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Will The Fashion Rental Market Ever Recover From Covid-19?


Written by EMILY CHAN Vogue have published an article about the impact on retail that the coronavirus pandemic is having and whether the Fashion Rental Market will ever recover from Covid-19?

At Girl Meets Dress we are doing all we can to ensure the service caters to customer’s altered plans, whether postponing wedding dates, delaying birthday plans or destination holidays – all the open orders have been given the option to simply move date – creating a flexible hassle free edit for customers rather than asking them to place new orders again once this period of lockdown and uncertainty eases.

We have also initiated new services such as drive through collections. This ensures social distancing remains in place and customers can collect and drop off orders to our London showroom without having to leave their car.

We will continue to provide service updates and customer service team is working hard to ensure all our orders are managed in the easiest way for clients. Stay in touch showroom@girlmeetsdress.com

Read the article below or visit Vogue >

“With weddings on hold and summer holidays a distant dream, clothing rental has fallen dramatically since the pandemic began. But will coronavirus change our long-term attitude towards sharing clothes? Here’s what we know so far.

Before the pandemic struck, renting clothes was seen as the ultimate solution to the damaging buy-once wear-once culture so many of us had become trapped in. Instead of purchasing a new dress for a wedding or holiday, you could borrow one instead (thereby preventing it from ending up in landfill once you no longer had use for it). The clothing rental market was also starting to change the high street. H&M and Ganni were among the first retailers to begin trialling a rental model back in 2019, while several new platforms including Hurr Collective and My Wardrobe HQ have launched pop-ups in department stores over the past year. 

Read more: How Will Covid-19 Permanently Affect Our Shopping Habits? 

But now that weddings have been put on hold and holidays seem like a distant dream, the future of rental — which was projected to be worth $2.5 billion (£2 billion) by 2023 — looks far from certain. In the US, Rent the Runway, the poster child for the fashion rental model, has already announced lay-offs, temporary pay cuts and furloughed staff in response to the pandemic. “Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, RTR’s sales have dropped significantly,” the company said in a statement on Twitter. “We therefore have had to make difficult decisions to sustain the business by cutting costs across the board.” 

 The company has also faced allegations that it has not properly protected warehouse employees from coronavirus — claims that it has since strongly refuted in both a statement online and a letter from CEO Jennifer Hyman to staff. The brand says it has enacted a series of safety measures in its warehouses, as well as giving employees the option of choosing not to work, staying home and using paid benefits. “This pandemic is far from over,” the company added in its statement. “We know that we will have to continue to make difficult decisions as we navigate forward, but we will always act with our values first.”    

No events? No renting 

Rent the Runway is by no means the only rental company facing challenges as a result of the pandemic. Other platforms, including UK-based, peer-to-peer site Hurr Collective, have also seen a dramatic fall in the number of people renting. “The demand side has definitely been impacted for the simple reason of people not having events to go to,” co-founder and CEO Victoria Prew tells Vogue. 

While some sites have encouraged people to continue renting items for all those Zoom meetings we’ve been having, it’s a difficult sell considering the price point. It costs up to £170 to rent a Ganni dress for one week for example, and £72 to rent four items a month from Rent the Runway. “A lot of the items are still fairly expensive even though you rent them, but the idea would be you’re going to a wedding or event,” says Chana Baram, senior retail analyst at market research firm Mintel. “Why would anyone be renting clothes right now?” 

Tackling hygiene concerns 

Hygiene is also another major concern during the current pandemic. Clear health and safety guidelines are essential, particularly when it comes to peer-to-peer platforms such as Hurr, where lenders send clothes directly to renters. “It’s a requirement for any item that’s listed on Hurr to be dry cleaned professionally by the lender,” Prew explains, adding that Hurr directly manages the dry cleaning for items rented through its concierge service. “We are doing everything that we can [from a health and safety perspective] in tandem with government guidelines.” 

