Rent French Fashion At A Low Price

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French high fashion is synonymous with style and quality — and high prices. For most people, owning an item by Chanel, Hermès or Dior is out of the question. Some French entrepreneurs are attempting to change that by changing the way people have access to luxury goods. If you can’t buy them, why not rent them?

Yann Le Floc’h, who founded Instant Luxe, a website that sells secondhand designer goods, mostly clothes and bags, to its one million members, noticed his clients were developing new attitudes toward acquiring luxury items, particularly handbags. According to Le Floc’h, women would rather have the ability to use a luxury handbag than own one. He began a program that lets people rent a designer handbag for a minimum of four nights at a daily rate of 10 to 25 euros, depending on the brand and style. A Chanel bag can be yours for a few days at a much, much smaller financial outlay compared to buying one at full price. Whether it’s for an important event or simply to complete an outfit, renting pieces gives consumers more wardrobe options and the chance to try a new style without breaking the bank.

Emmanuelle Brizay, another fashion entrepreneur, is also building a market through high-end clothing rentals. She co-founded Panoply City, which specializes in renting clothes from the latest collections of top designers, such as Marc Jacobs and Sonia Rykiel. For a monthly fee of 60 euros, customers can try a different piece each week, and for a monthly fee of 350 euros, customers can try 10 outfits a month. Since launching the service in January, Panoply City has rented out more than 4,000 pieces from designer collections.

According to Brizay, renting clothes adds an element of fun to a wardrobe by letting customers continually try out new styles. If a style doesn’t work or you don’t like the piece, you haven’t overspent or invested in something that’s not going to get much use.

Julie El Ghouzzi, a fashion expert, see a link between millennial culture and these new clothing rental businesses. Through apps and storing things in the cloud, millennials are used to the idea that you don’t need to own something to have access to it, and that idea is transforming the way people interact with luxury goods.

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