Fast fashion is a common term these days, but how about temporal fashion, as in rent-a-trend?
Avelle.com is banking that, with the dour economic climate, luxury fashion rental could become a viable new market.
Avelle.com is the new name for Web site BagBorroworSteal.com, the four-year-old online luxury rental retailer. The firm’s executives renamed the site last month and believe the new moniker is more luxurious and European-sounding.
The company, which started renting designer bags by the likes of Gucci, Prada, Coach and Chanel, will also expand into additional accessories categories and some apparel starting this month.
“We have already expanded beyond handbags into vintage, jewelry and sunglasses, and our members are asking for even more,” says Avelle.com chief executive officer Michael Smith. “Avelle more accurately reflects who we are as we expand our offering significantly beyond our handbag beginnings.”
The company’s client base has grown to over one million people, and there are more than 4,000 styles available on the site. In general, weekly rental prices are approximately 10 percent of the retail price of an item, so say a $440 Botkier bag will rent for about $44 per week. The firm purchases some stock directly from designers, as well as authorized retailers.
After its initial offering of handbags the company expanded to include fine and costume jewelry and sunglasses, and will start offering watches for rent this month from the likes of Charriol and Chanel. The firm is also considering eveningwear and shoes, although those would be more challenging sectors considering sizing issues and wear and tear.
The company plans to extend its reach internationally into Kuwait and China.
“If you look worldwide, there are a number of companies that have cropped up in Europe [with the same concept],” says Smith. “We believe that this is a universal concept. There are [only] a few women who will buy everything they want. The [others] see this as a smarter way to wear luxury.”
The company even got a shout-out in one of the most fashion-drenched movies in recent memory, “Sex and The City: The Movie.” In the film, Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant, played by Jennifer Hudson, carries an array of luxe designer bags and ultimately confesses that she rents them from Bag, Borrow or Steal.
The firm has strict quality controls. Bags are inspected going out and then again when they come in. Repair work is employed when needed and bags are sold or disposed of when they are no longer up to snuff. Smith contends that renters are very careful with the product and that bags typically arrive back in pristine condition.
“We’re dealing with a very discerning woman,” says Smith of the brand’s clients. “She is highly educated, affluent and sophisticated. We’re treating her in the way she needs to be treated. We want customers to feel that every product they get feels like new.”
Andrew Jassin, managing director of consulting firm Jassin-O’Rourke Group LLC, has found that people have become familiar with luxury goods, whether or not their wallets allow for them. “What we’re finding now is that people in the luxury mode want to wear the hottest dresses and shoes and bags, but can’t afford it,” says Jassin. “It’s a compelling and timely story, especially given the state of the economy.”
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye