If I told you that I owned pieces from the likes of Peter Pilotto, Emma Cook, Sonia Rykiel and more, would you be interested in at least taking a peek? Of course you would. I know I’m always itching to investigate the wardrobes of my stylish friends to see if there are a few pieces that I can borrow. It was with this idea in mind that the Parisienne Fiona Designi set up Rentez-Vous. She took the idea of swapping clothes between roommates to the next level, so fashionistas can share their wardrobes and discover new looks and young designers without parting with the big bucks.
This suits me down to a tee. While I love shopping, my current wardrobe is busting at the seams. I’d love to be able to rent out a few pieces that I only wear on certain occasions. On a practical level, I do not have the space to house any more clothing. When it comes to my own unique style, I have to admit that I’ve become pickier with age. I’d rather have fewer, higher quality pieces than the latest throwaway fashion. This all sounds very well and I do try and save up but in reality, (and as a property owner), I find myself number crunching and wondering if I can really live on soup for lunch as I gaze at the beautiful creations on Net-A-Porter, Matches, MyTheresa and more. Rentez-Vous offers me the opportunity to up my fashion game at a minimal price.
The fact that it’s already a hit in the my home from home Paris also means it gets a thumbs up from me. Those chic Parisiennes certainly know when they’re on to a good thing. By now you may be wondering how Rentez-Vous works. Well, essentially it’s a low-key event held in a bars or cafes, where you can browse the rails of clothing from bloggers and young designers. Owners set their own prices (the equivalent over here of the range of prices would be between £10-£40) and those attending can select what they want. You pay for the garment, rent it for three weeks and organise and pay for that piece to be dry-cleaned or washed, according to the owner’s instructions. After three weeks, you deliver it to one of the drop-off points around the capital. It really is that simple. Rentez-Vous are also keen to encourage up’n’coming designers to rent out their wares. If you like a certain piece from their latest collections, you may also have the chance of purchasing it later. Yes, you can try before you buy.
I’m sure that Rentez-Vous could catch on in a country. It’s a similar concept to the phenomenon that is Airbnb (check out my property in Bath here) but instead of renting out a home for a set period of time, you are renting out a garment. I’m not going to deny that a certain level of trust is involved in the transaction but, as with Airbnb, a contract is drawn up between the owner and the renter with a deposit.
Rentez-Vous really is like sharing between an extended network of fashion ‘friends’. And don’t just take my word for it. I was one of a few bloggers who attended a secret Rentez-Vous event in London organised by LDNbloggers at the weekend and we all agreed that it was a fabulous way to temporarily extend our wardrobe without the hefty price-tag.
We were all asked to bring five items of clothing with us and then name each piece. We then had a go ourselves at creating new looks from the clothes on offer and then choose one piece to take away with us for three weeks (more on that later). The owners of the pieces that we had chosen then explained why they called them that word and the history of the garment, which explored the association of clothing with memories and really brought the garments to life. It was also interesting that everyone loved the clothing provided by the guest designer Evelina Romano and shows that Rentez-Vous really could be a showcase for new designers.
It really is all very exciting and you will not have to wait very long until the next event as it’s on 30 May at The Old Shoreditch Station. Sign up on their Facebook page for more news.
What do you think? Will you get involved in Rentez-Vous?