3 years

Service

Confessions of a Personal Shopper

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“My job is to source what is right for them. I am not the guy who trails behind people, holding five shopping bags in each hand”

My job is simple—to assist people shop. I mainly cater to people who are interested in luxury brands. For example, someone may have the money to buy a Jimmy Choo or an Armani, but is clueless on how to wear it. That’s where I step in.

Clients often confuse me with a personal stylist and expect me to handle alterations, etcetera. But I have to clarify that my job is to source what is right for them. I am not the guy who trails behind people, holding five shopping bags in each hand and giving in to their tantrums.

People think my job is easy as it is just about shopping. On the contrary, I have to do extensive research on the clients’ personalities, their social circle, do they like red more or fuchsia? I have to convince them what’s good for them, despite their personal convictions. Then I have to instruct them on how to carry off the product. For example, a Prada bag may or may not go with a stone-studded sari and heavy kundan jewellery. The job requires patience and great inter-personal skills.

I have three kinds of clients—power dressers, attention seekers and detached dressers. Power dressers are very sure about what they want. I have to be diplomatic with them. These people tend to go in for classics, so there isn’t much trouble. Attention seekers are people who have the money and want to flaunt it with labels. I offer them the latest collections and most expensive brands. Detached dressers are people who don’t care about brands but believe in comfort. They are the easiest to work with.

The concept is yet to take off in India. Most of my clients are women putting together their bridal trousseau or those who live abroad. The problem is that here, the people who can spend lavishly are usually above 45. And Indian women at that age usually can’t fit into, say, a gown by Ferragamo.

(A graduate in retail branding and marketing, this person has been a personal shopper in Delhi for four years)

As told to Aanchal Bansal