Cover Story: Dato’ Sri Rozita

Translated excerpt from original interview in Majalah WM

When people talk about Kabinet Privé, I imagine the ‘croc’ Hermès Birkin handbags worth hundreds of thousands of ringgit, but that’s not all. These designer handbags make women’s hearts skip a beat. Those who crave for a Birkin or Kelly bag, for example, can they have it? Are the prices the same as at the Hermès boutique?

How difficult or how easy to get what you want depends on the woman herself. I’m of the belief that all women are able to get what they want and achieve their dreams. Some women see designer handbags as an investment, others keep their private collection for future generations. You can also see them as a status symbol. Whichever way you see it, I believe these women can have it.

The rarest Hermès bags can be acquired by invitation only. They are only sold to high-profile clients.

Pricing is very subjective and depends on the specification of a particular bag. Hermès fans know the investment that they have to make and the amount of time that they have to wait to be invited to acquire a Birkin or Kelly bag. Some people have to wait for years, so it’s no wonder that price is not the main consideration. Time is equally important. In fact, to them, time is money.

From my own experience, I know that even if you have the money it is still very hard to acquire a Birkin bag.

I remember a few years ago having to wait in the queue every day for hours on end at Hermès boutiques in London and Paris only to be told that the products had not yet arrived. And when the product eventually arrived at the boutique, other people got ahead of you because there are a lot of people on the waiting list. They would just ask you to come again the next day.

So is Kabinet Privé the solution to this problem, especially for women who desire these magnificent luxury handbags?

That’s right. Kabinet Privé is a short-term solution to finding the most sought-after items that are difficult to get at the Hermès boutique, from the basic pieces to the one-of-a-kind-in-the-world customised HSS bags. Apart from that, as a Kabinet Privé client, you do not have to wait in the queue at all because we offer a private concierge service where we will deliver the bag that you purchase to your door.

Tell us more about Kabinet Privé and what does it offer? Other than going to the boutique, do you offer personal viewing?

Kabinet Privé holds private viewing sessions for our most esteemed clients from around the world. For personal viewing of the rarest items in our collection, prospective clients may get in touch with our private concierge manager at +60 19-332 2772. We take our clients’ privacy very seriously and we do our utmost best to meet their expectations.

What about the super premium items and high jewellery, are these items different from what is available at the boutique and do you take special order? What is the lead time like?

Yes, they are different from the usual items that you can get at the boutique. Items like tiaras and bespoke jewels are designed to the client’s unique taste and style. The lead time depends on the complexity of the design. For signed items, it may take up to three to six months.

For you personally, why do you collect these luxury items, other than for your own personal satisfaction? Do you see them as high-yield investments and can you give a specific example?

Certain luxury items are considered as an alternative investment asset class to many high-net-worth individuals the world over. The legendary Birkin bag remains dominant in the luxury world because of its scarcity. To quote the US CEO of Hermès, “Customers appreciate the quality, craftsmanship and timeless style.”

In terms of investment value, for example, a Birkin 25 on average appreciated over 300 per cent in 2000 and a lot of exotic pieces were going for six-figure price tags.

I was told that your clients are not only based locally. How do you manage your international clientele from across the globe?

About 80 per cent of Kabinet Privé clients are international. Apart from Malaysia, we also have offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. The market is very niche, there are very few credible sellers in the world.

Tell us more about your latest venture.

Stay tuned for Kabinet Privé X.

How about your passion for fashion? Do you follow the latest trends and what is your approach to dressing yourself with items from your own luxury collection?

To me, luxury is all about comfort. In a sense, I don’t really follow the latest fashion trends. I just wear what I am most comfortable in. I don’t change my handbags every day but I try to wear them well, even when I’m just going out shopping for groceries. I occasionally wear the jewellery that I have. I don’t feel that I have to wear designer ‘outfit of the day’ (OOTD) all the time. Some labels fit me well, some don’t. What excites me the most about fashion is the variety they come in; how the different pieces evolve over time. After all, all women are beautiful in their own unique style.