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Ask Anna

Anna Bance for The Good Web Guide


So many wonderful discoveries to make in the world of online shopping. Girl Meets Dress founder Anna writes for The Good Web Guide and chooses her favourite brands.

You can read all the features she has written so far here: https://www.thegoodwebguide.co.uk/the-edit/anna-bance-highlights/8974/


Anna Bance for The Good Web Guide

Anna Bance for The Good Web Guide



At the end of last year, Anna presented the Good Web Guide Award winners with their trophies. Photos below. Which was a wonderful evening.


Anna Bance Girl Meets Dress The Good Web Guide Awards2


Anna Bance Girl Meets Dress The Good Web Guide Awards


Anna Bance Girl Meets Dress The Good Web Guide Awards1

Anna Bance Co Founder of Girl Meets Dress

Anna Bance Co Founder of Girl Meets Dress


anna bance lifestyle

Anna Bance co founder of Girl Meets Dress


1. Was it a light bulb moment when you came up with the basic idea of girl meets dress?

We were the first company to rent luxury fashion online and it is wonderful that Girl Meets Dress is now pioneering the way for rental as an exciting ecommerce category of its own.

The idea for Girl Meets Dress came to me while working as Head of UK PR for French Luxury brand Hermes. As we know, celebrities have always borrowed dresses for special events, and I noticed that with the proliferation of social media everyone is now a mini-celebrity in their own world, adding an increasing social pressure to a women’s inherent desire not to wear the same dress twice.

Launching Girl Meets Dress gave all women can have access to this luxury – being able to easily wear more relevant, trend led, time-sensitive fashions, while continuing to invest and buy only in those classic pieces which will stand the test of time.


2. How easy was it to get the business started up?

When Girl Meets Dress launched back in 2009, the recession mindset dominated which was fantastic timing for the concept.

It meant that “cost per use” was a huge driver, as being smart with money and where to spend it was highly regarded.

We operate in a similar way to that of another retailer, buying the stock from designer brands and then renting the items out to customers for between 10-30% off the retail value.

When researching the market we noticed the trend for fast fashion phenomenon which has been fuelled by mass market retailers’ abilities to manufacture and retail in very short time cycles. so much so that women now buy four times as much clothing as 30 years ago and the average woman has 22 garments in her wardrobe that she has never worn. We took this into consideration and established price points from here.

Retail and consumer habits are changing significantly, both in terms of expectations but also in terms of value. The growth in rental is testament to that change and also highlights consumers growing preference for experience over ownership.

In the past most people lived a more predictable, structured life. Most consumers aspired to own a home, and a car or two. There were certain days for work and days for play, clothes for work and other clothes for play, and so on.  Today, people are rapidly evolving how they live and work. What seems increasingly important to people is quality of experience, selection and convenience.


Anna Bance GMD

Anna Bance co founder of Girl Meets Dress



3. Being a novel idea altogether was securing finance by banks easy?

Girl Meets Dress.com raised a round of financing in 2013 from Global Founders Capital, the $200M fund from Rocket Internet’s Samwer brothers and former Delivery Hero co-CEO.



4. What it something that people were naturally drawn to or was it a bit of a hard sell hiring dresses?

I would say there had always been a potential market for the service we provide. I spotted a gap in the market for online luxury fashion rental after working as Head Pr for Hermes for a couple of years.

Now a days GirlMeetsDress.com provides millions of women the ability to rent designer dresses and accessories for a fraction of the retail price, allowing them to look and feel beautiful for all of their social events.



5. Your part of a sharing economy that is growing by the day. How do you think you fit into it?

When Girl Meets Dress launched back in 2009, the recession mindset dominated. It meant that “cost per use” was a huge driver, as being smart with money and where to spend it was highly regarded. But it was also clear that people have since realised that experience and time are the most precious commodities we have, and that consequently ownership is becoming more irrelevant than ever before.



