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The global fashion business journal

Apr 14, 20243:28am

From ‘renting to celebrities’: giant’s weapons to conquer the Z’s

Urban Outfitters has been the last sector’s company in approach the new business models, addressed to the youngest public with the launch of a monthly clothes rental service.

May 27, 2019 — 9:00am
J. Cumellas / C. Juárez

Collaboration between Rihanna and Fenty


Use before property, more digitalisation and inclusive brands. Fashion business titans approach the new ways of buying to address a new generation, the Z, whose habits have almost nothing to do with the ones of their fathers. On purchase strikes and with new launches, groups as LVMH, Urban Outfitters or L’Oréal test new business models to join the new generations’ wave.  


Most of sector’s giants have incorporated these new tendencies to its operations. Urban Outfitters, with the launching of a clothes rental service, or LVMH, with the alliance with Rihanna, has been one of the lasts to bring in the new tendencies.


The arrival of new operators like Uber or Netflix have highlighted the customers’ bet for these new models and have unleashed the creation of similar systems within fashion’s sector, which are based on give priority to the use of a product over its property through the rental.





Urban Outfitters has been one of the companies recently joining the wave of this tendency with the launching of a monthly clothes rental service. Nuuly, the new company’s bet is based in the shipment of a box with up to six clothing items, previously selected, for 88 dollars per month.


Nuuly, which will be available from the summer, offers up to one-thousand products of brands like Anthropologie, Free People and Urban Outfitters, as well as vintage clothing items. Besides, the group offers the possibility of the clients to acquire the items.


However, Urban Outfitters is not pioneer on the clothes rental sector. Rent The Runway was one of the first companies in betting for this segment. The company, born ten years ago and has picked up more than 300 million dollars in funding rounds, has also diversified its business through and alliance with WeWork for the packaging pickup in company’s offices.


The rental company, which was born as pure player, has also adopted an expansion strategy through the offline with the implementation of pop up stores under the name of dream closet in various cities of the US.





The bet for rental business has also arrived to Spain. Tous, a sector’s historical company, joined at the beginning of year the jewelry rental start up’s capital, Verone, with the aim of expanding its business and engage new publics.


New digital tools incorporation or the bet for the online is another of the titans’ tendencies to get to new generation. In this sense, traditional retailers have invested in pure players’ acquisition with the aim of not lagging behind and conquering new publics.


In this sense, the American Walmart concluded in 2017 Bonobos’ purchase, a male fashion online company that has non-stock stores operating as a showroom. Nevertheless, this has not been the only company’s bet to conquer new segments. During last years, the company has taken out its checkbook and has acquired other companies like ShoeBuy, Moosejaw or ModCloth.





Another of fashion’s giants that has also explored new paths through acquirements with the aim of widening its public and business is Gap. In December 2016, the company purchased Weddington Way, an start up specialized in online wedding fashion sale. However, the experiment did not work and a year later, the company closed down.


Asos, for its part, has started to test the conversational commerce. The group concluded a strategical agreement with Google that allows the owners of its loudspeaker in the United States and the United Kingdom to purchase through Enki, the voice platform of Asos.



Cosmetics, also going for the Young people

Cosmetics’ sector also does not escape from the bet to conquer millennials. Luxury giants like L’Oréal have also run for new brands’ purchase to capture youngsters. Is the case of the acquirement of Nyx, whose expansion strategy is based on the opening of physical stores in the main commercial hubs, “where the young public is”, according to the brands, instead of in the traditional perfumery channel.


Estée Lauder, for its part, has also moved up a gear in the bet for the young public taking out its checkbook. In 2017, the American group acquired the brand Too Faced, popular amongst millennial, with an account of more than twelve million followers in Instagram.


 The cosmetic has also tried to reinforce the sales to the young people within the last years with the launching of Fenty Beauty, which was born alongside with Kendo, the cosmetics’ incubator of LVMH, with Rihanna in 2017. In its first exercise, the company overcame the five hundred million euros in billing.




With Fenty, LVMH embraced another one of sector’s tendencies that the youngest generations demand: the inclusivity. The brand differentiated itself for launching forty distinct tones of make-up base with the aim of fitting in every kind of skin.  


The brand’s launching, which was done simultaneously in 1,620 Sephora’s stores in seventeen different countries, helped to Time’s magazine appointed Fenty as the best year’s invention and provoked that other sector’s companies had to widen its colour range.


The success in the collaboration between Rihanna and LVMH has permitted one of the most important recent launchings of the sector. With the aim of continuing capitalizing the singer’s success, the luxury conglomerated has recently started to run Fenty, where Rihanna is CEO and creative director, the first brand that launches since Christian Lacroix in 1987.

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