More women can afford luxury fashion now, thanks to these startupsAthira Nair
Rental fashion services are helping women rent the looks they love. We take a closer look at the top five online rental platforms that make high-end brands available to everyone.
With the growth of the sharing economy, a number of things once considered luxurious are now affordable. If millennials want everything at a click, innovative business models are ready to serve them.
It began with Rent the Runway founded in the US in 2009. The company has raised more than $200 million from investors including Blue Pool Capital, the financial firm that invests for Alibaba founders Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai. Although it started as an online platform, it has since then chosen the omni-channel route and started offering subscriptions to customers.
Following the success of this model, a bunch of Indian entrepreneurs have ventured into the online fashion rental space. Thanks to these startups, you don’t need to spend your annual salary to wear a Sabyasachi lehenga or a designer saree.
But fashion rentals are harder compared to electronic appliances and furniture. Customers’ apprehensions about sharing clothes are solved by these startups by taking stringent measures to maintain hygiene and quality.
A few horizontal rental platforms like Rentsher are also looking at the space, while vertical players like Klozee and Blinge shut down while RevampMyCloset got acquired by Spoyl.
YourStory lists the top online platforms that rent out women’s apparel– a bigger market than men’s fashion in terms of margin and easy break-even possibilities
Flyrobe: Registered customers can rent out their designer clothes and earn money from the rent while Flyrobe manages payment and logistics. It has also partnered with designers to provide clothes for rent at 15 percent of the original sale price. The platform supplies western wear and ethnic wear for men and women across Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Ludhiana, Delhi, and Hyderabad. Founded in 2015 by IIT Bombay alumni Shreya Mishra, Pranay Surana, and Tushar Saxena, Flyrobe has raised $7 million from IDG Ventures, Sequoia Capital, GREE Ventures, and angel investors.
Rentitbae: This NCR-based startup was founded by Aanchal Saini, Jaspreet Singh Gujral, Amit Sharma, and Karandeep Singh Gujral in August 2016. The bootstrapped startup provides women’s and men’s fashion in western and ethnic wear. It offers three-hour delivery and free trial, as well as a subscription. The rental period is four days. Deposits are taken against high-end brands and ethnic outfits. It also has an in-house brand curated by their own stylists and offers unique designs. Rentitbae claims to have more than one lakh registered users.
Liberent: Launched in 2014 in Hyderabad by Sahyujyah Shrinivas, Liberent offers a home trial option, where women can choose up to three outfits to try out at home, and book one. The website also has an advanced bust size filter, rather than the conventional small, medium, and large variants. Once you book an outfit, you have to submit your bust, waist, and hip measurements. LibeRent then custom fits the outfits before sending them over. It has raised an undisclosed amount from angel investors. It delivers in Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Coimbatore, Kochi, Kolkata, and Mysuru.
Stage3: This Delhi-based startup launched in 2016 by Sabena Puri, Sanchit Baweja, and Rina Dhaka offers designer clothes and accessories for men and women. It also provides free home trials and personalised styling assistance. Stage3 offers outfits from high-end designers like Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Manish Malhotra, Shantanu & Nikhil, and Anamika Khanna among others. Its offline shop sells pre-owned clothing, and designers’ sample pieces and excess inventory. It started selling online recently. The startup has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from angel investors.
Tali: Yale University alumnus Chaitali Parmar launched Tali earlier this year for renting women’s fashion – mostly western wear and sarees, along with accessories. The bootstrapped startup’s debut portfolio featured selection from designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Gauri & Nainika, Dhruv Kapoor, Nishika Lulla, and Shivan & Narresh among others. Tali operates in Mumbai and Pune, and provides multiple fit options and alterations. Their rents range from Rs 1,500 to Rs 18,000. As part of its CSR activities, Tali encourages customers to donate their unwanted clothes to the underprivileged.