I'm working with a friend who's looking for a word/phrase to describe her clientele. She's good enough and well-respected enough that she commands top dollar in her field and usually only works with 2-3 clients a year. She's also very selective about who those clients are. She building her brand as a luxury, well worth the price, hard to get but very much in demand, exclusive, etc. She wants "I've worked with _____" to be a status symbol and source of envy among her prospective clientele.

Imagine a high-end designer personally making three gowns a year. The three starlets who got to wear those to the Academy Awards have all eyes on them as they walk the red carpet. We're trying to talk about that kind of prestige.

So far, we've brainstormed: "Serving an exclusive clientele since 19xx" & "Serving a select group of clientele since 19xx." I feel like we're missing the mark, but just can't seem to find a word that's going to express what we're going for. I need some other perspectives.

2 Answers 2


Serving the discriminating client since 19xx.

Discriminating means:

  1. a. Able to recognize or draw fine distinctions; perceptive. b. Showing careful judgment or fine taste: a discriminating collector of rare books; a dish for the discriminating palate.
  • That's the first word that came to my mind. "Exclusive" also works, I think.
    – Jay
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 13:48
  • Nice. I wish my brain was more of a thesaurus. :)
    – dwwilson66
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 14:26

Discerning is often used in this context.

From Oxford:

having or showing good judgement

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