A Sydney fashion rental startup just raised $4.2 million from AirTree and industry giants

GlamCorner staff. (Source: supplied)

Designer fashion rental business GlamCorner has secured a $4.2 million round of capital raising, with AirTree Ventures leading a group of big name investors from the rag trade.

AirTree was joined in the round by Marshall Investments — which owns the company behind the Sportscraft, SABA and JAG brands – along with designer and Sass & Bide co-founder Sarah-Jane Clarke.

Clarke said she supported the Sydney startup’s model of making high-end fashion available to those who may not be able to afford them outright.

“It feels good on so many levels that ‘sharing’ is now a viable way of doing business. As the sharing mindset becomes more and more accepted, the future of fashion rental can only get bigger and better,” she said.

Sustainable venture capital firm Giant Leap also joined in the round, as did Silicon Valley company Partners For Growth, which chipped in as a debt-funding partner.

GlamCorner co-founder and chief executive Dean Jones said that the company was “riding the beginnings” of a shift in Australian fashion consumer behaviour to the sharing economy.

Karla Sequin Gown by L’Amour on hire at GlamCorner. (Source: Facebook/GlamCorner)

“We’ve experienced over 500% growth over the last twelve months alone and our customers have borrowed the retail equivalent of over $20 million dollars worth of designer fashion — an indication of just how much consumer spending habits are changing in this industry,” he said.

The new money will be used on expanding inventory, technology and product development, improve logistics and add to its workforce of 40 people. The latest round takes the total amount of investment to $5.5 million in the past two years.

GlamCorner, established in 2012 by Jones and his wife Audrey Khaing-Jones, currently has in excess of 3,000 dresses in stock from more than 150 luxury labels, including Alex Perry, Zimmermann, Self Portrait and Thurley.

Khaing-Jones welcomed the new investors on board and said that they shared their vision for the venture.

“Australian women have been ‘sharing’ clothing for a long time actually, so making that network bigger is allowing us to save them money while preventing up to 10 tonnes of clothing from ending up in landfills every month. We’re very proud of that.”