While it is not currently known what temperature kills coronavirus, the CDC says that flu viruses are killed by temperatures above 167 degrees; it recommends clothes are laundered at the highest-appropriate temperature setting. 

Despite the strict protocols in place, customers may still be put off by the thought of sharing clothes with somebody else at the moment — a worry that rental sites will also have to address beyond the pandemic. “The hygiene factor will really need to be looked into,” Baram comments. “There needs to be very clear signage on websites to explain why this is not an issue.” 

The long-term future of rental 

While rental has been hit hard during international lockdowns, there are already positive signs that the sector is recovering. YCloset in China has seen the numbers of people renting increase since lockdown measures were eased at the end of March. “With the gradual return to work, [renting] is also gradually picking up,” says founder and executive director Mengyuan Liu. 

Some rental companies may also look at shifting their current models following the pandemic. YCloset, which is backed by e-commerce giant Alibaba, added resale to its services in September 2019, for example. “At present, the secondhand luxury trade is developing rapidly,” Liu comments. Resale saw a huge uptick following the 2008 recession, as shoppers who were short on cash looked for more value for money — and the same is predicted amid the economic downturn caused by Covid-19. 

 It’s hoped that rental could also become increasingly popular post-pandemic, particularly as it could provide an additional source of income for some users. Hurr Collective has already started encouraging people to list their garments online, considering so many of us are sorting through our closets right now. “People now have the time to detox their wardrobes,” Prew explains. “For the past few weeks, we’ve financially incentivised people to list their wardrobes, where if you list three items you’re given £15 credit, and if you list five verified items you’re given £20 credit.”

The stripped-back lifestyle we’ve all become accustomed to since the pandemic began is likely to have a long-term effect on our shopping habits. Sustainability is expected to remain a huge concern — meaning the rental model, as an alternative to buying new clothes outright, is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. “My personal view is that people are going to be more conscious than ever about their fashion footprint,” Prew adds. “I’m hopeful rental will do well [after] this.”

Rent a Sherri Hill dress for your prom!


We understand if you’re already daydreaming about your prom!

Some of our favourite designs are from the collection of Sherri Hill dresses: all her dresses contain elements from current fashion trends we love.

Current fashion trends are often started by the biggest stars: Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande, Miranda Lambert, and Bella Thorne have worn this designer’s dresses to the biggest red-carpet events.

On the Girl Meets Dress website, you can rent Sherri Hill dresses from £109/2 Nights!

Emilie Dress is simple, sexy and stunning with halter front, front side split and back that splits to resemble a two-piece. Everyone loves this dress.


Emilie Dress is available in red, coral and turquoise

nuovo red











Heart Royal Blue Dress is a straight “Jersey Chiffon” dress with shoestring straps and gathered bodice with three “peekaboo” bows: fun and stunning a great combination.













Browse and find the dress hire of your dream, choose up to 3 dresses and you will pay only the one you wear.

Girl Meets Dress has introduced an Infinite Membership: with £99/month you can choose from everything on our website with free delivery and dry cleaning, dress suggestions from out stylist and many other advantages.

Are you in London? Book an appointment in our showroom where you can try all the dresses you want bringing with you your heels, accessories and your friend!

What can women wear to a Black Tie event 2020? | Rent a Dress for Black Tie

You have received an invitation to a black tie event – it could be a black tie dinner party, a black tie work event or maybe a black tie wedding. Whichever one it is, you know this event will be fancy and you need to get the black tie dress code right. So, what attire do you wear? What kind of dresses are appropriate for a black tie occasion?

For men its much easier, all they have to throw on is a tux and a black tie. For women however, there is not one set rule when it comes to outfit choice. Traditionally, black tie calls for a floor-length dress or gown, however the modern black tie dress code isn’t quite as simple. If you decide to go with a floor-length gown, choose a dress with a simple and feminine silhouette that lightly accentuates your curves. Since formal dresses can be pricey, it makes much more sense to rent a dress instead, especially as black tie isn’t your everyday occasion and you are unlikely to be wearing it more than once. By renting a gown, you can pick from the best designers and ensure your dress is made of the highest quality. This will help you avoid tacky and head straight for elegant.

