I've been obsessed with designer goods for a couple of years now but always had trouble justifying the cost for such delights. And then I discovered L'Elegante Limited, a designer consignment store in Yorkville. I got curious about Carmen Dilullo, the sole owner of the store, so she consented to let me ask her tons of questions and it was a great opportunity to talk about our love of everything designer.
Shop a Designer Heaven
For those who have been lusting over that Louis Vuitton bag or the pair of Manolos but can’t afford the price, your dream has become a reality.
L’Elegante Limited, a consignment shop in Yorkville, takes second-hand designer clothing and accessories which must be in flawless condition, and sells them for about one-third of the original price.
Sound too good to be true? Take a walk around the store and you will find goods such as the popular Chanel quilted cambon bag, which normally retails at $1,700 at the boutique. L’Elegante has it for $599.
From furs, crocodile handbags, evening gowns and leather jackets, L’Elegante offers a variety of designer delights such as Armani, Prada, Versace, Dior, Escada and Christian Lacroix.
Carmen Dilullo, the owner and manager, says she loves offering her clients designer goods without maxing out their credit cards.
“What I like is to make people happy. When I see people leaving the store with a smile on their face, I know I’ve done good,” says Dilullo.
L’Elegante receives goods from known suppliers but before Dilullo prices and re-sells them, she inspects them to make sure they are clean and in excellent condition.
If authenticity is ever an issue, she only has to walk a few steps up Bloor Street, also known as designer mecca, and pop into Holt Renfrew or a boutique to verify that an item is real.
L’Elegante opened 30 years ago on Yorkville Avenue until a condominium development in the area forced it to move to Cumberland Street five years ago.
Dilullo has worked at L’Elegante for 11 years and became the owner in January, after the previous owner died.
“When she died, I was very sad because what I liked most about working here was my boss,” says Dilullo. “She showed me the business, how to deal with people and she made me very interested in the business and how to manage a high-end fashion shop.”
Having only been owner for the past couple of months, Dilullo is trying to live up to her predecessor’s legacy.
“It’s a learning experience every day,” she says, noting how lucky she is that she can work in a business she loves and be surrounded by her favourite designers — Max Mara, Prada, Tod’s and Stuart Weitzman.
“I like to see fashion on people and how I can contribute to making them look smart and well dressed,” says Dilullo.
(This story originally appeared in Metro Toronto. Copyright Chloe Tejada 2008)