The Luxury Closet, a leading resale platform in the Middle East, is launching in the U.K. on Tuesday, as it looks to expand its footprint in Europe.

Mona Kattan, an investor in The Luxury Closet alongside her sisters Huda and Alya, believes the platform’s VIP concierge service would do well in the U.K., as many affluent Middle Easterners flock to London year-round, residing in areas including Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Edgware Road.

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The Kattan sisters are among the principal shareholders of The Luxury Closet, alongside Middle East Venture Partners, GMP Capital, Wamda Capital, Knuru Capital and Precinct Partners. They took a stake in 2020 via their private office Huda Beauty Investment.

The company has raised a total of $32 million since launching in 2012.

Kattan, the cofounder and global president of Huda Beauty, recalled in an interview how Kunal Kapoor, chief executive officer and founder of The Luxury Closet, was talking passionately about how he wanted to make fashion more accessible.

“That’s something I relate to because, growing up, I couldn’t afford luxury things,” she said. “Even in university when I got my first job, it took me a while to be able to afford a Chanel bag. So for me, what The Luxury Closet stands for is not only sustainability, it’s also accessibility.

“I’m all about inclusivity. Like our beauty brand, and everything that we touch, it’s about making people feel included. Fashion is one of the most exclusive industries there is, and I hate that part of it. It’s 2022. Everyone should be going into stores and feeling good about themselves, but it’s still not the case,” she said.

“Platforms like The Luxury Closet are giving people an opportunity to feel they’re part of a brand. I also love that they’re big on making sure things are authentic because I used to go shopping in vintage stores, and I bought things that were counterfeit by mistake,” Kattan added.

Kattan said she recently purchased an Hermès classic Togo leather 25 black Birkin with gold hardware from the site.

“I actually stopped buying so much from the Hermès stores after investing in The Luxury Closet because I can get exactly what I want. Yes, I’m paying a premium, but I don’t have to buy a saddle, which I don’t even know where I’m gonna put in my house,” she said.

Kattan was referring to the brand’s habit of encouraging customers to buy other items alongside their big-ticket, in-demand bags. Hermès has said it does not endorse such a policy.

Landing page of The Luxury Closet. - Credit: Courtesy

Landing page of The Luxury Closet. – Credit: Courtesy

Courtesy

Having established itself as the leading player in the booming luxury resale market in the Middle East, the company is now looking to expand to other markets.

“We’re really focusing on the U.K. and Europe right now. And we do have an appetite to go into the U.S. because I am an Arab American. For me, the U.S. has always been an important market,” Kattan said.

She added that the company picked the U.K. as the launch pad because there is a big overlap between those who go to the U.K. and Dubai, and the talent pool for luxury e-commerce is much bigger in London.

The platform offers the concierge service for home pick-up when the seller is listing more than five items and takes a commission from each sale. With certain items, the site will also buy items if they have a strong resale value, such as the Chanel Classic Flap, and Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra bracelets.

While global expansion is on the agenda, Kattan thinks Dubai is still the best place to have the business headquartered because “the inventory the platform gets is next level because people there don’t hoard what they have. When they’re done with it, they pass it on and they’re ready to let go versus other markets.”

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