Not too long ago, Chic-Marie celebrated the launch of their online professional wardrobe rental services in Le Crystal Hotel where guests were invited to discover the pieces that are now available for rental through the website via a fashion show. You can take a look at sneak peaks from the launch party (which I could not attend as I was in LA for a conference, which I will be telling you about shortly, but thanks Chris for capturing these shots) and my favourite picks from the current collection. Also, I had a chat with Marie herself about her company and its services.
1) Tell us a little more about yourself and what motivated you to open Chic Marie?
I studied law and worked in the field and as a young professional with a very busy schedule, I realized with some colleagues we would love to be able to shop from home and have access to new pieces regularly without having to disburse as much as when buying clothes. At Chic Marie we basically want to create an affordable virtual Ogilvy or Holt Renfrew.
2) When did you launch the website?
On November 13th and we had approximately 125 guests and people from the Media such as Elle Quebec. We are currently working on the English version of the website and we will be offering our services to the US eventually.
3) Which services do you offer?
We offer rental services of professional clothing for women. We also offer styling services and our customers can identify their silhouette and measurements, add comments to describe what they want and ask questions or get advice on what to wear for a date or another event. Our stylist may call them for further questions. They can also get a $5 monthly insurance covering potential damages to the pieces. If the customer likes an item, she can buy it for a reduced price depending on the number of times the piece was rented.
4) How does it work?
We have 3 monthly packages: 3 pieces for $95/month, 4 for $125/month, 5 for $155/month.
The customer can choose per example 5 pieces from the current collection and they will receive 3 pieces based on stylist’s recommendation and inventory availability. The price of the items does not affect the price of the package. They have to return the pieces they are currently renting before getting the next pieces package. If an item is missing from the return, we will consider that the customer wants to keep it. The maximum period of time one can keep pieces from the same delivery is two months. Usually, people opt for the bigger packages which allows them for 4 to 5 switches per month.
5) What type of women can rent pieces from your wardrobe? (age, career, silhouette)
Our customers are women between 25 and 40 years old. They are young professionals and many work in the big corporate tours. We carry sizes up to 10 They are financially comfortable, but can’t afford to refresh their wardrobes as frequestly as our formula permits.
6) For what kind of events are the pieces in your inventory?
We carry a lot of dresses, some of which are backless, blazers, pants, blouses, etc. So, principally for work and your 5@7s.
7) What are the advantages of renting clothes through your inventory?
Our customers get to refresh their wardrobe on a regular basis with new pieces without having to pay the full price of owning them. All the pieces are directly delivered to them and come with a prepaid stamp to return the package. They also have access to a personal stylist.
8) What’s the new arrival frequency?
It would be each Thursday morning, but we will have more arrivals in February when the designers will start delivering their spring/summer collections.
9) How did you choose the pieces and designers to build your inventory?
With the help of a buyer, we went through a preliminary list of local designers and our collection currently regroups pieces from Annie 50, Tavan & Mitto, Bodybag by Jude, Travis Taddeo, Jax N Joe, Iris Setlakwe, Dinh Bà, Melow by Melissa Bolduc. We were looking for what was going to represent our customers: young, colors, punch and we avoided the brown and grey stereotypes of the corporate world.
10) Are you planning on adding international designers to the collection? When?
Yes we are working on it, but we did not set a date yet.
11) Which celebrities represent best the Chic Marie Style?
Olivia Pope from Scandal, the girls from the TV Series Suits. We were inspired by Jessica’s character in Suits for many of our buys for the collection.
12) Will you be adding other services and products in the future?
We are currently working on extending our services to plus sizes and maternity professional clothing rental services.
Launch party Photo Credit: Chris M.
Collection Photos courtesy of Chic Marie
Founder Editor & Personal shopper.