Photo:Courtesy of Gab Waller
Some may view shopping as a fun and frivolous hobby (not us!), but in reality, it's a sport. It takes true skill to be able to find a rare and coveted designer piece, especially when it comes down to a 24-hour or less deadline. Just ask Gab Waller. At just 28 years old, the Australian buyer has become the magic maker for clients looking to get their hands on pieces like a sold-out, in-demand Prada bag. One may even call Waller the Indiana Jones of shopping.
Waller's prowess for sourcing sold-out designer pieces for clients all over the world earned her celebrity clients like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Khloe Kardashian, and Hailey Bieber. (The latter of whom scored two "miracle finds," including an oversize Balenciaga coat and a Celine coat from fall 2018.) In our latest episode, Waller tells us the secrets of her personal-shopping business, including the most over-the-top item she had to source and what her clients are still trying to get their hands on a year later. Don't forget to tune in to the podcast to hear the full chat.
I read that you can typically confirm the location of an item within 24 hours. Can you walk me through a little bit of what that process looks like?
In terms of how the sourcing process works as a whole, everything at this point in time comes through via Instagram or via email. And all we need to begin any hunt is an image of the exact item and the size. From there, it gets logged in our database, and that's when we begin the hunt, essentially. The one thing I have learned being in this business is how fast-paced it is. Something that may be available right now could potentially be sold in less than 30 minutes. You really can't be twiddling your fingers, and I thrive off that. I think that's why I love what I do so much. I love that fast-paced environment. Being three and a half years in, there are certain requests that we receive that I know exactly who to go to for it, where it's quick and easy, and we're able to snatch that up straight away. There are others where we really have to do some extensive digging. With that 24-hour turnaround, it certainly does happen, and that's where it really comes down to knowing and having that finger on the pulse of what region might be the best one to reach out to, because we source globally from all over the world. So I may go, "Okay, let's go straight to London for this, or let's jump straight to Dubai for this."
What has been the most difficult thing to source?
There are a couple of things that jumped to mind. Certainly that post–Rosie Huntington-Whiteley coat era and that old Celine boom. That definitely tested my abilities back then of just how much old Celine I could source, with some of those pieces being so rare in the market, even to this day. I still get requests for the [Celine] Edge sunglasses and things like that. So they are very, very challenging. But other than that, I do look for pieces when it comes to that quantity that we need. So whether it is the Chanel [dad] sandal or the Prada Raffia Tote, we can definitely find one, two, or three, but when it comes to amping up the quantity, that's where it really gets quite challenging. And that is where it's so important to work closely with the brands, too, and they have been so incredible in that regard to really help with that and keep all of my clients happy.
So what about the most over-the-top thing that you've ever had to track down?
It was a particular client that wanted a really incredible Vetements leather jacket. I remember at the time it was like a piece of art. And at that point in time, we were liaising with the brand, and eventually, we managed to have them agree to custom-make it for him. And it was quite a short lead time, but it was sold out, and it wasn't floating around, especially through all my pre-loved private market sourcing that I try to do. So that was really amazing. It was very impressive.
So what are you getting the most requests for right now?
I would definitely say Chanel. The spring/summer collections recently launched, and it was boomed immediately from the runway. It was very vintage inspired, so the swimsuits from them are certainly popping at the moment. The other style was the Saint Laurent Sin sandal. I recently sourced it for Rosie and posted it up on Instagram. It was funny. One of my clients from down in Melbourne texted me, and she's like, "What have you done? You're selling out all of these Sin sandals. I'm in the Saint Laurent boutique right now, and there's been multiple people coming in asking for them, and the sales assistant was saying 'We just don't have them.'" So I always find it so interesting, watching a particular piece that may not have had a demand, and then a certain someone posted it. Miu Miu is certainly having a moment. I'm really excited to see what's coming out from them and the amount of requests that we are receiving. And of course, Prada is always one of our top requests. The Raffia Bags continue to be in demand, and we are continuing to source them. That's an item that has been in demand for a good year now. So to have that amount of time where it's still popping, it's very interesting.