Wardrobe Couture’s Shivani Dhillon creates vintage bags and designer pieces for Elsa Hosk, Pernille Teisbaek and Emili Sindlev, we take a look inside her wardrobe and find out how she does it – read the interview
When Elsa Hosk needs a pair of Chanel flip flops, who is she calling? Well, according to industry insiders, there’s only one woman for the job. Shivani Dhillon has made a name for himself as the go-to person for finding those impossible-to-find pieces, from vintage Chanel bags to impossible-to-find Hermès products for the world’s biggest influencers.
“If there was one client that I thought would never need my services, it would be Elsa Hosk“, says Shivani Good morning! Fashion via email, “I’ve always admired her effortless style and when her request came in, I knew it was a time to shine. I found her articles in less than two hours, but this n It’s no coincidence that I managed to unearth a very sought-after part for him, the relationships I have developed over time offer me unparalleled access to parts that are sold out, or in high demand.”
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Shivani Dhillon has made a name for himself as the go-to person for finding vintage pieces
Shivani’s career in fashion started right after graduating from Edinburgh College of Art. She had always dreamed of living in one of the fashion capitals be it London, Paris, New York or Milan, so she applied for as many internships as possible and cut her teeth in the world of magazines, “I was told if I could get an appointment for the editor to see Dior in Paris I would have a chance, well let’s say I made sure I got that appointment.
She started as a personal assistant to the editor of that magazine and within a few years was named fashion director, while working for Net-a-Porter alongside to help pay the bills. Her vocation as a wardrobe concierge began after making a profit selling a pair of designer shoes from Chanel: “My mum thought I was crazy spending £450 on a pair of shoes, but I don’t care. didn’t care,” says Shivani, “I got the call from the shop after weeks of searching, dropped everything and literally ran as fast as I could to buy them, fear they were selling out before arriving was constantly on my mind…i ended up buying a pair that were one size too small and i was hoping one day they would fit and unlike Cinderella’s glass slipper, mine didn’t. wasn’t, so I ended up selling them and made a little profit.”
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Elsa Hosk’s Wardrobe Couture sourced by chanel
Shivani’s love of buying rare pieces grew and made her realize that she could turn her love of fashion and sourcing high-end pieces into a potential business. “I used social media, highlighting items I liked and could access from the surface, but never realized there was a whole world behind the storefront,” shortly after the birth of the Couture wardrobe.
We caught up with Shivani who told us how she sourced pieces for Elsa Hosk, Pernille Teisbaek and Emili Sindlev and we found out which pieces you should invest in now….
How long does it take you to source a part?
Once a request is received, I can usually locate most items within 24 hours. For rarer items or items from the previous season, it can take a few weeks and in some rare cases a few months. This industry moves so quickly that by the time you locate something, it can be gone in the next five minutes.
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A pair of shoes unearthed for Pernille Teisbaek
How does the process work with your customers?
My clients know exactly what they want, requests come in from all over the world, and my inbox is filled with endless requests. Chanel is by far the most requested brand for the company. Each request received is recorded and an estimate is sent. That’s when the fun or should I say the sleepless nights begin. Over the past few years, I’ve cultivated a global network of trusted industry contacts who I partner with to source and deliver directly to the catwalk, archival pieces or coveted out-of-stock styles.
What vintage designer items should we invest in now?
While it’s my job to source pieces based on demand, I also like to let customers know which designer items are seasonal, which ones will go viral, and which pieces are the ultimate investment. There is no denying the popularity of Hermès, over the past few months I have had an increasing number of requests for their Cyprus sandals. New suede emerald green proves popular, but white remains the current classic and year-round favorite.
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Emili Sindlev wears vintage Chanel earrings that Shivani found for her
The Chanel SS22 collection had a lot of vintage references, if we take a look at the heart-shaped vanity bag and the mirror vanity bag from the 1990s, there hasn’t been anything like it until now. I knew from the launch of this collection that my DMs were going to explode for a particular piece and I was right. The Chanel heart bag made a comeback and graced the runway in several colors. Pink in particular being the current favorite and most requested colourway.
