The Butler’s Closet, elegant & supreme luxury wardrobe care

The Butler’s Closet, elegant and supreme luxury wardrobe care. Our clothes have always represented a visage of who we are and sometimes who we want to be. So, whether you are a gentleman with fine eastern silks and Savile Row Tailoring or a lady with a couture collection of taffeta, lace and finery looking after our luxury wardrobe is important.

Having my Stowers of Savile Row Fitted – A piece of fine tailoring that needs looking after

We would like to introduce The Butler’s Closet a luxury wardrobe care company I can say with all sincerity has great pedigree.

The Butler’s Closet

1 Rivermere, Lake Avenue

Bronxville, NY 10708

www.thebutlerscloset.com

Suit Garment Cover open
The Butler’s Closet, elegant and supreme luxury wardrobe care – Suit Garment Cover open

The values of a company and their originator is this case Barbara Harman I believe tells you a great deal about the products you wish to purchase.

At Gentlemans Butler we spend a great deal of time researching and developing links with likeminded companies and individuals all with the purpose of bringing you the best and products and services that deliver.

Today we wish to bring you 5 products that we feel you will value and, in the process, tell the story of how these came into being which will help you understand their value.

Dryer Balls
Butlers Closet Dryer Balls

Like most people I gain my introductions from a variety of sources including the internet, social media, personal introductions, networking and by-passing shops when out.

The Butler’s Closet and Gentlemans Butler met digitally, how very modern of us, in fact on Instagram and with two names like that, the apple does not fall far from the tree so to speak in that the two businesses did indeed have good synergy and both espoused strong belief that class, elegance and service, values of supreme importance.

In everyday life I highly recommend talking to people, whether that may be the local shop owner when in a new area, the mechanic, concierge or Savile Row Tailor, and always in my opinion listen to your gut instinct. Occasionally it might be wrong but very rarely.

Luxury Shopping from London
Luxury Shopping from London

If you have invested money in your wardrobe, why not protect these important possessions for years to come.

Carefully designed garment bags, shoe bags, clothes brushes and furniture cover’s provide museum quality care. The collection has been developed with the guidance of museum conservators and the fabrics are 100% cotton––free of harmful chemicals with no dye, bleach or sizing.

You may be surprised to know your clothes can be damaged in your closet by a layer of invisible dust. Sharp edges on dust particles can tear good fabrics. Plastic dry-cleaning garment bags trap moisture and release gas, adding more problems.

 

Shoulder Dust Covers – Breathable Cotton – (click on link for more information)

I gather this is their most popular item, something I can completely understand, apart from anything you are getting luxury quality for a very reasonable price and you can usually get more than 1 item in it. Shoulder Dust Covers provide conservation level protection from dust and light in your closet.

100% chemical free cotton, undyed and unbleached. Use these archival grade, breathable cotton covers for suits, dresses, jackets, coats and other items in your closet.

Prevent damage when clothes rub against each other and create snags.

Dust Cover
The Butler’s Closet, elegant and supreme luxury wardrobe care – Shoulder Dust Cover on my Bond Street Black Velvet Gentlemans Jacket

Suit or Tuxedo Garment Covers – (click on link for more information)

Maintain suits and dresses in top condition. Don’t store them in plastic!

Museum quality Suit or Tuxedo Garment Covers provide the best protection for elegant and well-tailored suits or other outfits.

Storing clothes in dry cleaning or other plastic bags is harmful. Plastic bags trap moisture, do not allow fabric to breath, and emit gases that damage your clothing.

Breathable, 100% cotton garment bags are made from undyed and unbleached fabric.

Generous in size with a 4″ gusset, natural Corozo buttons—not zippers—to prevent snags, and an overlapping placket to keep out clothes moths, dust, and light.

Women’s cocktail ensembles, men’s sport jackets, stylish evening jackets, and smart tuxedos require special care.

Tuxedo Garment Cover
The Butler’s Closet, elegant and supreme luxury wardrobe care – Suit or Tuxedo Garment Cover

Dress or Coat Garment Covers – (click on link for more information)

Proper clothing storage is the best way to protect your wardrobe!

The Butler’s Closet Dress or Coat Covers are 100% breathable cotton and chemical free. They provide museum quality storage in your own closet.

Beautiful dresses can get damaged. Delicate trim gets caught and creates permanent snags. Dust is everywhere. Light, even in your closet can affect your clothing. Dry cleaning bags trap moisture and emit harmful gases.

Dress Garment Cover
The Butler’s Closet, elegant and supreme luxury wardrobe care – Dress or Coat Garment Cover

Shoe Shapers–Breathable Cotton – (click on link for more information)

Cotton Shoe Shapers designed to keep your shoes in perfect shape!

