Photos By Photographybylinzi.com
These days, social occasion dresses are one-hit wonders. Once a woman posts a picture in a fabulous gown on Facebook or Instagram, re-wearing said gown to another event is suddenly off-limits. Of course, that unspoken rule has always applied to brides and their big-day entourages, who often say yes to a pricey dress that will spend the rest of eternity hidden away in a box or in the back of a closet. Call it a “consign of the times,” the owners of glam gown boutique Zola Keller on Las Olas are making a fashion-forward move and opening up their own outlet and consignment shop called Zola Keller’s Secret Closet.
“The new store addresses the question we have heard from our customers for over 30 years: ‘What am I going to do with this gown after the…?” says co-owner Ave Keller, about the small store that will soon open up next to the popular Foxy Brown restaurant on Broward Boulevard.
Keller has been working on this idea for the last 10 years and thinks it makes financial sense for socialites, mothers or brides who are spending a lot of cash on gowns. “Zola Keller’s Secret Closet allows them to recoup some of the original cost,” he says. “For example, if a woman spends $2,000 on a dress, we’ll put it out to sell for $1,000. We’ll split the sale price, $500 each, and they get back 25 percent of what they spent.”
Keller points out that it’s also a chance for women who want a one-of-a-kind couture dress to have the gown of their dreams at a lower price. And since the gowns were made to fit the original owner, Zola Keller also employs six seamstresses so that the frocks can be customized to fit the “new” client.
There are a few golden rules, though. Keller says they will only accept gowns purchased at Zola Keller for an original price of $1,500 and up. And don’t expect to bring over a Monique Lhuillier or Carolina Herrera gown to sell; Keller won’t accept any other brand-name designer dresses except those that are sold in the Las Olas store.
There will also be an outlet component to the new shop, where customers can buy designer gowns and dresses at reduced prices. “There will be hundreds of gowns, bridal gowns, cocktail dresses and suits direct from our suppliers at tremendous savings. But they won’t be the designers’ lower-quality lines that are now being sold in outlets. Zola is a highly respected name in the industry, with numerous resources,” says Keller.
Save the date, the new consignment and outlet shop is slated to open in September.