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Melanie Charlton Fascitelli knows what skeletons Liv Tyler has in her closet. In fact, it’s a safe assumption the 32-year-old is also familiar with the actress’ dust bunnies, improperly hung dress pants and ratty T-shirt collection, since she’s the one Tyler called in for a closet overhaul.
A former fashion editor and p.r. director at Anne Klein, Fascitelli six years ago founded Clos-ette, a company that specializes in “luxury closets and holistic organizational design” — basically installing shelves and chucking wire hangers.
This story first appeared in the April 22, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Now, with the publication of her first book, “Shop Your Closet,” high-profile celebs aren’t the only ones privy to Fascitelli’s expertise. Here, the storage specialist — whose current projects include 30,000 square feet of closets in a Mumbai house, as well as designing the closets for the about-to-be-built Jean Nouvel residential high-rise in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood — talks about dry-cleaning tips, her clients’ endless stream of swag bags and jewelry rooms equipped with eye scanners.
GARBAGE DISPOSAL: Fascitelli urges clients to “edit” their wardrobes at least twice a year — with one exception: “The wedding dress is one you can keep,” she says. Her otherwise ruthless approach is sometimes met with opposition: “There’s rational arguing we do with our clients,” Fascitelli says. “But the ones who don’t want to throw anything away, there’s something wrong there.”
DRY SPELL: Fascitelli warns against allowing dry cleaning bills to burn a hole through your pockets. “You don’t have to dry clean 90 percent of what you dry clean,” she declares. “It’s a big waste of money and it ruins your clothes.” Instead, Fascitelli advocates treating clothes with a steamer and lavender oil, which she claims “is a natural antiseptic.”
CLOSET CONFIDENTIAL: Though she doesn’t name names, Fascitelli does admit her star clients have different needs than her civilian ones. “They get new swag every week. The hugest problem is the rotation of the inventory.”
CROWN JEWEL: While she typically deals in hangers and shoe racks, Fascitelli’s most ambitious projects are the rooms designed to store “hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry.” “Clients want it to be like their own little Harry Winston,” she says of the spaces she’s equipped with Louis XIV antiques, a Baccarat crystal minibar and high-tech security touches like eye scanners. (The price tag attached to these rooms is typically north of $1 million.)