What really makes a great closet is the person behind it. - Erin Kleinberg & Stephanie Mark, The Coveteur
File this one under brilliant: The Coveteur takes readers inside the closets of the fashion industry's most influential movers and shakers. Whoa! Who wouldn't want to snoop inside the covetable closets of Anna Dello Russo (editor-at-large for Japan Vogue), Heather Marks (model), Lauren Conrad (designer), Nicky Hilton (Paris Hilton's sister and entrepreneur) or Kyle Richards (TV personality) – to name just a few. It's a great idea that's turned the Coveteur into a wildly popular site in just over a year. Founded by designer Erin Kleinberg and stylist Stephanie Mark (Canadian BFFs since childhood) and captured through the lens of photographer Jake Rosenberg, The Coveteur offers an intimate look at the most private places and creative influences of today's fashion trendsetters.
We caught up with Erin and Stephanie of The Coveteur to find out why fashion's tastemakers are willing to let them into their most personal spaces, what people want to buy when they can shop the those closets – and what celebrity wardrobes they'd love to explore.
Closets are really personal spaces – which is what makes your site's conceit so brilliant. Does it ever take convincing to get someone to open their closet for you? Yes and no. We spend a ton of time casting our Coveteurs and sometimes it takes a little coercing to reassure people that their comfort level is our utmost concern. We give our subjects a level of creative control because we know that it can seem very intimate. But, to be honest, many of our Coveteurs have reached out to us directly! There's a long list of people who were (and still are!) begging for The Coveteur treatment … so you can definitely expect the roster to keep growing. It's only getting bigger and better!
What makes a great closet? What do you love to see? A great closet is full of a few key things: colour, character and crazy organization. Oh, and tons of accessories! We have an affinity for a lot of labels (i.e. Proenza Schouler, Celine, Peter Pilotto, CHANEL, Tom Binns. etc.) so whenever we come across something from those archives our excitement level goes through the roof. Our other favourite part of scouring someone's closet is digging up treasures they forgot they had. We have a crazy skill for finding things buried inside closets that a person has long forgotten about. It's really exciting for us to find rare CHANEL bags or vintage pieces. We're huge vintage collectors so usually those are the pieces that impress us the most. But what really makes a great closet is the person behind it.
Your photographs of closets are stunning. Do you find people approach you just because they want a beautiful record of things they cherish? Possibly! But we think people approach us because they want to be able to showcase themselves in a way that gives the world an intimate peek into a side that the public doesn't necessarily see. We think the fact that it is tightly shot, carefully-curated vignettes is what is intriguing. It goes back to the quote that sparked it all for us by Dries Van Noten: "It's more interesting to have just a picture of a small detail - then you can dream all the rest around it. Because when you see the whole thing, what is there to imagine?" We're only offering a small snippet of a person's home. We don't overexpose their space or show too much – it gives you enough to feed that voyeuristic curiosity without giving it all away. Also, we think people approach us because they want to be apart of something that feels so exclusive. We handpick all our Coveteurs because we feel that they all fall under the umbrella of being influential tastemakers at the top of their respective field. They're people who we deeply respect and greatly admire!
What are some of the personal closet favorites you've covered recently and what made them special? We have an ongoing joke every time we finish a shoot that "that person was our favourite" or "that person was the nicest!" It's so difficult to say! We've be afforded amazing opportunities, collaborating with CHANEL, Bulgari, Chloe and a ton of others. We've gone to Paris with CHANEL, saw the Paris-Bombay collection, Coco Chanel's apartment (we will never forget that one!), celebrities, editors, stylists, etc. We all have our most memorable moments! Interviewing and photographing Karl was overwhelming and unforgettable. We've travelled to London, Paris, NYC and LA – but we think the best is yet to come. Like we said, it's only getting bigger and better. We want it to be a global brand that goes around the world to tackle top tastemakers in every field.
What closet from someone in the past would you love to get inside? There are so many! We're so nostalgic about the 90s – we recently gave Cher Horowitz from Clueless the (virtual) Coveteur treatment. We would have died to go into her closet. We love how au courant it feels now. The whole post was about revisiting a classic and seeing the cyclical side of fashion – that's what we're all about. When we shoot it's not about the "it" bag or shoe, it's about revisiting past trends and seeing how they all still feel so fresh because fashion is always repeating itself. Other notable people of the past: Michael Jackson (clearly!), Biggie, Tupac, Jimi Hendrix, Fran Drescher in The Nanny, James Dean, Audrey Hepburn … the list is endless.
What about your current wish list – who's closet would you love to tour? Hugh Hefner has always been at the top of our list. There is a long list of others: Michelle Obama, Diane Von Furstenburg, Mark Zuckerberg (after all, The Social Network is what started this whole thing), Elle and Dakota Fanning, Karl Largerfeld, Anna Wintour, Lana Del Rey, Lena Dunham, Steven Tyler, David Bowie, Suri Cruise, Lebron James … it's a pretty wild list, but we can't give it all away! ;)
You've added 'shop the closet' – marrying e-commerce to your profiles. Dangerous! What are the most popular items people have shopped? Accessories are always a favourite. Plus, you don't really need to know your bag, arm or neck size. A piece of jewelry or a handbag looks good on anyone – no trying on necessary.
Tell us about your closets – what are your most treasured items at the moment? Most of our vintage pieces from various shops in LA, NYC and Palm Springs or our family's closets are probably are most treasured pieces. We both love our Proenza bags and tend to magically buy matching styles – completely accidental. We just have such a similar aesthetic. Our actual styles are very different but we gravitate towards similar pieces.
Follow The Coveteur on Twitter @thecoveteur.
[All photos by Jake Rosenberg]