Retail in Asia


China’s fashionistas flock to online luxury rental 


Formal school dance events like prom and homecoming don’t exist in China, but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of young women from renting luxury gowns without an occasion to wear one.

Xu Baizi, founder of Shanghai-based evening gown rental site Ms. Paris that launched last year, said this segment includes fashion-savvy and status-hungry consumers in first-tier cities.

Ms. Paris has two showrooms based in Shanghai, whose market makes up about 80% of its evening dress clientele and 40% of its daily wear clientele. But the remaining portion comes from more than 30 of China’s second-and third-tier cities.

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“Say some people in Xinjang are able to afford 400 RMB a month for the subscription,” she said.

Xu said  some of her customers in smaller cities, may not have access to a developed scene of high-end restaurants, clubs and bars, but still rent dresses to try out styles and take part in the lifestyle.

“Girls who are in their early 20s have grown up with U.S. TV shows where all the high school kids go to prom,” she said. Their solution? They rent party dresses and gowns for going to the mall, drinking at cafes, taking artistic street-style shots to show off to friends online.

These social media-obsessed have access to a system at Ms Paris that lets them rent an unlimited number of garments a month starting at 518 RMB, where at any given time, they can rent items that add up to 400 RMB.

Members get access to special events and experiences, like parties on a VIP yacht, rides in luxury cars, and dinners, and the photos they take from the events get uploaded into Ms Paris’s social media app on WeChat.

(Source: Jing Daily)