Shopping for the latest in haute couture is a dream, but shopping with someone else’s platinum credit card—and the mandate to “spend, spend, spend!”—is a dream job. Welcome to the elite world of personal shoppers, where there are no limits to what clever stylists can do—and will do—to find the perfect wardrobes for their rich, famous, powerful and demanding clients.
Providing a revealing look into the exclusive world of the affluent, Lifetime’s Million Dollar Shoppers features an eclectic selection of personal shoppers—including Barbet Smith, Amy Salinger (who began her career on The Oprah Winfrey Show), Derek Roche (a former intern for “Sex and the City” stylist Patricia Field and stylist for Sean “Diddy” Combs)—who make their living on-the-hunt for the most coveted fashion splurges for wealthy clients. With their pride, reputation and commission on the line, the shoppers take inventory of their clients’ jaw-dropping closets before consulting with them about their fashion needs, ranging from a specific event, upcoming vacation or an entire wardrobe makeover.
For my money, the show’s standout stars are Gregg Asher & Tayler Carson Sandvick, a flamboyant team who met at the Christian Dior grand opening party. The two instantly clicked and, together, use their fierce fashion sense and outgoing personalities to take the fashion scene by storm for clients in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas. People often think they’re siblings because they fight like brother and sister, but with Sandvick’s couture background and Asher’s over-the-top eccentric style, the two complement each other beautifully, even finishing each other’s thoughts when they shared a few insider tips with JustLuxe.
JustLuxe: If you had a million dollars to personally spend on yourself in a shopping frenzy, what would you buy?
Gregg Asher: We would spend all million dollars at the Hermés boutique because, in a few years, all those items would increase in value since this label always has a tendency to appreciate over time. We would buy clothing, accessories—jewelry, scarves, shoes, housewares, cashmere throws, blankets, on and on!
Tayler Carson Sandvick: And most importantly lots of their bags! And of course we would buy for each other and gift friends, too. What's the point of a million dollar shopping spree if you don't share it with your friends?
JL: Which haute couture shops and designers tend to please your most picky clients?
TCS: Bergdorf Goodman is always a great place to start with anyone, no matter how picky, because it houses so many designers and has endless options for the most discerning client. Jeffrey NYC has always been a must go-to for our most discerning of clients. They always have the most unique pieces, many one-of-a kind, that you can't find anywhere else, a lot of Jeffrey exclusive pieces. They carry the highest end designers as well as many new up and coming designers that most other stores don't carry yet.
GA: Maxfield in Los Angeles is a great place to take clients who have a very edgy eye and want pieces that they will not find anywhere else. Colette in Paris has a small selection but they have basically narrowed down and “weeded out” so-so outfits for you so you know what they have in the store is the best of the best to choose from.
JL: Which up-and-coming designers should be on every fashionista’s radar?
GA: J.W. Anderson—Jonathan William Anderson—is an Irish-born breakout designer we fell in love with back in 2011. A London College of Fashion grad, he started out in menswear but had a cult cool-girl following that prompted him to create a women's line that showed in London. We love his use of colors and prints and his unique mix of boy-girl. He is one to watch!
TCS: Carven is known a little already, but the potential from this designer is present and could really take off over the next couple of years. It's very wearable clothing but always with interesting twists. Jonathan Simkhai is NY based and nails it each season with separates that make any girl funky with a downtown edge. Kenzo is not an up-and-coming label but has had a major resurgence in the last couple of seasons and can be seen on any major fashionista at fashion weeks around the globe. All fashion closets should have some items from this label and the new duo creating it.
JL: What are the best brick-and-mortar clothing shops for amazing finds without breaking the bank?
TCS: J.Crew is always a staple. You can pop in there any time you need to pick up something classic without spending a fortune.
GA: Madewell and American Apparel have the great basic tees that can be worked into almost any outfit when paired with more luxurious items. Zara has always been a favorite to find more fashion forward pieces at good quality and amazing prices.
JL: Which celebrities would benefit from having you as a personal shopper? How would you restyle them?
GA: Britney Spears, need we say more?
TCS: And Meryl Streep. Her look always seems to be very “natural” which probably goes with her personality in that she is a very likable, easy-going person, but I loved her look in “Devil Wears Prada” where she was very glamorous, high-powered, and strong. I would like to see her incorporate more elements from that into her own look. Plus I loved the short white hair on her—very chic.