Curated by the Realreal: How We Source One-of-a-kind Finds
There’s no doubt about it: whether you’re shopping online or in real life at our stores, luxury consignment is all about the hunt. You never know what you’ll find scrolling through the site or perusing the racks, and master shoppers will all concur that having a discerning eye is key. This expertise is indispensable for Kaitlin Kivetz, our LA-based Retail Image Manager, who handpicks a large portion of our Curated By The RealReal collection.
One-of-a-kind art and sculpture, under-the-radar lifestyle brands and vintage treasures all fall into this luxe catch-all. Many would be at a loss when tasked with finding such distinctive and noteworthy pieces, but in fact it is Kivetz’s speciality. If studying fashion design in Paris, kicking off a career in the costume design department on Sex and The City and working for Ralph Lauren and Brunello Cucinelli were not enough of a foundation, Kivetz was also The Row’s Brand Manager, curating the assortment of handbags, shoes and ready-to-wear in the brand’s US speciality stores. In short, she’s been training for this role for years.
We recently caught up with Kivetz at our West Hollywood store to explore the latest pieces she’s sourced. Read on for a rundown on what catches Kivetz’s eye, how to create your own aesthetic and what you can score exclusively at 8500 Melrose for your home.
How was the “Curated By The RealReal” collection established?
Once The RealReal entered the bricks-and-mortar space, we quickly saw the opportunity to tell a complete story, complementing the product we receive from our consignors with beauty essentials, books, art and a selection of vintage and unique pieces. I now source most of the product included in the “Curated By The RealReal” umbrella.
What’s a day in the life like for you at The RealReal?
Honestly, it’s different every day, which I love because it keeps things interesting. Typically my days include being at the West Hollywood store for a few hours to work on editing racks, seeing new product and choosing new mannequin looks. I’ll have several meetings with different merchandising, home and creative teams, and then in the afternoon I often go out sourcing product. In the evening, I work on different mood boards depending on what projects are happening at the moment.
Kait displays the work of Sally Ann McKinsey Sisk, available both in our LA store and online.
When you’re on the hunt, what are you looking for?
I tend to lean towards more minimal, well-made pieces that may have an interesting narrative behind them. Thinking in terms of characters and personalities helps guide me. And as I’ve grown in my career, I’ve gathered a bank of knowledge, and that knowledge guides my hunt. From my education and work experience to my personal interest in vintage, I’ve become submerged in this lifestyle of curation. I love Japanese ceramics and furniture from Italy, Denmark and France, and over time my eye has been trained to spot great quality and to identify the origins of certain pieces.
What advice do you have for those who want to create their own aesthetic within their space?
Identify your taste. Travel, go to flea markets, visit art galleries. Find what’s interesting to you. Sometimes you can create a space around a certain piece, and mixing different materials and elements is a good way to make a room come to life. With mid-century modern furniture, for example, it’s important to balance it with ornate pieces and other textures — wood with marble, ceramic with leather, et cetera. Your space should communicate your own personality and perspective.
A ceramic vase by Ynez Johnston, available at our LA store.
Tell us about some of the curated pieces currently in the West Hollywood store.
This ceramic vase is by Ynez Johnston, an American artist born in Berkeley, California in 1920. She’s a modernist whose travels to different countries around the world helped inform her work. Her paintings, ceramics and prints speak to different cultures and ancient stories, both real and imagined. This vase is a real conversation piece that can easily add texture and interest to a study, living room or foyer. When people think about art within their own home, they usually think about a piece hanging on their wall. But there are other ways to incorporate art into your space.
A Murano glass bowl, available at our LA store.
This dish is made of Murano glass. The island of Murano is Europe’s oldest glassmaking capital, dating back to the early 1400s. Murano glass, sometimes referred to as Venetian glass, is hand-blown, and should show bubbles and asymmetry. The bullicante technique is used to add controlled bubbles to a piece, and is one of the most recognizable Murano glass-making techniques.
Georg Jensen SKY Shaker Set, available at our LA store.
Georg Jensen was a Danish silversmith who created minimal yet luxurious ergonomic designs. This Georg Jensen shaker set was designed by Aurélien Barbry for the brand. It crystallizes Jensen’s vision of pieces that are both functional and beautiful. Each of the brand’s pieces have a purpose and can live in your home as art, plus they hold an extremely high resale value.
A leather Laverne T chair, available at our LA store.
This leather Laverne T chair was designed in the 1960s by husband-and-wife duo Erwine and Estelle Laverne. Mid-century modern design is having a big moment right now, and many stores mass produce replicas of original 1960s designs inspired by Eames, Herman Miller, Knoll and Laverne. Yes, you can get this aesthetic at a lower price point, but those items have no historical or resale value. This chair is an investment piece, plus it was designed and made in America, a rare thing these days. Also, fun fact: Beyoncé owns the rest of the chairs from this set!
Terra cotta pots from Italy, available at our LA store.