When Driven by the financial crisis in 2008; Entrepreneur and fellow Pakistani Sabrina Sadiq founded Luxury Promise with a vision to be a leading luxury goods marketplace powered by best-in-class curation, connectivity and technology. Mama of three, workaholic and innovation guru, we catch up with Sabrina about her recently launched app focusing on artificial intelligence and the best type of investments to make for ladies that especially love their bags! Having opened her first office in the Bvlgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, London, she has recently shifted to Dubai to launch the second leg of her business in the middle east, where the designer craze is so real!
Tell us a little about your background in luxury items?
I spent over 10 years in the luxury goods industry sourcing, authenticating and advising high-net-worth individuals, corporates and concierge companies across many on the world’s leading luxury brands, including Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. I launched the UK’s first school of authentication centred around beating the counterfeit market and how to spot fakes.
What made you start Luxury Promise, tell us about how it all came together?
For several years, I had been closely following the development of pre-loved luxury goods marketplaces across the world as many of the leading platforms were clients. During 2015/2016, my husband and I had began investing in Artifical Intelligence and Augmented Reality focused technology startups. We started to put ideas into motion through research and development technology projects, at that point we formed Luxury Promise, an Artifical Intelligence powered, pre-loved luxury goods platform, focused on disrupting a $18 Billion industry.
What did you do prior to Luxury Promise?
Prior to establishing Luxury Promise, I established businesses in Real Estate investments, Luxury Goods concierge and my three beautiful boys came into my life!
What made you want to delve into the world of Luxury Goods?
I was first exposed to the world of luxury goods during law school and the financial crisis, where many students came to class wearing Birkin and Kelly bags – not only were they pretty bags, the one thing I learned is that when the financial world was crumbling, the rich were still buying Birkin’s and prices kept going up. The Luxury Goods was actually recession proof!
I was lucky to join my husband on his business trips across the world and during our travels I would visit preloved stores selling used Chanel, Hermes, Louis Vuitton and much more. I made it my mission that wherever I went in the world I would develop relationships with professional resellers. Luxury Promise was established as a safe market place, ensuring authenticity as well as condition and all powered by best-in-class technology.
If we want to buy something, how does it work with Luxury Promise?
It is very simple! You sign up and become a member via our website, www.LuxuryPromise.com or our app which is available on Android and Apple.
If you see an item you like you can add it to your basket and simply check out paying via card or bank transfer if you prefer.
You are a pioneer in integrating artificial intelligence with your newly launched Luxury Promise App, how does this work?
In June 2018, we launched a proprietary technology platform which is the first of its kind. Luxury Promise now gives clients the ability to instantly price the products they wish to value, beginning with the top 20 most in-demand luxury goods.
We have built and trained our own neural networks, with a focus on visual recognition.
What can we do via your App?
You can sign up to become a member to browse, purchase and/or consign goods from your wardrobe and drawers and turn it into cash. The platform currently offers a broad selection of watches, diamonds, bag and shoes. We also have a section for new brands. Giving are users a wider access of not just major luxury fashion brands but new and up and coming brands.
The app allows you build your wish list and keep up to date with all the luxury fashion trends.
What made you want to delve into the world of Luxury Goods?
I consider myself fortunate to wake up doing what I love for a living. I believe in following one’s passion and consider myself fortunate to be able to combine my passion for luxury goods with a globally scalable and disruptive business.
I wanted to develop a one-stop shop platform that enables consumers to cash in on their luxury goods in with speed and certainty of authenticity.
Where are you located in London?
We are based at the Bvlgari Hotel Knightsbridge.
Where are most of your clients from?
Our customer base is global with growing numbers from the Middle East and Asia.
We believe you have now opened Luxury Promise in Dubai?
Yes, we have expanded into Dubai to provide a gateway to our customers in the GCC and Asia.
How difficult is it to get a bag directly from Hermes?
Hermès is well known to be the brand who would make the Queen of France delay her coronation so her horse carriage could be fit by Hermes. The Hermes Birkin and Kelly are one of, if not the most exclusive luxury bags out there.
