Palm Beach Daily News: ‘Birkin Houdini’ Michael Tonello makes big bucks in the resale business
Once the whirlwind was over, Tonello found himself back in Barcelona with a guest room full of designer silk scarves. The lightbulb flashed once again and he founded Respoke, a shoe company where he repurposed Hermès, Gucci and Pucci silk scarves into espadrilles. It was a hit.
Bergdorf Goodman wanted them and so did Neiman Marcus. Palm Beachers also loved them, prompting them to be sold at The Breakers and Serenella at The Royal Poinciana Plaza.
“What we have in store here is completely different from what we have across the street at Serenella, or at Bergdorfs because we want to make sure that all of our customers have a unique shopping experience wherever they go,” he said Wednesday at The Breakers, where he spoke earlier at the Center for Family Services 21st Annual Old Bags Luncheon at The Breakers Palm Beach.