By  on October 18, 2013

At 10:30 on a Wednesday morning Carmen Busquets was seated in a banquet at the Mark Hotel in New York, drinking hot water with lemon and wearing full cocktail attire — a black-and-white dress and trompe l’oeil T-strap booties, both from Valentino’s fall collection. If a bit overdressed for the hour and occasion, Busquets insisted her outfit was a matter of practicality. “I have a cocktail and a dinner tonight and I thought I would have no time to change,” she said in her Venezuelian lilt.

Between breakfast and dinner, her day was filled with press meetings and a photo shoot for next month’s U.S. launch of Giftlab, the luxury e-commerce Web site Busquets founded in the U.K. in November 2012. Since its inception, Giftlab has shipped to the U.S., as well as 157 other countries, but Busquets and her team are making a big push in the American market, recently opening offices on Madison Avenue in New York and hiring Elizabeth Spiers, the founding editor of and former editor of The New York Observer, as an editorial advisor. Developing editorial content based on merchandise and tastemakers is a key initiative for GiftLab.

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