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After quick stints in landscape architecture, graphic design and fashion design, Talia Bella founded Closets for Causes in 2011. The Argentina-born, LA-bred fashion lover was motivated to launched her fashion-meets-philanthropy company after a celeb stylist friend revealed that her clients' closets were overflowing with excess clothing. Instead of nabbing these starlet castoffs to update her own wardrobe, Bella decided to auction off the goods on eBay in an effort to raise money for non-profit organizations. Her bright idea was an instant success.
Fast forward to 2014, Closet for Causes has collaborated with a range of stars, including Sophia Bush, Carmen Electra and Glee's Jenna Ushkowitz. Here, Bella gives us the rundown on her inspiring initiative, plus some good tips on when to give your neglected items the boot.
How do you select which star closets to feature?
"We look for fashionable celebrities who have their pulse on trends. People whose style we admire and wish we could raid their closets!"
Any dream closets you'd love to raid?
"There are two: First would be Kate Moss, then Tom Ford for menswear."
Celebrity stylist Ali Levine, editing in action. Image via
What types of items are usually overflowing in celeb closets? How do you help them edit?
"Every closet is different, but typically we see a lot of items from red carpets and other appearances. These items really need new homes as it's considered poor form for the celeb to be seen twice in the same garb—a notion that's very unsustainable but also very real in our society. My rule of thumb is: unless it's a major investment piece, if you haven't worn it in six months, it goes. One major sign that an edit is overdue is when I see extra bedrooms converted into closet space. That's where I end up finding various of the same item, as if they had forgotten they had purchased the item already! That's a big no-no."
What has been your most successful closet auction so far?
"Our partnership last year with Sophia Bush was in two parts. First, we auctioned off select wardrobe pieces she had acquired during her eight-year stint on One Tree Hill and then we did her personal closet (which was massive, by the way). Her wardrobe sale did extremely well, with a French Connection dress that she wore in a pivotal scene selling for 1000 times its retail value."
A peek at Closet for Causes' next celeb auction, coming soon! Image via
What charities do you work with?
"We work with the charity of the celebrity's choice, allowing them a unique way to connect with their fans while raising money and awareness for a cause that they are truly passionate about. A few of the charities we have worked with are Oceana, Big Cat Rescue and Susan G Komen."
What are your big dreams for Closets for Causes?
"Currently, we are building out our own platform with hopes of an app by mid next year. We hope to be the online celebrity resale authority."
· Closets for Causes [Official Site]