Twinset to launch ‘Pleasedontbuy’ clothes rental service in September
On Thursday, the Italian womenswear label introduced to the media in Milan a new clothes hire initiative called ‘Pleasedontbuy’.
“Like many others, our label is positioned in a market segment I define as ‘alternative luxury’. We were looking for a way of differentiating ourselves and standing out from the others, and not just in terms of style,” said Twinset boss Alessandro Varisco. “The idea came to me on December 19, watching a show on Netflix. Nowadays, you can rent anything, so why not offer the opportunity of renting high-quality, 100% made-in-Italy clothes directly from the producer?” he added.
From next September, Twinset will therefore install special sections dedicated to the Pleasedontbuy project at eight of its Italian monobrand stores (in via Manzoni and via Montenapoleone in Milan, in via Cola di Rienzo and via del Corso in Rome, and also in Bari, Turin, Orio al Serio and Verona), where the label will regularly feature capsule collections of clothes for special occasions such as ceremonies, birthday parties or job interviews. The clothes will cater especially to young, generation Z customers, who currently account for only 5% of Twinset’s clientèle.
“Often, young women cannot afford such high-quality clothes, made with materials like cashmere and silk, and they make do with fast fashion. Through this project, we hope to enable them to appreciate genuine Italian-made products, and to give them the chance of wearing clothes they couldn’t ordinarily afford to buy. We are talking about items ranging in price from €900 up to €3,000, which can be rented for four days for between €40 and €90,” said Varisco. “Over the course of the seasons, we will make available other exclusive collections, some designed for more mature women too. Many women I know are enthusiastic about the idea,” he added.
According to Varisco, Pleasedontbuy has several advantages over traditional online clothes rental formulas: the clothes can be tried in-store, they come directly from the manufacturer and they are always laundered and in mint condition. Indeed, Twinset has set up, besides an ad hoc logistics organisation, also an internal laundry service and a seamstress studio for minor repairs.
“We will give customers the option of signing up, for a cost of €5, to an insurance policy covering damages up to €120; we’re also working on a total cover policy that will cost €25,” said Varisco.
Pleasedontbuy will enjoy a red-carpet launch at the Venice Film Festival next September, and will be operational at the eight stores involved from September 19. The first collection will consist of 21 models, each in three to four different colours, available in sizes 38 to 48 Italy (6 to 16 UK). After this initial test phase, another 10 stores will join the project in February. Pleasedontbuy will then be introduced online, with a dedicated e-tail site, and will be operational outside Italy too.
“We want to keep Pleasedontbuy strictly separate from the Twinset line: the style will be unambiguously different and the project will initially be run by an internal team, though in future I’d like to create capsule collections with major fashion names. We may also consider extending it to the wholesale channel. In tough times such as these, wholesalers may benefit from it. Also on the cards, the possibility of opening small, 30-40 m2 stores dedicated to Pleasedontbuy,” concluded Varisco.
Twinset has been owned by US private equity firm Carlyle since the end of 2017. The label closed 2018 with a revenue of €235 million, 54% of which were generated in Italy, and an EBITDA margin of 17%.
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