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 in 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 consultants, are 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 & Fourcade.
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.