“ENTER INVITE CODE” reads the window for registration on VillageLuxe.
And below, “Don’t have one? Get one here.”
It’s a swap site, but for high-end fashion. Members can find items available at a per-week price, which allows them to wear designer pieces at a fraction of the price. The site offers a glimpse of some possible rentals on the front page: a champagne sheath dress by Alexander Wang at $65 a week, a Gucci handbag at $150, and Yves Saint Laurent latticed boots that originally cost $1500 are available for a week at $135.
The link to obtain an invitation leads to a window where a hopeful applicant can enter an email address and city. Currently, membership on the site is only by invitation, which allows the company to keep a careful filter on the clothing and to curate the clientele. According to Forbes, there are currently more than 12,000 people on the waitlist.
Renting clothes isn’t an entirely new concept; sites like Rent the Runway already allow customers to borrow fashion from brands like Badgley Mischka and Free People. However, VillageLuxe lets users both borrow from others and put their own items up for rent. The company will even create the listing for clients, complete with professional photography.
Those who rent their clothing out can decide whether to accept or decline a request to borrow an item, based on reviews, which adds a layer of security to the process. Customers can have items shipped to them or can pick them up. And the site guarantees a full refund if clothing doesn’t fit, so long as it’s the same day the customer hasn’t worn the item.
VillageLuxe’s founder, Julia Gudish Krieger, told Forbes that she wanted to harness the communal business style of companies such as Uber or Airbnb; if people could share their homes, then they could share other personal possessions. Krieger simply extended that idea to luxury fashion.
Featured Image via Flickr/TVZ Design