VillageLuxe is the .com fashion week life saver. This Tech Tuesday we interview Julia Krieger, the founder and CEO of the e-commerce site where you can make your wardrobe pay for itself.
The online boutique allows you to monetize that clothing splurge and meet new friends with similar style. This is where the fun fashion fun begins the opportunity test drive a new look before you buy it. The site is a community of mature women in the New York City with a passions for fashion and the good life. Many or your friends are all ready members of this private fashion club.
VILLAGELUXE THE LUXURY PEER-TO-PEER RENTAL MARKETPLACE
Monetize and Maximize Your Wardrobe
“Nothing brings me more joy than connecting fashion conscious women across a city, especially in celebration of something as unique and special as sharing individual style. Welcome to our VillageLuxe family! I look forward to borrowing from your closet soon!” (Julia Gudish Krieger, Founder & CEO)
VillageLuxe is an online luxury rental service which both expands and monetizes women’s designer wardrobes. The newly launched platform connects women across Manhattan through their closets, allowing users to borrow coveted designer items from one another for a small rental fee.
The invite-only service not only allows users to increase the breadth of their wardrobes, but also to expand their social circles by connecting individuals with similar taste across apartment buildings, neighborhoods, and cities.
The Q &A
How did you come up with the name? How did you come up with the spelling of the name?
VillageLuxe is a fashion community where you can borrow designer pieces from the closets of women around you. In coming up with the name VillageLuxe, I brainstormed ways to capture the essence of “local” and “luxury”. A “village” feels intimate like a real community of like-minded members and “luxe” captures the luxury nature of the high fashion treasures we have on our unique rental platform (Chanel, Hermes, Stella McCartney).
What was your first memory of fashion?
Growing up with European parents, the fashion that I observed in my childhood had such playful colors, textures and little surprise details. I never connected with the Abercrombie & Fitch craze of my elementary school years, but instead always sought out unique statement pieces that were true to my own aesthetic. Fashion ultimately is about self-empowerment and I’m happy I connected with that positive view of it quite early on.
What has been your favorite VillageLuxe moment so far?
The friendships that I’ve seen develop between members of the community have been my favorite VillageLuxe moments to observe. One story a lender shared was how she invited a prospective renter to her home to try on pieces for an upcoming trip to Capri. The renter left not only with a new fashion industry connection in her neighbourhood, but also six planned outfits and a list of recommended restaurants in Capri from a veteran traveler. We’re creating these intimate communities across entire cities and it’s a beautiful mission to bring friendship to high fashion.
Who rents, and who borrows?
The VillageLuxe renter is a sophisticated, modern woman in search of that unique piece she can play with for a short time before she is ready for a change. I like to think of her as a city girl on the move, in the know and effortlessly confident. A true chameleon who loves to play dress up to explore her different facets. A lover of the arts, travel and connecting with a network of like-minded women in her city.
The 7,000 high fashion treasures on VillageLuxe are primarily from closets of women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, offering a wide range of styles to explore. The typical VillageLuxe woman is in her early 30s, and, while we’ve observed a 40% overlap in renters and lenders, we expect the average lender to skew a bit older than the average renter.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, VillageLuxe will truly become the “Airbnb for high-end fashion” on a global scale. A “luxer” should be able to travel to Hong Kong with only a carry on since she’s pre-selected several women’s closets to borrow from upon arrival. She’ll know that if that exact dress doesn’t fit, something else in the closet will, and the lender will be able to style them in what is culturally appropriate for a night out. That’s the power of a global community.
Do you see yourself as a tech company or fashion start-up?
VillageLuxe is a tech company that is disrupting the fashion industry. The tech solution we’ve created is proprietary, complex, and positioned to scale globally. My background as a tech venture capitalist was crucial in coming up with the idea for VillageLuxe. That being said, we’re also the only fashion destination where you can rent Hermes Birkin bags from women around you, so high fashion is very much at our core as well. We’ve seen the fashion industry embrace VillageLuxe, whether it’s Vogue pulling pieces for shoots, or designers like Yigal Azrouel listing never-produced runway samples to share with our fashion community.
How did you get people to start rent?
We initially seeded VillageLuxe with influencers in the arts, fashion, and business worlds and let them invite their friends. Women began to list both their new current collection purchases as well as their designer vintage treasures they’d never sell, but may let you borrow for a week. The reaction to bringing together this community of women and high fashion pieces was electrifying and the rest is history.
Why Private invite only?
Existing players in the fashion rental space all focused on a cost-saving approach, with marketing geared around “$30 a week for a dress”. The VillageLuxe woman isn’t borrowing our pieces because she can’t afford them – rather, she’s in the mood for something new this week or wants a statement piece for a social event. By launching as invite only and first allowing women with high fashion closets to borrow from each other, we re-educated the consumer that renting high fashion is not only for the cost-saving consumer. Rather, it’s akin to how celebrity stylists pull pieces from designer showrooms. VillageLuxe makes the whole city a showroom you can pull from for your own red carpet lifestyle.
Are you going to expand?
New York is just the beginning! Our waitlist includes women across the world, from Los Angeles to Dubai. We look forward to expanding and creating VillageLuxe into a global community.
Are you on Snapchat?
We will be launching a Snapchat this summer! Currently, our visual content is on Instagram @villageluxe.
How would do you use it?
Snapchat is an amazing medium to connect with our followers, as we’re constantly behind-the-scenes in the closets and homes of influential women or shooting editorials to bring our inventory to life. The VillageLuxe woman is on the go and we’d love to open up our world to our followers in a more real-time way.
What do you love and hate about Snapchat?
We love that Snapchat offers a more engaging, immersive experience than other social media channels. We dislike that we haven’t had a chance to take advantage of it yet!
How VillageLuxe works:
To Rent Designer Goods: Once a member finds an item or items that she would like to rent, she sends a request directly to the lender to accept or reject. Lenders typically respond within 24 hours and interact directly with borrowers to coordinate pick-up, courier, or shipment. Users can request to rent an item for either 1 or 2 weeks.
So if you were looking for something to do with your wardrobe, then take a look and see if you want to join the VillageLuxe community. As I head to NYC for fashion week, packing a lighter suitcase just go easier. Upon sign up, members are provided with an invitation code and given access to a collection of more than three thousand designer garments, shoes, and accessories from labels including: Chanel, Balenciaga, Alaïa, McQueen and more.
Feel free to check out the site using the code“STYLECARTEL” for entry into the new world of letting you wardrobe pay for it self. Thank you VillageLuxe for the inside scoop and the chance to look at the over 7,000 pieces in stock.
Step 1: To Villageluxe.com or the iOS app.
Step 2: Click Join Us. It asks for your invite code.
Step 3: Type STYLECARTEL (no space) and it will unlock your ability to create your own account. Otherwise you sit on the waitlist.