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The advantages of being able to rent designer pieces to wear to a one-time event, or just to enjoy for an allotted time, has been available for adults for many years through rental companies like Bag, Borrow or Steal, Rent the Runway, and Lending Luxury. Now the same option is available to parents who wish to rent designer clothing for their children, through the online company, Borrow Mini Couture.
The company was started in 2012 by a husband and wife team, Alex and Heidi Lieske. The couple had been invited to a wedding when their son, Cobb, who was one year old. After scouring stores for a suitable outfit, they finally settled on a $200 suit set that included a shirt, belt, pants, tie, and coat. Their son out grew the outfit within a week, and they came to the realization that there was a market for rentable clothing for children, especially for special occasions.
They originally named the company Borrow Baby Couture, however their recent expansion into larger sizes prompted them to change the name to Borrow Mini Couture. They now have over 400 designs from such designers as: Dior, Jottum, Il Guffo, Appaman, Moschino, Simonetta, David Charles of London, Fendi, Baby Graziella, Baby CZ and more. The company’s buyer, Melissa Brown assures, “We add to our collection each season to be sure we carry the latest trends as well as the classic styles. Our goal is to offer a variety of designers to meet the different fashion preferences of its customers.”
Rental prices average between $30-$99, with shipping both ways, and insurance included in the rental price. The rental time is for 5 days, and you can even reserve the clothing for up to a year in advance.
According to the Marketline Global Childrenswear Market Report for 2013, the US children’s clothing industry is predicted to reach $80 billion by 2017 by growing at 7% annually over the next five years. This is twice as fast as women’s apparel and 40 % faster than the men’s. Due to the staggering growth prospects of the industry, brands such as Gucci, Oscar de la Renta, and Lanvin are jumping on the children’s apparel train as rental companies grow.
Borrow Mini Couture is capitalizing on their growth by expanding, not only sizes, but also in the brands they offer with the inclusion of Pampolina, Charabia, Sonya Rykiel, Right Bank Baby, Microbe by Miss Grant, Hugo Boss and Crewcuts to their inventory.
CEO Heidi Lieski explains, “My children grow so quickly that it can get very expensive to dress them, especially in a special-occasion outfit they’ll only wear once. Now, parents can get designer quality clothing at affordable mall prices.”