These days, shopping for clothes is fraught with compromising choices. Do you order something online and just hope that it fits? (“I swear it looked amazing on the model!”) Or carve out an afternoon to trek from one store to another in search of what it may—or may not—have?
But imagine for a moment there’s a third option: attending an intimate gathering in the home of a friend (or perhaps even your own place) dedicated to trying on pieces from cool and emerging brands. There’s a crew of experienced stylists on hand who have pre-selected every item based on the personal tastes of each and every guest. And just in case you start to feel guilty about wanting to buy, well, everything, there’s this to consider: every purchase made at the party benefits a charity organization important to everyone in attendance (like, say, Everytown or Planned Parenthood).
VIDEO: Christy Turlington Burns' Top 5 Fashion Moments
This is the framework for MaisonMarché, a fresh retail concept from Kirna Zabete alum Sarah Easley (she recently sold her half of the NYC-based designer boutique to co-founder Beth Buccini). The idea first struck her when she realized that even her most fashion-savvy acquaintances had little to no time to seek out lesser-known labels or professional styling expertise.
“Everyone I knew would order stuff online and return half of it [because it did not work],” she says. “I wanted to reach these open-minded, sophisticated women and give them an experience where they could not only find pieces they loved but learn exactly how to wear them.”
Turns out those open-minded, sophisticated women wanted the same thing. Easley soft-launched (business-speak for offering the service to a small group of pre-selected people) MaisonMarché, which translates to “house market” in French, last May and has been hard at work planning personalized events for new clients ever since. Perhaps the most satisfying part of the process, however, has been the company’s philanthropic mission. “Giving away a significant portion of the proceeds to an important cause was a key reason for starting this venture.”
This Friday she’ll have another opportunity to help an organization close to her heart at the company’s first East Hampton event to benefit Every Mother Counts, founded by model Christy Turlington Burns in support of quality maternal care around the world. Can't make it? Sounds like you’ll have plenty of chances to hit up (or host) a MaisonMarché fete in the future.
“We are moving full speed ahead,” Easley says. “I’m all in!”
Visit Maisonmarche.com for more information on getting involved.