A high-end personal shopper who travels the globe snapping up luxury goods for elite clientele has opened up about what it is really like to work with the super rich.
Amber Gordon, 28, is based in London but often finds herself jetting off to the likes of Miami, Dubai, Paris and Singapore in search of the latest must-have Rolex, couture creation, or hard-to-find handbag.
‘It can be anything from securing the newest sneaker release to tracking down a diamond encrusted crocodile Birkin, which has a market value of approximately £200,000. If it’s hard to find, it’s likely I will have been asked for it.’
Her company Tailored Styling acts as a middle man, working with a global network of suppliers to track down and procure items on clients’ wish lists then charges them a fee for the service.
And while some might believe there are some items that money simply cannot buy, Amber disagrees. ‘Items are always available it really just comes down to whether or not the client is willing to pay for it,’ she told FEMAIL.
Amber Gordon, 28, is based in London but often finds herself jetting off to the likes of Miami, Dubai, Paris and Singapore in search of the latest must-have Rolex, couture creation, or hard-to-find handbag. Pictured, Amber at Atlantis the Palm Dubai, wearing Manolo Blahnik shoes (worth around £600) and Saint Laurent bag around £1,300. The dress is Topshop, £34
High demand means Amber has to be available even on holiday. Pictured, Amber on Formentera, off the coast of Ibiza, last summer. She said: ‘I actually remember having to deal with a Christian Dior hat crisis this day with barely any service on the beach’
Amber documents her travels on Instagram, with days by the pool, swanky meals out and – of course – expensive shopping sprees are all documented. Pictured, at dinner in Komodo restaurant in Miami, which Amber described as ‘one of the hottest restaurants in the city’
The most expense sale she has made was a Richard Mille watch with a resell value of £250,000.
But handling large sums of money for high net-worth clients – WAGs, Premier League footballers, entrepreneurs and royalty have all enlisted her services – means she can also come under extreme pressure when a sale doesn’t go to plan.
A hiccup in one recent job, for example, saw Amber booking a last-minute flight to ‘the other side of the world’ to find a Hermes crocodile clutch – worth up to £35,000 – after the one she had promised a client fell through.
‘I earned nothing from the transaction and had to fly to meet the deadline – the stress almost gave me a heart attack,’ she admitted.
The jet-setter explained she often takes her work to the pool or the beach to make the most of her trips overseas. Pictured, Amber reclines by a Dubai pool in Valentino pool slides, Tom Ford sunglasses and a Louis Vuitton clutch bag, in an Instagram photo shared this week
Amber is tasked with arranging couture and luxury accessories. She said of the watch above: ‘This white gold watch is very special it was a collaboration between Audemars Piguet and Carolina Bucci and is impossible to find in this size (38mm) approx value is £45,000’
However any stress is absent from the envy-inducing photos Amber shares on Instagram, where she boasts 23,000 followers, with days by the pool, swanky meals out and – of course – expensive shopping sprees are all documented.
Part of this is due to the way Amber chooses to balance work with downtime when she is overseas, which is often.
‘In the last year I’ve been to New York, Switzerland, Singapore, Miami, Dubai, Paris – some of these more than once,’ Amber said. ‘Towards the end of 2018 I was away more than I was home and I was honestly exhausted.
‘I make time to enjoy the places I go to but at the end of the day I am working, I’ll just maybe work from my phone at a beach club or rooftop bar.’
The life is a far cry to the one Amber led growing up in a ‘small flat’ with her mother, a headteacher, and her father, a carpenter. ‘They pretty much think I live on another planet,’ she joked.
A typical day might involve contacting suppliers, arranging payments and organising pick-ups and drop-offs. Pictured, Amber in New York after a busy day spent viewing collections last year
Amber strikes a pose in London in £1,290 Fendi boots and a vintage dress. While her lifestyle has its perks, the stylist explained it is also filled with the stresses of running a global business
Amber set up her company three years ago after spending a year working as a sales assistant in the shoe department of Selfridges in London. Pictured, the entrepreneur at Miami Beach
‘My dad laughs at me all the time and thinks it’s absurd that someone would pay £50,000 for a handbag,’ Amber said. My granddad is the worst and always asks me why I would pay £500 for a pair of shoes when I can buy 5 for £100 each.
‘I was definitely not born into a life of privilege and now I get to handle all of these incredible pieces and dress people with endless budgets.’
Amber set up her company three years ago after spending a year working as a sales assistant in the shoe department of Selfridges in London.
‘I always knew I wanted to work in luxury fashion, it’s fascinated me from a really young age,’ she explained. ‘I studied fashion Journalism at university as I always wanted to be a fashion writer but after I graduated I found it hard to get a job.’