Maintain your shoes while in the closet or in your suitcase on the road.

Shoe Shapers were developed with the help of museum conservators. Designed to tightly fill the toe box, they help your shoes absorb perspiration from daily wear and smooth out wrinkles, so shoes retain their original shape. 100% cotton free of dyes, bleaches or sizing. Resin-free batting, excellent for travel and lighter than wooden shoe trees and designed for men’s and women’s shoes.

Shoe Shapers
The Butler’s Closet, elegant and supreme luxury wardrobe care – Shoe Shapers pushed into the toes of Charlotte’s Lucy Choi ladies shoes

Hand Made Dryer Balls: 100% New Zealand Wool – (click on link for more information)

New Zealand Wool Dryer Balls are Pure, Elegant and Effective and will reduce drying time by almost 25%! They help reduce static cling and wrinkles and soften fabrics. Six Dryer Balls which are chemical free and last for up to 1,000 loads.

Dryer balls
The Butler’s Closet, elegant and supreme luxury wardrobe care – Hand Made Dryer balls

 

The Story of “The Butler’s Closet”

After a long and rambling phone conversation discussing both our past’s I was so taken with Barbara’s story, feeling it really told the story of how and why The Butler’s Closet started. So, I have indulged a little as it’s a lovely journey.

I have also left in Barbara’s words as I feel it keeps its kudos.

It also appeals because its another good indicator about the twists and turns of life and how bit by bit one’s life join up but also reinforces how all the differing aspects of one’s career can be useful in ways we had no idea of at the time we experienced them.

 

Barbara …..

In New York, I worked at two advertising agencies (Grey Advertising and Foote Cone and Belding). I was then recruited by Clairol, the hair coloring division of Bristol Myers. Clairol was the client for whom I was working at Foote, Cone and Belding.  After two years at Clairol, I moved to American Cyanamid and joined a small company owned by Cyanamid called Jacqueline Cochran.

 This company had been founded by Jacqueline Cochran a famous American aviatrix. While she had originally created a cosmetics line, at this point in time (many years later) the company distributed two major French fragrance brands–Pierre Cardin’s Man’s Cologne and Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps.  There were also two minor brands–Carven’s Vetiver and a skin moisturizer named Flowing Velvet–the last remaining product from the original cosmetics line.

This division of American Cyanamid was run by Carlo Bilotti, a sophisticated Italian lawyer and art collector.  Our team was small, and I developed a friendship with Freda Robinson, the woman who worked with M. Robert Ricci to build the Nina Ricci perfume business in the United States. At the height of its success, L’Air du Temps was second only to Chanel #5 in the US market.

 

Shoe Shapers
The Butler’s Closet, elegant and supreme luxury wardrobe care – Shoe Shapers pushed into the toes of Lucy Choi ladies shoes

Regularly, Freda received shipments of couture clothing from Paris that were used for promotional activities.  These fabulous clothes came packed in very large, thick white boxes with the Nina Ricci name on the lid stamped heavily in gold underneath an embossed, white on white seal featuring the Three Graces (the graphic featuring three mythological daughters of Zeus representing beauty, mirth and elegance). The lid of each box had a beautiful gold rim around the edge. The boxes themselves were magnificent.

With great ceremony the thick, cream white twill ribbons that held the boxes closed were untied. Inside, swathed in protective white tissue, were magnificent dresses and suits.  My mouth watered seeing this ceremony.

Gifting service
Clive Christian, Luxury British Perfume – Gifting service, with gold and black paper and bespoke wax stamp with chosen initials

After a time, I became the Senior Vice President of Marketing for L’AIr du Temps and began to travel to Paris regularly to work directly with M. Robert Ricci, the son of Madame Ricci the couturier. M. Ricci had built the company in partnership with his mother, Mme. Ricci, and was the creative genius behind the perfume business. He was an excellent businessman as well as a creator and had expanded the company throughout the world. 

After World War II, when he introduced his first perfume, Coeur Joie, he travelled to New York by boat for the launch at Bonwit Teller.  He then flew back to Paris on one of the first trans-continental flights.  We worked closely together for six years.  Every trip to Paris was a delight as I loved everything about the business and working with M. Ricci to expand the business in the US.  Mr. Ricci was in his seventies. He was very handsome throughout his life and maintained a slim physique as he was precise in all he did.  His dress was impeccable––elegant, conservative suits, shirts and ties. We would meet on the ground floor of the boutique in the Nina Ricci building on Avenue Montaigne.  Then we would ride the tiny elevator (covered in a pale buff leather) up to his office on the second floor.

