“Which dry cleaner do you use?” is a question as commonly asked as “who does your highlights?” And in South Florida, the answer is most likely going to be Rey’s Cleaners. So, when Garde Robe—the luxury wardrobe storage, valet and cyber closet (more on that later)—opened its Miami branch, they naturally turned to Rey’s as a partner.
Here, we talk to Angel Suarez, who founded Rey’s with his family 30 years ago, about seasonal storage, endless closet space and tackling more than 3,000 pieces of clothing at once.
What was the impetus for Garde Robe?
Necessity being the mother of invention, Garde Robe pioneered the Cyber Closet concept to fill a dire need for white-glove clothing storage and management services. The concept was conceived in 2001 by Garde Robe as a convenient solution for closet-space constrained New Yorkers with voluminous wardrobe collections.
As Miami continues to grow as a playground for the rich and famous, from around the world and especially the East Coast of the United States, Latin America and Europe, Garde Robe offers the services our globe trotting guests will find not only valuable but necessary for their lifestyle. As real estate values continue to increase it makes more sense to use our “endless closet service” than spend thousands of dollars in closet space.
Was there an a ha! moment for you?
Garde Robe’s founder, like many New Yorkers, stored her clothing at the dry cleaner. But when she needed her clothes back for a winter vacation, she couldn’t get them. When she went to the cleaner and saw how the clothes were stored, she was aghast. She figured other New Yorkers would want a more elegant and convenient solution that protected their clothes.
After launching in New York, what was the expansion timeline?
Japan 2007, Califonia 2010, Florida 2013
What services are most popular in the Miami market?
Seasonal storage, preservation of evening wear and luggage packing and shipping.
What's the latest development for Garde Robe?
The Florida launch and we just released the Cyber Closet app for iPad.
What's the most popular service?
Endless Closet Space
Are there any local partnerships at Bal Harbour Shops?
In New York, Garde Robe has strong relationships with the Neiman Marcus Group through Bergdorf Goodman and the St. Regis Hotel. Now that we're in Miami, we're looking forward to building upon those relationships with Neiman Marcus Bal Harbour and the new St. Regis just across the street from Bal Harbour Shops.
What's the largest closet you've taken on?
The largest closet we’ve worked with had 3,500 articles of clothing in it.
Tell us about the Cyber Closet function.
The Cyber Closet provides a “window” for our members to view the contents of their off-site closet at Garde Robe as well as garments in their home closet or in their 2nd or 3rd home(s). It is a fabulous tool for organizing and managing a large collection, and it can be utilized for insurance purposes as well as styling, shopping and packing.
Is there an app available?
Yes, available from the App Store.
Are there plans for more international expansion?
Yes. Europe, Hong Kong, Brazil and the Gulf Cooperation Council, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Luggage-free travel sounds like a dream. Tell us more!
Garde Robe offers a one-of-a-kind Luggage-Free Valet service for business travelers, globetrotters and multiple homeowners who need to access their belongings from various locations. Members keep their clothing, toiletries, sports equipment and personal items in Garde Robe’s care and simply let the company know which items they need, where and when. Garde Robe arranges delivery of desired items prior to the member’s arrival, eliminating the hassle of packing, unpacking wrinkled clothing, waiting in overcrowded baggage claim and Customs lines, and taking worn items to the dry cleaner. As Garde Robe members bypass baggage claim, their wardrobe is being delivered to a hotel room or residence in ready-to-wear condition. Garde Robe packs and ships worldwide, so members can access their belongings anytime, anywhere. At the end of the trip, items are retrieved by a Garde Robe representative or shipped back to the loft for inspection and any necessary cleaning.