This Men’s Rental App Is Rethinking Fashion’s Sharing Economy – Vogue

By on January 13, 2021

Before the pandemic, the appeal of fashion rentals was always having something new to wear to work, parties, and vacations. What’s the draw in 2021? We’re still working from home, we haven’t traveled in a year, and—in New York, at least—it’s too cold for outdoor gatherings. We have no one to impress and nothing to “dress up” for, and yet Seasons, a men’s rental platform that launched in New York in 2019, is growing.

In fact, the last quarter of 2020 was its most successful to date, with an 800% spike in membership. “People are dressing up at home now, just for the sake of feeling a little bit better,” explains cofounder Regy Perlera. “When you get something new in the mail, it’s still that moment of excitement, even if you have nowhere to go.”

That says a lot about fashion’s purpose and who we ultimately dress for: ourselves. But Seasons’ product has a lot to do with it, too: Unlike its competitors offering basics and familiar brands, its curation is fashion-forward and experimental, with labels ranging from Gucci, Marni, and Prada to elevated streetwear brands like Amiri and Heron Preston, as well as smaller indie names like Keenkee and Judy Turner. Perlera and his cofounder, Luc Succès, bought their first pieces at retail, full price, simply choosing brands they loved or knew their friends would like. (Perlera was formerly a product designer at Nike and StockX, and Succès was a software engineer at Spotify and Artsy; they met in 2013 and collaborated on multiple design projects over the years.) “We wanted to prove there was a demand for this,” Perlera says. “We launched with 25 members in New York, and quickly grew to 100 within a couple months.”

When things slowed down dramatically last March, Perlera and Succès’s first order of business was to make Seasons more affordable and accessible. As their members left New York (temporarily or permanently), they quickly expanded Seasons to Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, Miami, and other cities around the country, then created new membership tiers. Now, you can rent one or two pieces a month—for $65 and $95, respectively—instead of three, which costs $125. (An unlimited membership, in which you can borrow three items at a time with infinite swaps, is $175.) “It’s pretty difficult to justify $600 for a sweater when we’re literally debating if we should give people $600 for the month,” Perlera says, referring to the government’s delayed stimulus checks. “There can be an alternative to traditional ‘ownership,’ where you’re creating opportunities for people to be a part of something without committing to it.”

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