Referring to Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo as wardrobe consultants is like saying Martha Stewart is a cook. Garza and Lupo are the founders of Visual Therapy, a luxury lifestyle consulting firm that works with clients around the globe. The duo has appeared on Oprah, penned three fashion guides and styled celebrities for the red carpet, but it all began right here in Chicago.
Garza was working at Chicago’s legendary (and now defunct) boutique Ultimo when he met Lupo, a banker at the time. The two got to talking, and soon decided to incorporate their individual strengths into starting a business that embodied a thoroughly different approach to fashion. In 1995, Garza and Lupo moved to New York and formed Visual Therapy, an apt name that was a suggestion from a client, herself a psychiatrist and fashion addict.
To define their mission, Garza and Lupo came up with a revolutionary but simple five-step method for reevaluating not just closets, but entire outlooks on fashion: define your style (are you bohemian or classic? do you live in jeans or favor long, flowing skirts?); wardrobe clarification (purge everything that doesn’t fit your style); fill in the gaps (shop for new clothes and accessories); put it all together (learn the best way to wear the new wardrobe and how to mix in older items); and finally, follow up (Garza and Lupo periodically check in to assure continued sartorial bliss).
By showing women (and men) how to reinvent themselves by reinventing their wardrobes, Garza and Lupo have gained countless fans and taken Visual Therapy to monumental heights. But the team doesn’t let it get to their heads: both men are adamant that the personal service for which they are known is as intact as ever. “We are fortunate enough to have an incredible team of people who have been with us for a very long time,” Lupo explains. “They share an understanding of service and are passionate about what they do.” It is this team of “therapists” that keeps the company humming along while Garza and Lupo expand the Visual Therapy brand through products and partnerships. Their latest endeavor: VT Luxe, a line of accessories for QVC, through which, with its lower price points, Garza and Lupo are able to offer the Visual Therapy experience to more people in an uncertain economy. “With VT Luxe we now have the ability to reach out to thousands of women,” Garza says. “On air, we’re able to give our advice and tips to so many, and show them how to put it all together.”
Garza and Lupo blog continuously on the firm’s site about their very democratic view of style. “Our goal has always been to make fashion inclusive, acting as educators rather than dictators,” Garza says. “We inspire our clients to look and feel their best, which can truly be a life-changing experience.” Sign us up!
Reposted from Michigan Avenue.