The Fendi Baguette is on trend again thanks to the return of Sex and the City, who wouldn’t want to own an iconic piece from Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe? Demand for the iconic purple glitter wand has increased dramatically over the past few months and getting your hands on it has become nearly impossible at the moment.
Which brands are the best vintage investments?
The timeless classics from Hermès and Chanel are always worth the investment because the value is constantly appreciating year after year, but the requests I like to receive are for those that are once-in-a-lifetime pieces, because once the season completed, the bag will no longer be available. . Old Celine archive pieces have become increasingly rare to find, I recently managed to find 3 new pieces of the famous gray coat and they sold out in seconds (if you know you know.)
A piece that is really worth the investment?
Starting with the Spring-Summer 2019 season, a limited-edition Chanel flap bag with pearls all over was one of the most requested pieces. At the time it retailed for £3,810 and now costs around £13,000. Over the past few years, this particular coin has risen in value and will increase significantly over the next few years. Sometimes people who make these requests to me won’t even be wearing the original item. For them, it’s more about owning an investment or a piece of fashion history and passing it on to the next generation.
The Fendi baguette is an excellent investment according to Shivani
How do your VIP clients like Elsa Hosk find you?
Social media plays a huge role in how people buy and end up finding me. Each market receives different stock, which is why VIP customers have trouble finding parts because their local shop hasn’t purchased it or they can’t get the item transferred from another store. The power of trust and word of mouth goes a long way in this business, I would find something for a VIP customer and she would tell her friend, and the next minute that same friend would come asking for it.
Have you had any pinch moments since starting the business?
Like all businesses, I have had ups and downs, although I am incredibly grateful for the growth of the company and the clientele I work for, it has not come without significant challenges. It’s by overcoming these challenges that the “pinch me” moments become truly enjoyable. More recently, I found a truly magical piece for musical genius, Tyler The Creator, who has over 11 million Instagram followers. The fact that I can influence his style by providing him with incredible pieces is a privilege.
A Chanel heart bag from Shivani’s wardrobe
Being the go-to for some of the best dressed women in fashion, Elsa Hosk, Pernille Teisbaek, Emili Sindlev to name a few, is something I’m so proud of. The fact that these ladies are influenced by the articles I share on my platform is such a compliment and a testament to why I am doing this. I still have “pinch me” moments when I see all these beautiful ladies wearing their #sourcedbywc pieces, it’s so rewarding to see all those hours of hard work, tears (sometimes) and sweat that paid off .
What is the most precious piece in your wardrobe?
The most treasured item in my wardrobe is actually a piece that belonged to my great-grandmother who I was extremely close to, after her death one of her last wishes was that I have her gold ring. This item doesn’t have much monetary value but it has huge sentimental value, I’m not leaving without it.
Shivani is always on the lookout for unique pieces
On the contrary, the most treasured item in my wardrobe is a beautiful piece from Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel 2018 Pre-Fall collection. This is a precious mini off-white sheepskin handbag that I discovered a few years ago. Since I bought it, I have never encountered another.
Have you ever been unable to find a part?
While I haven’t yet found a request that I haven’t been able to fulfill, there are definitely times when a popular item makes it very hard to find. Moments after Elsa Hosk posted the picture of herself wearing her beige Chanel sandals with the Garde-robe Couture tag, I was first completely in shock and second completely inundated with requests, even as we speak, of more and more requests are coming in for that exact style.
What are you looking for right now?
How much time do you have? The list is endless, from Chanel SS22’s sold out bikini to Hermès Chypre sandals to Balenciaga’s oversized quilted denim jackets, I’m always on the lookout and always on the go. As we speak I just received a message from a client whose dog just ate her Chanel heart bag, requests really come in all shapes and sizes.