Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Can Luxury Fashion Rentals With No Return Dates Work? Lily Collins Thinks So.


Emily in Paris star Lily Collins joins investors in backing a $35 million Series B funding round for Vivrelle, a luxury handbag and accessories member-based rental platform.

Founded by husband-and-wife team Blake and Wayne Geffen in 2018, Vivrelle is taking a novel approach to the secondhand rental market. Its member-based platform allows customers to rent luxury accessories and handbags indefinitely.

The fresh funding comes less than a year and a half following its $26 million Series A.

The investment round was led by 3L Capita, with participation from Origin Ventures, Chapford Capital Group, Plus Capital, and backing from celebrities including Lily Collins and Nina Dobrev, as well as personality and entrepreneur Morgan Stewart McGraw.

Vivrelle sign
Vivrelle showroom | Courtesy

“This recent round of fundraising marks a milestone for Vivrelle we only dreamt about when launching in 2018,” Blake Geffen, co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. “We are ecstatic to have support from Lily Collins, Nina Dobrev, and Morgan Stewart McGraw, alongside the capital partners who share in our vision of transforming how consumers utilize their closets and experience luxury. We look forward to expanding Vivrelle on many fronts, including our inventory offerings, opening additional showroom spaces, and growing our hard-working team.”

Resale, rental drive demand

Vivrelle is focusing the new funding on growth across all verticals as demand for secondhand fashion continues to rise. Data published earlier this year by Future Market Insights Global and Consulting found the clothing and accessories rental market will grow at an estimated CAGR of 11 percent by 2031, valued at more than $1.8 billion.

“I’m thrilled to support and invest in this female-founded company,” Collins said. “I’ve always been a supporter of sustainable fashion and I love that Vivrelle offers accessible designer brands that feel tailored to the consumer’s individual style and needs.”

“I’ve always had a deep love and admiration for fashion and style,” Dobrev added. “As a proponent of female-founded entrepreneurial ventures, I feel honored to support Vivrelle—a company that speaks to everything I love about fashion. I believe no one should be excluded from experiencing the luxury of designer accessories, and I’m proud to be a part of expanding Vivrelle’s ability to reach even more people.”

Vivrelle bar
Vivrelle showroom bar | Couretsy

Jodi Kessler, Partner, 3L Capital, says Vivrelle has emerged as a “cornerstone of the resale and shared accessories marketplace,” and is positioned to continue. “The fact that Vivrelle has been EBITDA profitable since inception while demonstrating best-in-class growth and member retention, makes us excited to partner with the Company as they reinvent the luxury retail experience, which we believe is a hybrid of retail, resale and subscription,” she said.

Accessible luxury

Vivrelle says its goal is to make access to luxury accessories fun, flexible, affordable, and sustainable. While a study last year claimed the rental market, led by companies including Rent the Runway, Rotaro, and GlamCorner, was unsustainable due to the transport involved, critics cast doubt on the findings.

Experts found that renting saved water, energy, and carbon emissions compared to buying new items, even when accounting for the emissions produced in transport. Companies like Rent the Runway have also increased efforts to offset emissions.

Vivrelle NoMad store
Vivrelle’s new showroom in Manhattan | Courtesy

Over the summer, Vivrelle debuted a 14,000-square-foot Manhattan showroom featuring a lounge and centerpiece bar.

“Our goal was to create an even more enjoyable experience for our community. This showroom not only acts as an extension of our members’ closets but offers them a place to spend their time, whether it be relaxing and socializing with friends and other members, a coffee break between meetings or a temporary place of retreat” Blake Geffen said. “We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Hilary Matt on designing our perfect new home.”

In September, the platform partnered with Shopbop on an Amazon storefront of curated items for resale.

“Shopbop has an unparalleled reach and likeminded aesthetic,” said Geffen, “And with our curated inventory at Vivrelle, [Shopbop] felt like the ideal partner to help make our luxury accessories more accessible, extending their life cycles and allowing consumers to rethink how they view their holistic closets. The Shopbop storefront on Amazon is the perfect extension to continue to reach a broader audience.”

Vivrelle’s membership options run from $39 to $279 a month.

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