Police are appealing for help after £70,000 worth of one-off designer garments belonging to a British fashion designer were stolen from a car following a photo shoot. A total of 62 unique pieces belonging to luxury designer Claire Mischevani were stolen by masked thieves as she loaded her car after a photoshoot in London’s Belgravia.
The Metropolitan Police said the incident took place at around 8pm on February 16, when the designer and a second woman were loading the clothes into the back of a Range Rover outside a house in Chester Row, SW1.
The incident took place when Mischevani and her assistant went into the property to get more items to load in the car but when they left, they heard a car alarm go off so ran outside. When they got back to the car they discovered three men dressed in balaclavas and all-black closing beside the smashed window of the vehicle.
The victims were ‘terrified’ when one of the suspects ran towards the woman waving the item used to smash the window, shouted at them to get back inside the address. The women then called the police and watched the suspects smash more car windows before stealing a navy suitcase, a black overnight bag and 15 garment bags of various sizes.
Fashion designer Claire Mischevani is said to have been left traumatised by the events. She said: “The whole incident was beyond terrifying for both myself and my assistant.
"To come face to face with armed masked men stealing my belongings is something I never thought would happen and something I would never wish on anyone.
"The events have had a profound and devastating impact on me, in a City I have always felt safe I was overcome with fear and have since found it difficult to sleep as I relive the whole experience again.
"These selfish individuals and their ruthless actions have caused a huge impact on my business, but we are working tirelessly to ensure that we come out of this terrible situation stronger than ever.”
Detective Constable Charlotte Palul, from the Central West Robbery Squad, said: “The victim has been left not only traumatised following such a terrifying ordeal, but understandably completely devastated at the loss of a number of one-off creations which are the result of many months of work.
"I think it’s highly likely the suspects had no idea what they were stealing, mistaking the items for something else. So it’s possible that when they discovered what was inside those suit covers they have discarded them, not realising their monetary or, more importantly, sentimental value. It is of course also possible they have tried to sell them.”
Following the incident, the suspects drove off towards Eaton Terrace in a black Volkswagen Golf. A 23-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the investigation and has been bailed until May.
The Metropolitan Police are now urging anyone who recognises these dresses or has seen them for sale to get in touch with them.