After years of flirting with living on the West Coast, Christian Leone has finally made the move to set up a Los Angeles outpost for Vaunte, the luxury consignment e-tailer he founded last year with Leah Park in New York.
“We have a lot of people buying here. People just also have great closets. They have more space, so they are able to buy more. In New York, people edit more, and in L.A., I think they edit less and that is great for us. We go into closets, and they have so much stuff,” said Leone, formerly vice president of brand relations at Gilt Groupe.
In L.A., Leone has been busy making the rounds at talent agencies and public relations firms to woo socialites, stylists, editors, models and others to sell goods on Vaunte. Minnie Mortimer, Marina Monroe, Jennifer Yen and Amanda Schuon are among the Angelenos who have recently appeared or will appear soon on Vaunte.
As it beefs up its presence in L.A., Vaunte will compete directly to secure locals’ belongings from Walk in My Closet, another entry in the online luxury consignment sector, launched this year by Ambre Dahan and Amandine Rohmer. Dahan, wife of Joe’s Jeans founder and creative director Joe Dahan, has mined her network of connections in Los Angeles to bring tastemakers to Walk in My Closet, which has featured the closets of Jenni Kayne, Irene Neuwirth and Shiva Rose, among several Angelenos. Walk in My Closet has international sales capabilities and has offices in Paris and London. Vaunte is also spreading worldwide into Canada, the U.K. and Australia.
Leone said the biggest difference between the two is access to items from the closets of socialites and others. “They are taking pictures of items within people’s closets, but you can’t necessarily buy those items. You can buy like items. We are not doing that. You can actually buy the items in the closets,” explained Leone. Walk In My Closet does provide a venue to buy and sell contemporary and vintage items, but Dahan emphasizes its role in inventory management for the content in users’ closets and giving the ability to create wish lists and mood boards of things that inspire them, and that they want fill their closets up with.
“At its core, Walk in My Closet provides a sophisticated wardrobe-cataloging tool for itemizing the contents of your whole closet, planning and sharing your daily looks, as well as packing luggage. Our users “recycle” unwanted pieces through the site once they realize that certain items are not being rotated into their everyday virtual wardrobes,” said Dahan.