After about 50 minutes on a train from Manhattan’s Grand Central station and 15 minutes in a car headed north to a town called Armonk, NY, you’ll find an unassuming boutique on the side of a busy-ish road. At least, that’s how I found it. Other shoppers I met while walking around the Luxeluxurylabels boutique had driven in from all over the place — including a three-hour drive from Boston — to check out the items.
The store was started by friends and business partners Lisa Dorsett and Jessica Moran in 2016 and has lived in this location for about five years. At first glance, it looks like an old house, complete with a full kitchen upstairs. But unlike most two-story homes, this one is filled with rare and unique designer pieces. A limited-edition Hermès Kelly bag sits near a rack of pristine-condition jackets from brands like Gucci; on the other side of the store is a shelf of rare Chanel pieces. All of it is secondhand.
“You must have a good eye on these things to make it a good experience for everyone. We look at and inspect every single piece ourselves.”
This is certainly not a new concept. Consignment stores have been around forever, and luxury resale apps like TheRealReal have made shopping for designer pieces a more accessible experience. But the owners of Luxeluxurylabels set out to forge an intimate connection with their customers and, of course, the clothing. “What we offer here is something different,” Dorsett tells me from behind the register.
During our conversation, she does a little unboxing of pieces sent in from clients to sell. “I know who this is from, and it’s going to be amazing,” Dorsett says as she lifts the tabs of the giant brown box and pulls out a familiar orange box: an Hermès bag in perfect condition. In the garment bags below it are Alexander McQueen dresses and a Victoria Beckham dress with a tiny stain on it. “We love Victoria Beckham here,” she says. Pointing to the barely noticeable mark on the skirt, she tells me that part of the service is tailoring and cleaning — especially for clothing that’s worth it. “You must have a good eye on these things to make it a good experience for everyone,” she explains. “We look at and inspect every single piece ourselves.”
Image Source: Luxeluxurylabels
Although Dorsett and Moran started the business in 2016, it wasn’t until the pandemic that things really started taking off. On Instagram, they started making Reels of their new items, working with their friend-turned-social-media-model Alicia Devo. There’s nothing particularly unique about the videos; it’s just Devo wearing clothes and holding bags as she moves around, but for some reason, followers flocked. One customer (who just so happens to be fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra’s mother-in-law) overhears me asking the owners about it and weighs in: “People come from the Instagram page because we can see the clothes for what they are.”
“Fashion is fun; what’s the point of being pretentious?” Dorsett adds. And Moran puts it like this: “How lucky are we to be able to have these pieces around us every day? We want it to be a good experience.”
It goes without saying that the owners saw an opportunity in working with clients who were both looking to sell and buy expensive secondhand pieces. But they also believe in extending the lifecycle of beautiful clothing with the care that you might not get from larger resellers. They personally bring items to be tailored, customized, and cleaned when needed — adding that one-on-one touch you might expect while shopping for new luxury items but that you don’t always get if shopping resale.
While much of their merchandise is high-end luxury, there are plenty of contemporary pieces, priced reasonably for the seller and the customer. Isabel Marant, Veronica Beard, Proenza Schouler, and Rotate pieces are sprinkled among the racks throughout the shop, with prices ranging from $50 to $500.
Despite having some price points in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, the owners insist that the goal isn’t just to earn revenue; it’s about their love of fashion. “We love when people come in just to browse for hours,” Dorsett says, explaining that some of their most loyal clients pop by regularly just to admire the clothes. I tell her that it almost feels like a library, where you sometimes come to read and other times just come to be among the books and feel their energy. “Exactly!” both owners say emphatically.
The next phase for Luxeluxurylabels is to go online. Yes, that’s right — the only online presence the shop has right now is Instagram, where sales happen via DM. Soon, though, anyone will be able to browse through the hundreds of items hand-selected and authenticated by Dorsett and Moran.
I ask them if they worry about growth when their mission is for the shopping experience to feel genuine and intimate, which, frankly, is what sets them apart. “We are control freaks, so we won’t be letting anything get out of our control,” Moran says. In other words, as the brand continues to grow and develop, their love of fashion will remain intact.
Image Source: Luxeluxurylabels