Michael’s Luxury Consignment is turning 70 and we'll be celebrating all year long!

In today's fast-paced and ever-changing digital landscape, building strong relationships with customers, top clientele, and fashion insiders from around the world has been vital to our longevity and success. While our Madison Avenue brick-and-mortar store continues to serve as the heart of our business, nurturing a vibrant community of loyal consignors and customers, our online store seamlessly extends that foundation, offering the same level of exceptional merchandise, service, and dedication, but with a global reach.

Our knowledgeable staff, experienced merchandisers, and personable customer service are the hallmarks of our company and have kept us at the top of the luxury resale consignment business for seven decades.

We're extremely proud of our history, and we're excited to share this milestone with all of you. To kick things off we asked Laura Fluhr to share a few memories of working in the store with us.

70th Birthday of Michael's Luxury Consignment

Memories of Michael's from Laura Fluhr, co-owner

My Dad, Michael, opened Michael's when I was 9 years old. Like any respectable young lady of the 50s, I was fascinated with the beautiful clothes. I do remember one spectacular outfit we acquired from an exquisitely wealthy member of a fabled railroad family. It was a magnificent long coat and evening gown fashioned in regal yellow brocade. The inside of the coat and the tuxedo trim going down both sides was pure white mink. It was designed by Ben Zucherman, a very big deal back then. I actually wore, to my first black tie event at the Plaza Hotel, a jewel red brocade gown and long coat with black mink trim around the collar. I felt like a princess. I was 19. (There may be a picture around somewhere.)

Laura Fluhr reflects on her memories of Michael's Luxury Consignment

The fashion I wore....

When I became engaged, 1967, I combed the pages of Vogue to find just the right dress. I DID NOT WANT a traditional bridal gown. I found my dress in RED lace! I knew that would be a problem. The dress was designed by Bill Blass for Maurice Rentner. Well, Mrs. Rentner was a client of Michaels. My dad and Mrs. Rentner arranged to have the dress made, especially for me, in white lace. It was stunning!!!

I wore Bob Mackie to two family Bar Mitzvahs in the 80’s, a Carolina Herrera to a gorgeous wedding at the Yale club in the 90’s and Chanel and Hermes to many family and friend gatherings. I always announced where my clothes came from - the best advertising.

When I graduated from college, I had no intention of working in the “family business”. I got married and moved to Chicago with my husband. Over the following ten years, I had three children, earned a MS degree in an unrelated subject and taught school. I never imagined working at Michael's! By 1985, my husband’s job took us back to the NY area. I found myself working part time at Michael's and loving it. Unfortunately, my father became ill and passed away in 1992. I stepped in and took over the business and the rest is history.

Laura Fluhr Michael's Co-owner 70th Birthday

Three questions for Laura Fluhr

Q: How have you seen the consignment and luxury resale business change in recent years?

As a teenager, I recall working at the store on many weekends. I vividly remember how women would worry about running into someone they knew. Hastily, they would gather the items they liked and retreat to the fitting rooms until ready. They would cautiously peek out before coming out. Consignment shopping was a well-kept secret!

Consigning used to be a discreet affair, where privacy was crucial. However, in the past decade, there has been a shift. The Ladies Who Lunch, along with their daughters and granddaughters, now visit post-lunch. People gather at Michael's to socialize and shop together, turning it into a social hub. Consignment shops are no longer a hidden gem in retail but have become popular across small towns, offering a mutually beneficial setup for all involved. The original Michael would be amazed!

Q: What still excites you about the luxury consignment business?

In the consignment business, every day brings unexpected surprises. Consignors often bring in unique items that Michael's has never seen before. Packages arrive daily from various locations, each one like unwrapping a special gift. It's truly satisfying when shoppers discover what they've been searching for at Michaels. I've always trusted the "Consignment Fairy" to never disappoint.

Q: For a business to be in business for 70 years, is truly remarkable. What are three things you believe are key to having a successful business?

My Dad was a charmer. So am I, but in a very different way. He taught me that honesty, integrity were important but to also try and make friends with the client while you are selling. Also, if turning down a consignment, always do it tactfully. Try never to offend a patron.

  1. Unquestionable integrity
  2. Exceptional product
  3. A healthy dose of mazel (Yiddish for luck.)

70 years of Michael's Luxury Consignment
February 21, 2024 — Andrea Fellman

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