Dreams to rent

Startup saga

Dreams to rent

Ever imagined replicating your favourite actor’s red carpet looks or being the cynosure of all eyes in an extravagant designer outfit? Fret not; the day is here when that dream dress or smart tuxedo can be yours for a day or two without leaving a hole in the pocket.

‘The Dress Bank’, a fashion rental venture launched in 2015 by Deepa Kalro, caters to everyone’s  fashion needs. From the latest trends in suits and shirts to evening gowns, casual wear and bridal outfits, this space leaves one spoilt for choice.

So how did the idea of a fashion rental platform come about? “I have seen the trouble my friends went through when they had to attend a function or a grand celebration in some city they were visiting. Most of their elaborate outfits were left at home and they didn’t want to buy something just for a day. That was when the idea of coming up with a formalised structure of renting clothes popped in my mind. A space where no one has hesitates to borrow clothes or repeating a look,” says Deepa.

Pointing out that fashion rental is a common concept abroad, she says that there are a number of people in the city who would like to explore this, provided conditions like hygiene, availability of latest trends and affordability are met. “Unlike similar ventures, I work  offline. I have a studio in Koramangala where customers can come in and try what they like before making a booking. A physical experience is very important as people are usually sceptical about the condition of the clothes they see online. Apart from alteration,  we also dry clean the outfits once they are returned,” Deepa adds and says, “I cater to the needs of every fashionable individual for every body type.”

It is a three-day model that is generally followed here. One can book the outfit, wear it the next day and return it on the third day. However, if a customer needs an outfit for a certain number of days, a customised package is also available where the pricing depends on the demand for the apparel.

“We get a lot of business from the students, especially for their graduation and farewell parties. For weddings, families of the bride and groom rent dresses for the different functions. Apart from clothes for men and women, we also rent out accessories such as jewellery, bags, shoes, ties and so on,” says Deepa.

She says that though many are still cynical about fashion rentals, the number of people becoming open to the idea is constantly rising.

Making people comfortable with the concept has been a major challenge, apart from which, finding investors and marketing are the other issues.

“We look forward to bringing investors on board and also working on a franchise model,” she sums up.

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