By Rachel Bosworth
On the South Fork, consignment is often of a higher caliber than most. Previously loved luxury designer fashions and lavish home furnishings are exciting, and expected, finds meant to be passed along to the next admirer. Today these items can be found lining the walls of brick and mortar shops, social media, online stores, and even through personal shopping consultations. Thanks to a fashionista with eye for design, Collette has been answering the call to local and summer elite for the past 17 years.
Tisha Collette opened her first namesake consignment boutique on Jobs Lane in Southampton offering luxury designer fashions in a styled setting that looked like anything but second hand. From the beginning, she hit it off with the epitome of Hamptons clientele. “My very first client when I was first opening the store was Carolina Herrera,” Ms. Collette shares. “She was walking by on her way home and bought a jacket off the mannequin before I was officially open.”
Ms. Collette’s entry to the East End came after 10 years of living in Europe and New York when her modeling career brought her to the East Coast. When she moved to the Hamptons and started a family, she put her fashion experience to use and made her dream of opening a luxury designer consignment store a reality. Ms. Collette selects all the items in her stores, offering a carefully curated mix of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, and furniture.
Specializing in modern trends, Ms. Collette has found many of her customers prefer what’s current right now as opposed to some of the traditional vintage styles. “We’re selling anything and everything you want to wear right now,” she says. “Chanel, Hermes, Louboutin; they’re all staples in the store.”
With the success of her designer clothing boutiques, Ms. Collette transitioned into consignment furniture as well. In March 2017, she moved from her 1,500-square foot Southampton location to a new and larger space in Bridgehampton, adding an additional 2,500 square feet of curated merchandise. One of her current favorite pieces; a four-foot-tall, 24 carat gold leaf Buddha. “That’s a fun piece,” she says of the statue sitting in the store’s window. “I like anything that’s really over the top and fun.”
The flagship home store is something Ms. Collette finds particularly exciting, saying it’s a major part of her business. “I am the only game in town in terms of home consignment, and I’m providing white glove furniture service,” she says, adding they are a full-service furnishings retailer and will pick up and drop off all different types of home décor. “We’ve upped the ante on furniture completely; we’ve taken it to a whole other level. Being able to have this space helps because people really love it.”
Between Manhattan and the Hamptons Ms. Collette had six retail locations, recently downsizing to three, including the new Bridgehampton furniture flagship store. After years of needing to be in multiple places at once, she has now found herself and her business in the right locations. “Southampton has always been my anchor,” Ms. Collette shares, referring to the flagship clothing store and the discount shop, Collette’s Basement, both located on Main Street. “I’ve been spread too thin for so long, and I haven’t been able to be there for my clients, and now I am again. I’m getting back to my roots and focusing on the Hamptons.”
In the fire that devastated Sag Harbor’s Main Street in December 2016, Ms. Collette’s store was one of several businesses that was damaged and permanently closed. “It was a lot to deal with in a very short period of time,” she said, as she was making the move from Southampton to Bridgehampton to expand her furniture business. Despite the tragedy, she is currently looking for a new Sag Harbor location and even has a few leads. “I will be reopening when I find a new space; as soon as the right location presents itself.”
Enjoying the thrill of working with clients hands-on in a constantly changing retail landscape, Ms. Collette’s furniture business continues to grow. She is adding many new designers and artists to her store, and even collecting furnishings and décor from shifting summer rentals. In Manhattan, she still offers in-home consignment pick up, closet restyling and cleanout, and personal styling. Ms. Collette works with all of her interior design clients personally, offering her own insights and sense of style to the most discerning Hamptons shopper.
Collette Luxury Consignment has locations in Manhattan at 1298 Madison Avenue and Southampton at 22 Main Street, with the Collette Home flagship store at 2231 Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton. For more information, visit colletteconsignment.com.