Thursday, February 9, 2006
7 News Features: Wardrobe of the Wealthy
Keeping up with fashion in South Florida is never easy. If you're running out of room staying in style then you know a closet can only be so big. But in tonight's special assignment report, we uncovered a secret of the upper class. It turns out the wardrobe of the wealthy are actually for sale.
WSVN--Gucci, and Pucci, and Fendi... Oh my!!!!
This is no Oz, but a fashionistas dream come true -- a closet full of designer digs.
Clothing okay to be seen in once, but twice is a big no, no in the world of the uber-fabulous.
So what to do with all of this?
Give it away? Or go with a little known hidden secret of the wealthy -- turning like-new, must-have pieces -- into cash.
Ken Harvey is the man behind the magic...
The wizard, who showed me how it's done.
Belkys Nerey: "Wow! I haven't even looked at anything yet and already, I'm jealous."
Ken is a closet raider of sorts.
Belkys Nerey: "So what do we love from this closet?"
Ken Harvey: "We love these dresses. These are Herve LeJay."
He goes from home to home in search of high end designer clothing that's soooo last season it just won't do in the wardrobes of the wealthy.
Ken Harvey: "I see some incredible closets. I have been in places that will knock you off your feet. There are closets in this town alone, that are bigger then some of the homes we all live in."
The process is pretty simple.
When Ken's clients are ready to go out with the old and in with the new, they call him...
Ken Harvey: "Here's the deal with some of this. She's not neccessarily ready to part with all of it now and this is the case in most of the closets in fact. There are pieces I can sort of coax them out of. laughs."
Belkys Nerey: "Now obviously this is an example of a fabulous, glamorous closet, everything in here is neat and orderly, but that's not always the case, sometimes it's a downright dirty job, but somebody's got to do it."
Karen Cookson: "Some of the pieces are so old they disintegrate. They haven't been in the air conditioning, so they fall apart on you and you get dirty."
Karen Cookson ought to know.
She's also a closet raider.
Karen can spend thousands of dollars on a closet.
Her specialty not necessarily name brand designers, but more unique one of a kind pieces.
Karen Cookson: "It's getting more and more difficult to find good pickings cause more and more people are doing this now. It's becoming very popular, vintaging."
That's why Karen works with women like Doreen Garland.
The New York City transplant is a former showgirl and actress. Here she is in a classic I Love Lucy episode.
Doreen Garland: "I always went formal and very famous places because I was with very famous men in my life."
On this day karen and doreen went through some precious items from the 75-year-old woman's past.
Doreen Garland: "This is lovely, doreen tell me about this. That's a handbeaded dresses. I had a very important affair with my husband to go to on business."
Some of Doreen's outfits date back to the 1940's. The pieces are well preserved, and even though she no longer has any use for them, they remain classic and timeless.
Doreen Garland: "I would love to see somebody in one of my dresses or my coats."
And that's the best part of closet raiding.
The items end up for sale at vintage stores like Karen's La Maison Chi Chi and Ken's Sasparilla.
Karen Cookson: "You'll get a lot of women who have traveled all over of the world their closets are full of pieces from all over the world. From Asia, from Europe, you name it."
And the items are impressive.
From a 30-thousand dollar Gianni Versace dress...to this priceless John Galiano for Christian Dior...
Closet raiders say clothing doesn't get any better then this.
Ken Harvey: "Whether it's a 40-year-old dress or it's last season's handbag, it gets to go on and sort of do it again for somebody else."
Karen Cookson: "I love what I do. I love finding treasures in women's closets."
And that's why in this wardrobe of the wealthy -- this Dorothy doesn't want to go home.
Belkys Nerey: "Do you think she'd notice if I took them?"
Ken: "There's only one way to find out. If she's chasing you out of here, she's noticed."
Belkeys Nerey: "Ken recently found a rare Valentino gown, one of five ever made in the world. When something is that unique, closet raiders sell their finds back to the designer. The fashion house then puts it into a private museum collection."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
La Maison Chi Chi Vintage Boutique
764 Arthur Godfrey Road
Miami Beach, FL 33140
Sasparilla Vintage Boutique
1630 Pennsylvania Avenue
South Beach, FL