangle the same piece. The team must then identify and source the part. Luminaire refuses to work with customers who want multiple items of the same item, in different colors or finishes.

“It’s not ‘new luxury,'” says Rao, who is about thoughtful and careful shopping, though he says the likelihood of a customer trying to resell excess items is also a factor.

Luminaire uses a private, club-style membership: about 50 people pay an annual salary of 5,000 pounds (about $5,900). They can instead rely on the Luminaire team as much as they want. “You can use our services daily if you want,” Rao joked. “And I’m not going to lie, we have a few customers who do just that.”

The company charges a 10% commission on new items, while old searches may be charged a flat fee of £150. Membership also comes with perks: Members may be offered an appointment with an in-demand hairstylist like George Northwood, or a personal consultation with dermatologist and cosmetics entrepreneur Dr. Barbara Storm. In December, the company is opening a temporary townhouse in London’s Notting Hill for three days and organizing intimate events – such as breakfasts – with Sabrina Elba, Idris Elba’s wife and client, or designer Brunello Cucinelli.

Luminaire isn’t alone: ​​it’s just one of several startups combining concierge-style service with personal shopper expertise. But while Luminaire focuses on the world’s high-end and high-end buyers, London-based Sourcewhere caters to a wider market.

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It’s the brainchild of Erica Wright, 31, a former fashion journalist, who came up with the idea after looking for a pair of Celine snakeskin leather shoes. In March 2014, he spent two months calling stores in Europe and hunting online before anyone responded to one of his online posts. They said to try the Celine store in Indonesia because they still have them in stock. Wright bought them over the phone from there and sent them to the brand’s location in Singapore, where he will soon be on vacation.

She realized the business’s potential in providing the same services to other women like her — and founded Sourcewhere in January.

“If you’ve ever walked into a store and seen something on sale, or saw an item a few years ago and couldn’t stop thinking about it, you can come to us,” she said.

“Apply to our app for something in the current or past season, and our network of professional sourcing experts—handpicked by me—will begin the hunt.”

Sourcewhere employs approximately 30 independent contractors worldwide, whose goal is to purchase and ship merchandise to customers—new or used, depending on preference.

Brands like Row, Balenciaga and Hermès are popular, Wright said, and shoes are a staple of the service, whether it’s hard-to-find Chypre sandals from Hermès or sold-out Adidas Sambas. There is no deposit or membership fee. Whether they charge a flat fee of £120 for an item or instead opt for a 10-15% commission is up to the sourcing experts.

Sourcewhere retains an average of 10% of this fee.

Sourcewhere isn’t available in the US, though Wright hopes to launch there by next spring. And while Luminaire’s services are available worldwide, its founders say they have plans for a New York office early next year.

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Buyers in the US can also work with someone like Gabe Waller.

Waller, 28, also serves as a consultant to Sourcewhere, which plans to open in the United States. Waller, an Australian based in Los Angeles, has made a name for herself over the past four years as a successful source through Instagram, where the informal industry first emerged.

He estimates he has 1,800 active clients, including celebrities like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Hailey Bieber. Waller said 90 percent of the requests he’s received for items are through direct messages on Instagram. His team of 20 also includes independent contractors based around the world from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Singapore. Waller also recently added a new part-time employee in South Korea.

His service fee is $200 per item. When his contractors — or sourcing assistants, as he calls them — acquire an item, they ship it directly to the customer in Gab Waller-branded packaging.

Shoes are also of interest to her business, especially from brands such as Chanel and Prada.

“Chanel quilted sandals? “We still get daily requests for them.” Waller emphasizes that his service democratizes access to hard-to-find luxury goods.

“Customers tell me they’re intimidated to walk into those boutiques and they feel bad because of how they were treated once, and we take that feeling away,” he said. However, for each buyer, the premise of their service is the same with Sourcewhere and Luminaire.

“Is anything really sold now?” Waller said. “Not. It must be out there somewhere.”


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