I've separated my personal shopping experience at Galeries Lafayette into two further posts so that I have chance to explain what the idea of personal shopping is and to share the process of my experience.
Personal shopping is a luxury. To those who perhaps don't understand the fashion industry, or more so, the idea of buying clothes - it's excessive. Fashion itself is itself a form of luxury; it's not essential but there's a desire for people. It's also a business. Once that point is done and accepted, let's understand that personal shopping is also an occupation. It's a business where sales assistants meet with fashion stylists so to satisfy these client's needs. To put it in another perspective, let's compare it to interior designers for a room. There's no actually need for everyone to hire interior designers but some people seek for help to either build on ideas or simply to save time.
I wouldn't categorise myself as a person who needs a personal shopper because I believe that I recognise my own style and what's available on the market. But for someone who has less time to do browse and want to save the hassle of 'swimming' through the crowds of these grand magasins, it's a solution. I remember meeting my first personal shopper in London who, coincidentally, was an intern who has studied in the London College of Fashion. She told me that formal academic qualifications weren't actually required but interning is essential as styling is, like any other industry, an industry where retail experience is highly regarded.
After meeting the personal shopper at the dedicated counter on the ground floor of Galeries Lafayette, he introduced me to the different sized rooms that were available to suit client's needs and asked me questions on my style (which can be negotiated through email prior to your visit). It was January and it was cold. We browsed through the men's floors and I told him my interest in the brand, Givenchy. My personal shopper then directed me to pieces from the AW14 collection and I told him I wanted 'less in-your-face' Givenchy. My attention was then attracted to a leather-sleeved plaid sweatshirt which laid on a table in the middle of the store.
For Givenchy's AW14 collection, it was all about streetwear, basketball court inspired materials and colourful court lines. But I didn't want that and the personal shopper understood. It's all about satisfying the client's needs and exchanging opinions. Flexibility in this career is key. A client can walk in and splurge on every brand they know (or discover); but they can also leave completely empty handed. There's no minimum spend nor charge for this service. On my way out after my personal shopping experience, I walked past a personal shopper and was told that she was the finder of the team and has been working at the Galeries Lafayette for over 20 years.
The team is ready and more than prepared to suit your needs. Just drop an e-mail prior to your visit and take your time to talk. And if you don't know your style, this may just be the perfect way to discover it. Find out more information about personal shopping at Galeries Lafayette here.
:: Outfit details ::
To be continued…#tbc