A black evening dress by Versace for €190, or $216? A dress by Just Cavalli for €140? These are not bargain prices in the summer sales, but rental prices for luxury-brand evening wear.
While German women are slowly getting used to the idea of renting a dress for a reception, it is already a big business in the U.S. The market leader, New York-based Rent the Runway, served more than five million customers last year and generated sales from dress and accessories rentals of $809 million.
Alexandra Grün, the founder and manager of the Munich-based online dress platform dresscoded.com, is pioneering the concept in Germany. “We started in 2013, initially only to outfit film actresses and other celebrities for big events,” said Ms. Grün. Since then the small start-up has become a solid business with growing numbers of customers. “We feel that customers in Germany are becoming more and more open, not only to owning evening dresses, but to renting them,” Ms. Grün added.