As the name suggests, e-tailer Crest & Co’s underlying principle is to offer the finest wares – from interiors and leather goods to jewellery – that have at one time or another been made for the nobility. “Royalty patronise great craftsmen, so I was inspired to seek out goods of such beauty and value that they’re like museum pieces,” says founder Nima Abbasi.
His site is designed like an exclusive members’ club, with a password required for access. Abbasi is discreet about his clients, only saying that they include some of the world’s top designers and tastemakers. Since launching in June, nearly 5,000 people have applied for a password.
A few minutes on the site are enough to assure visitors they’re in the hands of a master curator. For example, Abbasi offers just two fragrance brands, Creed and Kilian. Creed (from $250) created a scent for King George III in 1760 and made Fleurissimo for Grace Kelly on her wedding day. Kilian is made by Kilian Hennessy of the legendary cognac family, and his rare scents Don’t Be Shy and Straight to Heaven (second picture, both $245) are available on the site.
Leather goods are a particular passion for Abbasi, who travelled to the rim of the Arctic Circle to visit Böle, leather suppliers to Swedish royals since 1899. “Each bag takes 12 months to hand dye, cut and sew, creating unbelievably supple and beautiful pieces,” he enthuses. “Böle has the last natural spruce tannery in the world. This was a community of craftsmen in danger of obscurity.” Crest & Co stocks items from iPad cases ($460) to a King rucksack ($10,600, third picture) originally created for the King of Sweden. Other fine-leather pieces include overnight bags ($800, fourth picture) and weekender versions ($920) from British maker G Ettinger – supplier to the Prince of Wales.
Elsewhere, exquisite crystal (such as a Lobmeyer perfume bottle based on an 1840 design, $5,100, first picture) and silver (caviar and vodka set by Thomas Bastide for Austrian silversmith Wiener Silber Manufactur, $66,940, fifth picture) sit alongside one-of-a-kind jewellery by the likes of Suzanne Syz, Melanie Georgacopoulos, Silvia Furmanovich, Prince Dimitri, Vicente Gracia and Marina B. And for keeping all one’s purchases secure, Stockinger safes (from $32,000) come with the promise that none of the firm’s designs has been opened by force for over a quarter of a century.
“I choose objects with heritage and a story that people can pass down to the next generation,” says Abbasi. “People will still be looking for these items in 100 years.”