Bottega Veneta Handbags 2015

30 names down for Balenciaga’s black and white striped skinny trousers and it’s growing daily. Lanvin is new to Selfridges so there’s no stock on the shopfloor, but by December last year the store was inundated with requests for the label’s black kimono dress.

A word of advice: when your piece arrives in store and you get the call, be quick to collect it, as most stores only allow you 48 hours before they pass it on to the next person on the list. Gabriele Hackworthy waited three months for Chanel’s limited edition grey “2.55” bag. “When it arrived, the salesgirl called and left a message on my work phone, which I didn’t get until Monday morning, by which time they had sold the bag to someone else,” she says. Luckily for her, Chanel was able to track down another bag in one of its Paris stores.

“The product won’t hit Selfridges’ shopfloor until we have gone through everyone on the list,” continues Mullaney. “In all honesty, many of these items never get there.” It doesn’t just happen at Selfridges. “Many of the products from our ‘look book’ never make it into Matches’ shops, as requests often far outweigh supply,” says Tom Chapman. “We work on a first come, first served basis so sometimes even being on a waiting list won’t guarantee you get the piece.”

When a product reaches megastar status, stores reorder, but it’s not as simple as picking up the phone and asking for another 100 Lariats please. “It depends on the brand,” says Mullaney. “Mouret is particularly tricky. When we reordered the Galaxy dress, the order couldn’t be met as the company simply ran out of cloth. It sounds bizarre, but you have to remember that Harvey Nichols, Harrods and every other Mouret “I daren’t be too aggressive and call each week about my bag. I’d have the fear of God that I’d be shunted down the list for pushy behaviour” stockist would have reordered. There was too much demand. I remember one customer saying she’d wait six months for the Galaxy, but there was nothing that could be done,” says Mullaney.

So are there any hot waiting-list tips? Is it possible to move up a list faster? Opinions vary. “I daren’t be too aggressive. You know, calling the store every week to see if my bag is in yet,” says one waiting-lister who’d rather remain anonymous. “I’d have the fear of God that I’d be shunted down the list for pushy behaviour. These shop girls have huge power hence the bribes that are offered.”

She’s not the only one who has seen £50 notes waved in front of unsuspecting shop girls. “I’ve seen every trick in the book. There are bribes offered left, right and centre. It does happen, but it’s no use,” confirms a spokeswoman for one luxury brand. “I saw my dentist recently,” she continues, “and she took me to one side and told me what I needed doing, then she said, ‘Listen, I’m sure we can come to some arrangement. I’m on the waiting list for something and I want to be bumped up it.’ She wasn’t even after a discount she just wanted to be moved up the list.” Of course her position on the list remained unchanged and the woman paid outright for her dental work.

But according to Rachel Roy, who is currently sitting on a waiting list for, to use her own words, “almost everything by Giambattista Valli” and a basket-weave bag by Bottega Veneta, the best thing is to develop friendships with shopfloor staff. “I have salespeople in particular stores who will not only search far and wide for what I’m looking for, they will also move me up lists. ” Granted, her status is greater than your average shopper, but I have it on good authority that even Madonna had to pay for her own Spy.

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