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  • 11 Nov 2016
    SHE might be an internet fashion queen, but Tash Sefton is going to be helping shoppers get must-have looks – at the mall. image: Prom Dresses UK Sefton, half of the duo behind hit fashion website TheyAllHateUs, has become Westfield Warringah Mall’s fashion ambassador­ as the centre prepares to unveil a revamp. Sefton, who’se website gets eight million hits a year, also styled the dramatic shots for the mall’s new advertising campaign. She’ll also help reopen the centre with Westfield boss Peter Allen next week. And it was at the mall where the mum of two’s career began. “I had my first job at David Jones working there when I was going to fashion college. It gave me a really good sense of the reality of the fashion industry,” she said. Sefton, who grew up on the northern beaches and lived in Manly and Mona Vale but just moved to Mosman, now takes her own children there. And while her website, which she runs with pal Elle Ferguson, allows fashion fans to buy their curated selection of clothes every month without leaving the house – she said malls still had their place. “I feel like online shopping is just another door,” she said. “My mum likes to try things on, and with my kids I have have no idea of their sizes so I can’t buy online.” See More: Cheap Wedding Dresses
    432 Posted by Vicki Staggs

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Shopping 36 views Nov 29, 2019
Fashion star Jane Shepherdson joins clothing rental start-up

Jane Shepherdson, a fashion executive credited with building Philip Green's Topshop into a global brand, has become chairman of start-up My Wardrobe HQ in a high-profile boost to the UK's fledging clothing rental industry.

 

 

Image: Robes de Bal

 

The role is Ms Shepherdson's first corporate assignment since leaving Whistles, the fashion brand where she was chief executive and a part-owner, in 2016. She told the Financial Times that the time out, part of it spent travelling round the US, had increased her interest in alternative business models and environmental issues.

 

"I've seen so many documentaries about how fast fashion is killing the planet . . . I've visited a lot of supposedly sustainable brands. But a lot of them are not really sustainable. They're just adding to the pile."

 

My Wardrobe HQ was founded by marketing executive Sacha Newall and Tina Lake, a former buyer for Monsoon. It is one of a crop of new UK designerwear rental start-ups. It differs from services such as Girl Meets Dress in that it acts only as an interface between owners and renters, rather than taking inventory on to its own balance sheet.

 

Unlike Hurr Collective and By Rotation, which also operate a peer-to-peer model, it cleans, stores and ships the loaned garments itself. The clothes, which rent for around a tenth of the retail selling price, are loaned by a mixture of individuals and brands.

 

The company is backed by around 25 angel investors. Ms Shepherdson, who left Topshop in 2006 after disagreements about strategy with Sir Philip, has made what she described as a "small but significant" investment.

 

She became involved after Ms Newall spotted her name on a list of people who had registered interest in the company's services. "I had been working on something similar . . . but I quickly realised that Sacha and Tina had got a lot further down the line and created these amazing logistics."

 

Ms Newall said that consumers were warming to the idea of renting clothes owing to concerns about the environmental impact of the fashion industry, and because renting allowed them to wear garments that would otherwise be beyond their budget.

 

"There is a lot less stigma about it. Rent the Runway has made a big difference," she said, referring to the US market leader in clothing for hire.

 

The New York-based group has been established for a decade and was valued at over $1bn at its last funding round. It operates under a Spotify-style subscription model, with users paying around $159 a month for unlimited rentals. However, it has revealed few details about its profitability, prompting questions about whether the business model is sustainable.

 

Chana Baram, senior retail analyst at Mintel, said its research suggested around two-thirds of UK consumers were not prepared to try renting. "That might change, though, because younger people are more amenable. They want to change their wardrobe more frequently in response to new trends," she said.

 

Rental also faces challenges from the growth of second-hand, or "preloved" as it is often now described. Start-ups like Depop and Vestiaire Collective have grown rapidly and established brands are showing interest; Vestiaire now has a permanent concession in Selfridges.

 

Ms Newall said My Wardrobe HQ had responded by offering renters the option to buy garments, adding that the company's logistics and payment systems could also be used by brands to offer clothes for hire.

 

See More: Robes de Soirée


Tags: #fashion