The Carlisle Collection is a
U.S. fashion design
company founded in 1981 by
William Rondina, CEO and Chairman of The Connaught
Group, Ltd, to offer elegant classic clothing and
accessories for women by private appointment. Based
New York City,
the firm has an extensive network of wardrobe consultants
in over 500 cities and upscale suburbs throughout
the United States.
Rondina is a veteran designer who understands what
women in this niche market of affluent professionals
and busy homemakers want: quality and value with
the attention and guidance lacking in most stores.
His twist is the relationship between his sales
team and his customers: a unique relationship that
is peer-to-peer. The Carlisle representatives, called
well-connected socially, draw from their friends
and acquaintances, and build a loyal following.
As The New York Times reported in 2002 inGinia Bellafante's
article "Clothes That Whisper, I Belong to
the Club," the company is predicated on the
idea that the sales staff will inspire loyalty from
the clients because the sellers come from the same
socioeconomic class they do." In fact, the
word-of-mouth network is so powerful that Carlisle
advertises only in Vanity Fair magazine.
Each piece of the wardrobe coordinates; and, the
consultant reviews her records of everything that
has been purchased in the past to guide future combinations
or new looks that can be created by extending what
is already in the client's wardrobe. Attention is
also paid to limiting the sales of new items in
each market so that customers will not be at a dinner
with someone else with the same design.
The company'soffices are located in mid-town Manhattan.
They were designed by Robert Denning of Denning &
On an annual basis, the Carlisle design team creates
a unique silk scarf that benefits the Susan G. Komen
for the Cure foundation. Since 1998, Carlisle's
Fabric of Hope annual scarf program has raised over
$1,600,000 for the foundation's effort to help save
lives and end breast cancer forever.