BCBGMaxAzria is creating its own closet in the cloud.
The luxury label, founded in Los Angeles more than 30 years ago, is offering special occasion dresses, stylish suiting and daytime dresses for rent under a new program called BCBGMaxAzria Borrow.
The new business model has two advantages: those concerned about sustainability and overstocking their closets can rent an item for two weeks and then return it. For those on a budget, it allows them to pick up a luxury style for a fraction of the retail price.
“Through our research, we identified that a considerable number of customers were shopping for one-time occasions, and that there was an opportunity to provide access to the brand without the need for customers to make a significant financial investment or long-term commitment to occasionwear,” explained Tim Reid, the executive vice president, fashion and lifestyle for Marquee Brands, which acquired the BCBGMaxAzria label out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection six years ago.
Even though the pandemic has made dressing more casual on a day-to-day basis, Reid said his company has found there is a continued desire to dress up, particularly for special occasions, including weddings, special events, family celebrations and parties. “The pandemic has made people more mindful of their clothing choices and the importance of investing in pieces that they will wear and cherish for a long time,” he noted.
The BCBGMaxAzria Borrow rental fee covers free shipping and keeping the garment for two weeks. Customers have the option to rent the piece for longer by paying a daily fee or purchasing the style at a discount. Customers return the item in pre-paid provided packaging.
The process to rent a garment is relatively easy. Customers go to BCBG.com and click on the top-page tab labeled “Borrow.” A page features the items available for rent. For example, a $498 tiered ruffled tulle evening dress rents for $99.50 for two weeks, a $398 lace-up blazer designed with stylist Maeve Reilly can be borrowed for $79.50 and a $378 corset minidress is temporarily yours for $75.50.
BCBGMaxAzria is joining other rental ventures that have been in business for some time, including Rent the Runway, Nuuly, Armoire and Le Tote. The high-end label Vince has a rental service called Vince Unfold. BCBGMaxAzria’s rental site is powered by technology and services company CaaStle.
The rental clothing business is slowly expanding. New York-based Rent the Runway said its third-quarter revenues for fiscal 2022 totaled $77.4 million, up 31 percent from $59 million in the previous third quarter. Nevertheless, Rent the Runway experienced a third-quarter net loss in fiscal 2022 of $36.1 million, versus $87.8 million in the previous third quarter. The company, founded in 2009, is predicting annual revenues for fiscal 2022 will reach about $295 million.
BCBGMaxAzria is very optimistic about the future of the rental clothing industry. “We believe that there is significant potential for growth in the rental market, particularly as customers become more conscious of their fashion choices and seek more sustainable alternatives while still valuing high-quality, seasonal pieces,” Reid said. “Our goal is to provide a simple and easy-to-use service that meets the evolving needs of our customers.”
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