You may have noticed some rather cool Karl Lagerfeld candles popping up over the past few months on my weekly wish list spots (no? click here to see). Love these as much as I do? Well, get ready to meet the luxury boutique duo, Goran Svilar and Ali Samli of the ConSept store who stock these beauties on their luxrious, one-of-a-kind shelves. If you haven't heard of the new striking boutique store that has opened its doors in the heart of Chelsea, London - it's about time you did. I found out a little more about the owners and their love for the luxe, unique and down right fabulous below...
Tell us a little bit more about yourselves – who are the people behind ConSept? What are your backgrounds?
'We’ve both worked within the luxury sector, but our backgrounds are slightly divergent. Goran's background commenced within properties, interior design and creative direction. On his way, he worked with many design studios including small and upcoming as well as big power brands. Through this, he built a strong database of high-net-worth customers, and also brands, products and studios. Ali's background is different as it follows his educational background in marketing and luxury brand management through to his expertise in fashion and retail. He built up a strong sense of impeccable customer service as well as an eye for skilled buying. His experience comes from brands like Armani, Gucci and finally Thomas Goode, which introduced him to a new dimension and perspective to clients’ needs. Both of these experiences and backgrounds melded well into what is now ConSept.'
Where did the idea for the ConSept store stem from?
'We felt like everything in life was becoming more and more high street – so many chain stores. We simply wanted to work with more exclusive products from well-established brands and emerging brands that would cater to our customers. Also, we felt that every aspect of our life should complement the other aspects: fashion, interiors, cosmetics and luxury property. As for the name ‘ConSept’, both of our surnames start with letter ‘S’: Samli and Svilar. Starting from this point we decided to use the ‘S’ in the horizontal, alluding to the representation of infinity.'
I love the Philosophy of the brand: 'A handpicked lifestyle offering', it makes you feel like everything has been chosen carefully and specifically...how do you go about choosing brands to feature in-store?
'Everything has become so available, even with super brands – almost everything is now attainable. This is where we come in, to look for what is not readily available, to tirelessly pursue designers that are not oversaturating the market, but have undeniable talent, quality and uniqueness. We hand-select from varied countries and untapped sources, choosing what we believe our clientele would want. In working with well-known luxury brands, it is a matter of their trust, that we’ll look after and respect their brand values, and our little black book of contacts really gives them that final push to work with us and to give us priority.'
I'm totally, utterfly in LOVE with the Karl Lagerfeld candles that your store offers! What other lovely bits will we be seeing coming to the store in 2016?
'Our ConSept Fashion Mug project that we worked on with a very talented illustrator. There was great synergy between us and we are very happy with the results. It has become a ConSept "must-have" for everyone who is into fashion, and it is only a start. Using the mug as a stepping stone, we have now launched a whole ConSept Fashion China (fine bone) range. You can literally eat off of a plate featuring your favourite fashion icon in profile.'
You've recently opened the doors of the store in the heart of Chelsea, London. What's the interior feel of the shop like? For those of us who haven't had the opportunity to step in?
'It was once mentioned in a magazine that the shop is like Aladdin's secret cave. Although the decoration and the concept changes twice a year, in the middle of the shop there is a 2-metre-long, gold chain, Vistosi chandelier that looks like metal but it is actually a Murano glass, crystal chandelier. This chandelier definitely pulls the eye up to the ceiling upon entering the store. Then when you walk in you see a 3-metre-high Fabergé Egg ‘cabinet’ holding the most exclusive items in the store. Our exclusive range of Fashion China decorates the walls, along with a selection of designer mirrors, which makes shoppers want discover every single fashion item on the rails.'
Talk us through this idea of ConSept's ‘different approach to shopping' – what are you offering that is different from other stores on the street?
'Our clients come to ConSept because they know that they are going to find unique fashion, jewellery, home furnishings, art, and beauty products that you can’t find anywhere else in London. For example, we sell S-Dress, which Amal Clooney was wearing recently and we’re the only stockiest of this brand in London. We’re also selling Elisabetta Panerai coats (recently seen on Kate Moss), Welton fragrances, which you can’t find anywhere else and an array of unique pieces from Switzerland, Lebanon and Croatia that are undeniably exquisite and only available from us. When Kylie Minogue came to the store, she was blown away.'
What are YOUR favourite pieces currently within the store?
'Definitely our own Fashion China range and our own designer T-shirts that include ‘God Save McQueen’ and a set of crystal wings on the back of one design.'
If you had to choose a celebrity/model to be the 'face' of ConSept – who would it be and why?
'We are lucky enough to already have a few A-list celebrities in our store and they are great representatives of our brand because each celebrity brings a different side of our store alive. If we need to name names, we really think Emma Watson and Angelia Jolie would appreciate the global edit, that Iris Apfel would love everything from the jewellery to the décor, that Lady Gaga would like to dine from our Fashion China and that Beyoncé would quite like the amazing thigh-high boots that we sell.'
What other stores inspire you? What experiences elsewhere have you loved?
'Collette in Paris, 10 Corso Como in Milano and Just 1 Eye in LA.'
What's your personal style like?
'AS: You can't go wrong with a crisp shirt and nicely fitted jeans, and I love my designer trainers. To accessorise, I like to keep it minimal – a nice belt and a watch do the trick. GS: I like to mix a little bit of London cool and Paris chic. So I might wear a pair of fitted black jeans, YSL boots, a t-shirt or collared shirt, a blazer and lots of bracelets.'
Who's personal style do you love at the moment?
'For guys, Adam Gallagher always looks well put together, regardless of if he’s in a city or travelling remote. For gals: Gigi Hadid. It would be incredible to dress her head to toe in items from ConSept and we would love to see Anna Wintour in the store. We have a lot of pieces that would complement her signature, bobbed hair.'
'It starts with the team meeting to set the goals for the day and the week. We may then change some visuals to make the store look a bit fresher and different. Depending on where we are in the season, we may be accepting and displaying new deliveries and going trough private orders. We’ll spend time contacting clients and updating our client list, and updating social media and our product portfolio.'
Finally, will you be selecting gifts from the store for your loved ones for Christmas? Are there any specific pieces you would recommend for those of us stuck for ideas?
'Definitely. As mentioned, our Fashion China range has been a winner so far. Apart from that, the limited edition Karl Lagerfeld candles and the ConSept designer T-shirts are perfect for stockings or for under the tree.'
A HUGE thank you to Goran and Ali for answering my questions!
All images are sourced from ConSept/Forward PR
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