While you can’t go wrong with hiring a black or red dress for black tie, 2019/20 dress trends are showing that you can experiment a lot more with colours! Embellished and sparkly dresses as well as strapless and one shoulder dresses are also constantly gracing the red carpets as we enter 2020 awards season.

The Liberty Maxi Red

Cleo Dress

Panne Velvet Dress

Strawberry Aria Gown


long black tie dress
long black tie dress 3

long black tie dress 4long black tie dress 5

Renting a cocktail dress is another great option for black tie if a full length gown isn’t your thing, or you know your event is black tie optional. We suggest hiring a cocktail dress that sits just on or below the knee and is slightly structured or cinched at the waist to ensure your look remains feminine. Check out our favourite cocktail dresses to rent for black tie:

Isabella Red Cocktail Dress






Can you wear a short dress for a black tie event?

A modern black tie dress code definitely allows you to choose a short dress rental if you’d prefer. However our top tip would be to keep it classy – avoid anything too tight and anything that falls more than an inch or two above the knee. Check out our favourite picks for 2020:

Dress with Draping

Isalena Sequined Dress

Plumerias Print Dress

Millie Green Cocktail Dress


Can a women wear trousers or a tuxedo to a black tie event?

Absolutely! If you ladies want to make a fashion statement as well as look amazing in your rented outfit, why not hire a jumpsuit or throw on blazer & pant suit? This is a perfect way dress up for a black tie party or wedding, as it shows off your womanly figure in a beautifully flattering way, narrowing slightly at the waist and streamlining the leg. A sexy, yet classy look. Click the links below to see our top picks!

Daylight Blazer

Daylight Trousers

Kanda Jumpsuit

Black Lace Jumpsuit


Can you wear black to a black tie wedding?

You can absolutely hire a black dress to wear to a black tie wedding! However we’d advise to keep the black dresses to a winter wedding or evening wedding. Also make sure your accessories break up your rented black look, whether its a pop of colour from a designer clutch or heel, or sparkling diamond jewellery (which you can also rent from us!). Check out some more great black dress options below!

The Bailey Maxi Black

Silky Black Cowl Gown

Niara Scuba Gown Black

Girl Meets Dress has a large range of formal black tie dresses for hire, whether long, short or cocktail, so whatever your preference, we can help find you the perfect look for your big night! (even if you’d prefer no dress at all, and opt for a pantsuit!).

Rent your black tie outfit and look a million dollars without spending a fortune. What’s not to like?

First Rent The Runway and Girl Meets Dress in 2009. Now…

We have been reading an article online by goodmorningamerica.com about 7 clothing rental services to keep the US female shopper’s wardrobe in constant rotation.

You can read the whole feature here >

Rent The Runway has led the charge in the US when it comes to borrowing your wardrobe through a subscription service. Launching at the same time as Girl Meets Dress in the UK – 2009. Now, multiple companies, as well as major retailers, are following suit, making fashion more accessible.

In September, major retailer Bloomingdale’s launched a monthly subscription rental service called My List.

This new service gives members access to more than 60 of the major retailer’s brands.

The new launch for Bloomingdale’s makes it one of the first-ever subscription rental services from an upscale department store. Members get access to over 60 brands along with over 100 exclusive pieces.

Also, at the end of July, a new company called Nuuly which is owned by URBN (the parent company of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People) launched, and it now carries over 100 cool brands from labels many of us are familiar with.

There have also been popular stores such as Loft and New York and Company that have adopted the idea of giving customers the option to rent their favorite looks.

In the era of fast fashion, as brands churn out an ever-changing array of clothing, many consumers find it nice to lean on subscription services that allow them flexibility in how, and for how long, to acquire clothing.

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