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Vault Couture gives fashionistas top style help
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BEIRUT: London-based style service Vault Couture has turned the fantasies of preteen girls into reality by cataloguing and digitizing expansive designer wardrobes to scan and style at the click of a button.

Vault Couture – a fledgling company little more than a year old – offers its first-class clients professional wardrobe maintenance, organization, storage and delivery. It takes the pressure off clients whose packed, high-end closets or frequent travel have made getting dressed too tall a task.

Though based in the U.K., these luxury style services have gone down particularly well with women from the Middle East, Vault Couture co-founder Ruth Barnstein said.

“We have women from Bahrain, from Qatar. We have a Lebanese woman who can’t be without our services,” Barnstein told The Daily Star from London.

Vault Couture’s clients are varied.

Fashion gurus with manageable wardrobes ask only to have their designer clothes photographed and digitized. Businessmen hopping from one hotel to another have a supply of freshly pressed suits delivered to wherever they travel. Fashion houses have a climate-controlled space to store past collections. And affluent ladies have via their online accounts a personal stylist on hand to help complete the perfect outfit wherever they are in the world.

A team from Vault Couture photographs and catalogues each wardrobe and then uploads the pictures into a virtual closet where clients can scan through and match their designer outfits on their computers or iPads.

Clients can choose to leave their entire wardrobe or part of it for storage and care at the London facility, or take their digitally organized clothes back home.

Those who store their clothes can order outfits on their Vault Couture Web account, and the company will have them ready in two hours to two days, depending on how far the client is from London.

The services also include stylists who give advice, get to know the individual client’s taste and even shop for new pieces. Many women from the region who are members of Vault Couture use it for all its luxury services: storage, cataloguing, in-house tailors, shoppers and stylists.

“We have clients with beautiful, very expensive wardrobes,” Barnstein said.

“The Middle Eastern clients, they usually aren’t businesswomen. But they know everything will be taken care of. They’ll ask the stylist for advice and the stylist knows their style and their body shape.”

Though these women may have the space in their homes or extra hands to help manage and organize, they choose Vault Couture because of its expertise in caring for designer wares, Barnstein said.

They also value having a stylist located in a city brimming with designer shops to buy the perfect shoe to compete an outfit, for example, she said.

Services range from luxury to practical depending on the level assistance a client requests.

Businessmen who travel frequently to London – even those who don’t relish a pristine Armani suit – find it practical to store, press and tailor clothes at Vault Couture rather than leave them at an under-used, expensive flat.

Women living in the heart of London with large wardrobes but cramped apartment closets also find it practical to leave their clothes at a trusted second-closet rather than stick them in storage units where mildew or staining could ruin them.

For those with more modest budgets, Vault Couture allows its clients to sell unwanted items directly through the website to the public. Interested buyers need only create an account to purchase anything from a Michael Kors top for around $133 to navy leather Lanvin boots for $635.

Barnstein said the company receives daily inquiries about expansion beyond London, especially from Middle Eastern and Russian clients. Speaking of future warehouse locations, Barnstein said: “We’re now looking into Dubai and Moscow.”

For more information about Vault Couture and to request services, visit the company website at vaultcouture.com.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on November 22, 2012, on page 2.
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