With a limited amount made every year and colours changing every season it is the most coveted piece in the world of luxury bags.
How does it work with the second handmarket?
You can now sell pre-loved luxury goods safely through Luxury Promise and our buyers are guaranteed authenticity on every item purchased.
When an item is listed on our site, we ensure that the item is correctly described with our expert buyer and authentication team. Our expert curation team go will deploy a series of proprietary in-house authenticity techniques.
Our platform provides a safe marketplace to buy and sell luxury goods and we have a 100% track record in ensuring authenticity.
Who sells you their products and what are the reasons behind this?
Our customer base is diverse and the reasons for clients consigning or selling through Luxury Promise varies from customers decluttering their wardrobes, wanting to sell through a trusted marketplace, crystallise an investment for hard cash or simply wanting to discreetly sell their luxury goods from the comfort of their own homes.
Are Hermes bags really investment pieces?
Yes of course. They have even proven to be better investments then the US stock market or gold over a market cycle. Put it this way, I would rather be given a birkin or a kelly than a gold bangle as a gift.
Tell us about your background as you are from Pakistani descent as well?
My father was born in Jhelum and migrated to London when he was 11 years old. He went on to become one of the first Pakistani criminal barristers and later a successful businessman. He inspired me to aim for the moon and how to achieve something out of nothing or very little.
Have you sold to celebrities or Royalty?
Yes, we pride ourselves as being the premier destination for vintage and pre-loved Luxury Goods. We have had both consignees and buyers varying from Hollywood, Bollywood, Silicon Valley and Royal Family members, trusting Luxury Promise to deliver a a high quality service with speed, the highest level of discretion and ensuring authenticity every time.
How would you describe your signature style?
It’s got to be the blazer with a Birkin or Kelly bag. They can dress up any style and you never know who you might meet. If I am with the children, I swap Hermes for my Goyarde or more recently I have adopted the Fauré Le Page as my Tote bag.
Your favourite people (photographer/magazine/celebrity/designer) to work with?
Right now Luxury Promise and the rest of the world I’m sure has there eyes on Kylie Jenner’s wardrobe. For us yes she has a range of amazing bags but she has many preloved hand bags which are not current pieces. True hand bag collectors know what is limited edition and know which items are no longer available and are willing to buy used bags because they know they can’t walk into a store and buy it. Kylie Jenner is a true connoisseur when it comes to hand bags.
Examples of her vintage hand bags are. The Hermes kelly ado backpack. This bag Hermes no longer so if you wish to buy this bag you can only buy it in the second hand market. She has a large collection of amazing vintage bags.
What are the challenges of your job?
Being a mother of three and running a million-dollar business has its challenges but in turn, it never feels like work as I am doing what I love. And I have the best team who I wouldn’t be able to do this without. The biggest challenge is always around ensuring the children are happy as I believe life starts at home.
Who are your personal favourite designers?
My personal favourites would have to be Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Goyarde for hand bags.
For jewellery Cartier and Van Cleef and Arpels.
For watches Rolex and Patek Phillip
IT bag and shoe for the season?
Currently it’s all about the logo mania. Print is back and vintage is in. The Dior saddle bag which was brought back. I love the Fendi Zuccaprint, which has has made a comeback – this proves the point that fashion has become sustainable. It can be used again and again even 20 years later.
Would you like to explore opening Luxury Promise in Pakistan in the future?
Yes, we have a growing customer base from Pakistan and with many of the leading luxury brands yet to expand into Pakistan, we would like to explore establishing a presence in Luxury Promise in the future.
Advice to those wanting to get their hands on a rare or exotic bag?
If you find one that is available in the secondary market, the first step is to confirm authenticity. If the seller is reputable and you can purchase it at lower than the resale price, buy it!
The world of exotics is a specialist segment so definitely spend time doing your research and understand the product your buying. These bags are great investment pieces and like any investment it’s good to do your homework.
INTERVIEW: ALYZEH RAHIM
PHOTOSGRAPHS COURTESY OF SABRINA SADIQ