From invitation only websites to Google-stalking customers, some luxury labels have started playing hard to get. Angela Buttolph discovers the brands so exclusive that it’s almost impossible to actually buy them
Sure, you can register on the WONE website to ‘apply’ to buy WONE. But then Hildebrand will… Google you. Wait, what? Yep, Hildebrand is going to check you out and, even if you’re lucky enough to make it off the waiting list, you’ll only get access to the site for a mere seven days.
Those who remember the shop Voyage will be familiar with these tactics. Back in the 1990s, the Fulham Road boutique selling pricey boho-luxe cardigans and slip dresses to supermodels and the Chelsea elite, created a hurricane of hype by adopting a cut-throat (and seemingly random) door policy similar to Studio 54’s. Legend has it, even Madonna and Julia Roberts were turned away when they rang the doorbell. Stock flew out of the store.
‘Exclusivity has always been at the heart of luxury fashion,’ says luxury brand consultant Paula Reed. ‘Everything is available out there now – so anything you can’t have you want more, it’s just human nature.’
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