You don’t have something to wear? Jean Paul Gaultier has launched a rental service of some of his most memorable creations, inviting fashion aficionados to step inside a piece of history.
Clients will be able to borrow from an archive of more than 30,000 items made by France’s famed enfant terrible throughout his 50-year career as a designer, positioning the French fashion house at the forefront of a new dawn for luxury shopping.
The site, which begins on Wednesday, will include a rotating selection of items from the 1980s and 1990s, such as the Eurotrash host’s renowned cage outfit and the satin cone brassiere corsets that became iconic after Madonna wore one during her Blond Ambition tour.
It will also be possible to rent a studded denim ensemble from one of Gaultier’s gloriously off-the-wall male designs.
Gaultier intends to reach a bigger audience and encourage a new generation to experience the brand with pricing ranging from roughly €150 (£126) for a scarf to €700 for a short-term rental of a cage-style evening dress.
The addition of a vintage category, where buyers can purchase pre-owned Gaultier goods, is also part of the brand’s new approach.
On the brand’s website, a selection of 50 antique pieces gathered from private clients and resellers will be available for purchase.
Gaultier has sparked a lot of interest on releasing sites like Vestiare Collective and Depop, prompting the company to produce its own vintage collection. The French house’s corsets are among the most sought-after antique items.
Jean Paul Gaultier’s choice to purchase this segment of the market marks a fresh beginning for him. Since his retirement from the runway in 2019, the maison has been operating without its founder designer.
Gaultier has set its eyes on competing with a new type of fashion superbrand, under the direction of Antoine Gagey and with the support of its newly hired creative director, Florence Tétier.
Drops instead of regular seasonal fashion collections are part of the plan, as is working with a cast of hype-beast partners and appealing to a Gen Z customer who is influenced by antique fashion.
“By blending in the same platform, we aim to explore new methods of buying and experiencing fashion,” Gagey told WWD.
While fast-fashion brands like Boohoo and Misguided continue to entice young people, the rental and resale sector in fashion is expanding, especially at the high end of the spectrum.
Hurr, Mywardrobe.com, and By Rotation, all established in the United Kingdom, are being compared to quick fashion.
Carrie Johnson, who borrowed her dress for her wedding to the Prime Minister, has praised the rental industry, which is predicted to be worth £2.3 billion by 2029 and has been hailed as a viable answer to fashion’s environmental issue.