After being made redundant from an early role at a niche luxury fashion magazine, Amber started at Selfridges but soon found herself bored on the shop floor without any freedom or creativity.
Amber said of the bag above: ‘The Dior saddle bag was re released summer 2018 and this embroidered one was a runway piece you had to pre-order well in advance to get one, unlike the leather ones which you can just walk into store and buy. Resale value around £6,000’
Pictured, a Chanel Coco mini bag in black python, approx. cost £5,000
Influencers keen to get their hands on the latest must-haves also regularly contact Amber. Pictured, a Hermes Kelly Cut in Aubergine shiny crocodile has an approx. value of £32,000
‘I decided I was going to start a personal shopping business and do my own thing,’ she continued. ‘I figured if I couldn’t get the job I wanted I may as well try to create it myself.
‘I don’t think anyone really took me seriously when I said that I was going to do this, and I didn’t even really know where I wanted it to go I just knew I didn’t want to be there.’
Amber works with both companies and high net-worth private clients. While she won’t name any specifically, she revealed she has worked for a member of a royal family, entrepreneurs and business owners.
I have quite a few footballers wives who are regular buyers and also a handful of premiership players. Last month I sourced a watch for a member of the England team
‘I have quite a few footballers wives who are regular buyers and also a handful of premiership players,’ she said. ‘Last month I sourced a watch for a member of the England team.’
Influencers keen to get their hands on the latest fashion must-haves also regularly contact Amber, often through Instagram, which is where the majority of new clients find out about her services.
She explained clients based in Asia tend to be the biggest spenders but are also most ‘particular’ with their requests.
Once in touch with a client – be it on Instagram, email, or WhatsApp – Amber then works to establish exactly what the client wants.
‘I ask the client to just send a picture of the item, it’s name and their size details,’ she said. ‘I’ll then check availability and get them a price…
‘Sometimes they can be unaware of the value of the items or they don’t understand why something that costs £160 in store would be worth £850 so I like to make them aware beforehand so I’m not wasting both of our time.
‘Once I find the item and the client is happy to go ahead I will take a payment from them and then go ahead and arrange delivery.
‘It can be a little daunting for new clients as shopping over Instagram or WhatsApp really is a new concept. I’m patient with new clients and try to do as much as I can to make them feel comfortable, many of these people I never even meet face to face so it’s a strange relationship I have with.’
Amber also offers a personal styling service, which is conducted either face-to-face or over social media.
She added: ‘All of my clients are super stylish, so rather than me telling them what to wear, the relationship is more like going shopping with your best friend to have an expert second opinion.’
But a global operation means Amber is also given the responsibility of managing a sizeable logistics operation.
Amber sometimes has to fly just to approve a piece in person. Pictured, she wears Tom Ford sunglasses, Balenciaga sandals and a McQueen scarf for a photo in Dubai
Amber, pictured in a £995 Galvan jumpsuit in London, admitted her family does not always understand her luxury fashion purchases, saying they think she lives on ‘another planet’
A day at Tailored Styling might involve contacting suppliers, arranging payments, organising pick-ups and drop-offs, or visiting brands to preview the latest collections.
Amber continued: ‘My clients can expect the same level of luxury service from me that you’d get in Harrods or Chanel.
‘Buying luxury is an experience, and when you’re spending tens of thousands of pounds it’s not just about the item you’re buying. My clients have me on WhatsApp so I’m pretty much on call 24 hours and they expect the best.
‘If I tell a client something is arriving in two days, delays are not acceptable. I spend a fair amount of time getting a little irate on the phone to my courier of choice as they just don’t understand the urgency and expectations.
At times I’ve had to send people half way across the UK to physically deliver items if the deadline is really tight
‘At times I’ve had to send people half way across the UK to physically deliver items if the deadline is really tight.’
Dealing in foreign currency also causes problems, particularly when Amber was first starting her business.
She said: ‘I’m often charged in other currencies but I charge my clients in GBP. If the pound moves in the time that I’m able to take the payment it can make my cost price more expensive.
‘Once I took a payment for a Patek Philippe and that evening Theresa May gave a speech to do with Brexit. The pound plummeted so much it wiped out my whole profit. I had to fly to Switzerland regardless and go ahead with the sale for the sake of the client. I haven’t made any currency mistakes since I’m vigilant now.’
While smaller accessory sales are easier to arrange, Amber often travels to examine high value items in person before confirming a sale.
‘It’s very difficult to organise payment and delivery of a £200,000 watch, so if it’s in Hong Kong I have to go to Hong Kong,’ Amber said. ‘An item of this value needs to be checked, I have to view it before I make payment.’