Gab Waller has always had a passion for fashion and started her career as a personal stylist in Sydney, Australia before finding her true following-personal shopping and sourcing. Her first big break came in 2018 after receiving a call from a close friend and stylist to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley who was on the search for a rare Celine coat. Referred to by WWD as “a personal shopper with the determination of an FBI agent”, she refused to believe the piece was sold out and thus the hunt began. Using her large network of connections and her never-give-up attitude, she was able to locate the piece which lead to a public word of thanks from Rosie herself to her IG followers.
With no funding, but with grit and determination, Gab used her $3,000 tax return to start building her brand. Fast forward a few years and at just 28 years old, Gab’s career has exploded as she continues to develop her successful empire and a growing roster of clients which includes Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Sofia Richie and Hailey Bieber. We recently caught up with Gab, who moved back to LA this year to discuss her flourishing career, how she started in the business and how she locates those hard-to-find pieces and more.
Tell us a little about your background and how you decided to pursue a career in fashion.
GW: I have not actually shared this before, but I started out working in public immigration for the Australian Government. My job entailed a certain level of detective work and so I suppose the more I think about it, its come full circle as I now focus on detective work in fashion. When I worked for the Government, I got to the point where I felt I needed more creativity in my life and I knew that fashion was a pathway I wanted to explore, but I just wasn’t entirely sure which pathway-whether it was magazines or styling or buying. So I did dabble in a few areas and finally landed on styling and sourcing.
Walk us through your process. How do you prioritize requests and can you discuss your sourcing fees?
GW: Most requests are conducted predominantly through Instagram DM and we receive about one hundred requests a day. Requests are entered into a database and the team, our network of global retailers and brand contacts have access to that database. I have an amazing team and we work through the requests based on when we receive them.. I don’t ever want to give up. We have a number of VIP requests and I tend to focus on them.
Our fees are based on a flat-rate of $220 AUD. It doesn’t matter what the item is, whether it’s a beanie or a $10k handbag, it’s all the same rate.
How do you manage shipments? Are they sent directly from you or elsewhere?
GW: We prefer to send everything out in our branded packaging.. this is very important to me. At times, however, the client is on a really tight deadline so in those instances, it’s faster to just ship directly to the client. It’s really on a case by case basis.
Which is your most memorable find?
GW: Finding the Celine coat for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley changed the course of my entire life and everything that came from that introduction. Nothing could ever really top that!
How has your relationship with brands evolved?
GW: In the early days when I was starting out, I have to say it was a struggle, but due to a mix of the incredible press I have received and the celebrity clientele. they are now taking more interest in what I am doing. (Gab has been featured in print issues of Elle UK and Harpers Bazaar with additional coverage on Vogue, Vogue Australia, Marie Claire, W Magazine, and WWD).
Are you ever able to turn off?
GW: Over the past 6 months, I feel as though I am getting a little better. I am in a place where I have such a solid team around me. This has allowed me to take a step back in certain areas. In terms of the day to day, I find I can turn off at times as I don’t have to worry so much knowing that the business will run itself.
Learn more about Gab Waller’s career.