Dress hire has made designer labels and luxury clothing accessible for nearly everyone. Finding an outfit for a special event has always lead to concerns of cost, quality, and whether or not the outfit can be worn again. This has left the higher priced pieces to only be sought after by those willing to spend large sums of money while those less wiling are left with pieces that are simply not as luxurious.
With the surge in popularity of dress hire, and the ability to hire interstate and online, dreams of wearing extravagant labels for special nights have finally come true for many, with a bonus of leaving the responsibilities of dry-cleaning and maintenance up to the seller. But while customers become more and more intrigued by the concept of renting and sharing over ownership, we have to wonder…what’s next for fashion?
It’s become increasingly popular in many areas of art. Instead of downloading and purchasing, movie watchers prefer streaming servers that allow a range of options. As with music, where purchasing whole albums now seems a luxury spend, streaming from Apple Music and Spotify are much preferred, having exactly the same benefits, but more variety. Concrete, physical ownership seems to be a thing of a past in all these areas, but will it work for fashion?
Aside from renting, another popular trend is the swap and re-sell companies, who allow customers to purchase certain items and later exchange them for something else. The concept has a similar base as dress hire, so many businesses may start adapting to this extended way of selling. Customers may be able to buy everyday designer looks at lower prices and return them after a certain period of time. Not only does this benefit the customer’s bank as well as the brand’s accessibility, but it also is great for steering clear of fast fashion. Garments are recycled and re-used instead of being thrown out, and so less waste is produced as a result of fashion.
It is very clear that clothing rental has potential, and that customers are eager and interested in having a shot with high end labels. But the question stands, will the industry work to accommodate for this? And is it possible to make just as much revenue by renting collections?
The fashion industry is still only beginning to adapt in this fast paced world. But with their ability to change and adapt in terms of style, trend and exposure, it is clear that they have the ability to accommodate for their customers. Whether this means they have the willingness, only time can tell. It may not be in the next year, but there is no doubt there will be a change, because we consumers are asking for it.