 

During this time, Nina Ricci’s designer for the couture and ready-to-wear was Gerard Pipart. I attended the couture presentations twice a year and had a small clothing allowance for ready-to-wear outfits.  Eventually, M. Ricci decided to open a new company in the US to distribute his perfumes and I became the CEO of that company.  We were building the new office at 9 West 57th Street when he died in 1988, and for the next five years, I worked directly with his son-in-law and CEO of Nina Ricci, Gilles Fuchs. Gilles had worked at Nina Ricci for most of his career and was responsible for launching the Nina Ricci business in Asia. In addition to his business acumen, he is a well-known and highly regarded art collector in France.

As I continued working, I added to my collection of Nina Ricci clothing and still have all the dresses and coats from that time period.

After twelve years, I left Nina Ricci and worked for Harry Winston and the Monet Company and subsequently in the not-for-profit area for The Paley Center for Media and New York University.

Both of my parents had great personal style. My father was a lawyer and businessman and my mother an accomplished musician.  While I did not have a big allowance for my wardrobe, I knew the value of well-made clothing and shoes.  Seeing the Nina Ricci couture atelier, attending the couture presentations, and building a small ready-to-wear wardrobe, added to my appreciation of fabrics and techniques used to create objects of great beauty.

My work at Nina Ricci was the highlight of my career in business and added to my appreciation of luxury and beauty in all forms.

Queen Charlotte’s Ball for Debutante’s in London, which Gentlemans Butler covered.

In addition to my love of all things French, I am also a serious Anglophile.   My husband is an architect and for years we have visited England to see stately homes and other important buildings.  We have visited Chatsworth, Castle Howard, Petworth, Audley End, Wilton House, Hardwick Hall, Kedleston, Knole, Kenwood, Waddeson Manor, John Soame’s House, Chartwell, Standen and the original Glasgow School of Art.  In India, we also saw Lutyens’ New Dehli government buildings. 

My husband likes to sketch and I like to paint with watercolors so we travel and see the homes and sketch/paint to remember the visit.  In 2016 we were tremendously lucky to visit Chatsworth for the second time. They were featuring an exhibit that had been curated by Laura Cavendish, Countess of Burlington and Hamish Bowles of Vogue––House Style: Five Centuries of Fashion at Chatsworth. The exhibition was extraordinary.

In the early 1990s, my husband and I built a house in Columbia County (2.5 hours north of New York).  Having just upholstered some furniture, I was looking on the web to find protective dust sheets like those used in country houses when the “house Is put to bed.”  None were to be found.  I was also searching for museum quality garment covers for the Nina Ricci clothing in my closet.  Again, I turned up empty handed.

La Villa Baulieu, a palace in Provence to love - perfect pillows and crisp white linens
La Villa Baulieu, a palace in Provence to love – perfect pillows and crisp white linens

At that point, I called my husband’s cousin, Phyllis Dillon.  Phyllis is a conservator and curator and I spoke to her and her close friend, Patsy Orlofsky, the founder of the Textile Conservation Workshop. Patsy and Phyllis became my advisors and helped me find the resources to create conservation standard protective covers for clothes, furniture, shoes and linens. It took several years to pull everything together. In 2011, I launched The Butler’s Closet online. 

The conservation of textiles and other works of art is a world unto itself.  To my knowledge, very few resources exist for consumers. In addition, consumers really don’t know much about how to protect their special items and keep clothing from deteriorating or upholstery fabrics from fading.

While developing my designs, I also did quite a bit of reading and bought the National Trust Manual of Housekeeping. In this book, it is noted that current museum conservation techniques have their origins in the work done by butlers and housekeepers who were responsible for the preservation of the extensive collections in the country estates in the United Kingdom (and in other countries). 

 

Inspired by this history, I named the company The Butler’s Closet.  Since then, I have had many happy customers visit and buy my products.  Everything is made in Brooklyn, New York, with the exception of the English horn accessories (made in the UK) and the recently introduced Shoe Shapers (imported).

I run the company with the help of my husband and a number of creative partners.  It is a real joy to have people from around the globe buy my products. With the exception of one other company, I sell exclusively via the web but am open to other partnerships that might be developed.

Castle Howard
Five ladies and a Butler at The White Swan – View of Castle Howard from the fountains

As you can probably tell we are taken by The Butler’s Closet as having fantastic credibility and a must for your luxury wardrobe

Please do feel free to e-mail us at info@gentlemansbutler.com about wardrobe care or styling services which we can provide.

 

 

This is a Sponsored Post, though my thoughts are my own.

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