6. Where do you see the business growing into?

We started International delivery in 2014 and have expanded into Europe, targeting customers from over 30 different countries including France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

The majority of all transactions are outside of London, enabling customers in all parts of the country to have global designers delivered to their doorstep. Customers can rent over 4,000 dresses from over 150 designers.

This is the first time designer rental has been made accessible in Europe. The expansion will enable customers in all parts of Europe to have access to global designer brands. The expansion into Europe aligns with the GMD team’s global ambition to build a brand combining e-commerce and merchandising expertise with a deep sense of innovation and luxury.


A Stunning Dress for a Dinner Date-Ask Anna

“I have a dinner date coming up next weekend with a guy I’ve only met once before. I want to wear something sexy, but also not too flashy. What would you suggest?”

My rule for first dates is that although you obviously want to dress to impress, it is also really important to feel comfortable. I am assuming that the restaurant he is taking you to is relatively fancy – if he’s planned his first date with you at his favourite kebab shop then you definitely do not need to dress up for this guy – there will be no date number two! Therefore, a nice mid-length dress would be ideal.

Here are my top choices:

JASMINE DI MILO – Ribbon Cold Shoulder Dress


This is a beautiful, one-shoulder dress. It is both sexy and sophisticated, and black is always a safe option. Wear with a clutch which matches your heels. Wear your hair up, so that there is as much neckline as possible visible.

HERVE LEGER – Green & Grey Dress

This dress is definitely the sexier option – with the figure-hugging cut and low-cut back, your date won’t be able to take his eyes off you! Wear with your favourite pair of black heels, with your hair down to dress the look down slightly.

FENDI – Fendi Wrap Dress

I think that this dress is the most relaxed option, so if that is a major priority for you, then this is your dress of choice! Wear with a pair of black ankle boots.

One last tip: Don’t Panic! Have a glass of vino before you go to quell those last minute butterflies (try stick to one though…). Enjoy yourself – you look stunning!

Useful links: Date night, party dresses, girls’ night out, bags.

The Perfect Dress for a Spring Wedding-Ask Anna

“I have a spring wedding coming up in April. It’s in the country, and it starts in the early afternoon, but it will probably turn into an evening affair. What dress could I wear that is appropriate for both day and evening?”

It is important to remember that at weddings, you want to look sophisticated and comfortable. Of course, it is also important to know the level of formality of the wedding, but I always feel that in these situations, it is better to err on the side of over dressed rather than underdressed – nobody wants to be the girl who was cut out of all the pictures for wearing jeans and sneakers! However, at the same time, you don’t want to be remembered as the girl who tried to steal the spotlight. It’s actually quite a difficult balance to find.

I think that over-the-knee dresses are more appropriate than the average mini you might wear at a club. It being a spring wedding, I think that floral or pastel colours are a good choice. A bit of shine might add a nice touch, especially if this for a day-turned-night affair. Here are my top choices:

Zimmerman – Halter Maxi Dress

This is a really stunning dress, which elongates the figure. It is also very handy for those of us who are not particularly gifted when it comes to walking in heels – a pair of flat pumps or sandals will be fine for this option. Minimal accessories are also important – a pair of drop earrings and a bracelet will be more than enough.

Phillip Lim – Halter Fringe Silk Dress

This dress has a beautifully vintage feel about it. The front makes it demure, while the back shows just the right amount of skin. Wear with light, gold jewellery – a bracelet and a pair of small solid gold hoops will do. Wear with a pair of feminine shoes – baby doll high heels would be perfect.

Philosophi di ALberta Ferretti – Purple Strapless

My final choice is the purple strapless. This is a really lovely option, and works equally well for the day and the night. Accessorise with a light silver necklace (nothing to heavy – the bow already gives it a lot of detail). Wear with a pair of round-toe heels.

Send any fashion questions to: thea@girlmeetsdress.com

Useful Links: Wedding guest, bags, day dress

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