Little Borrowed Dress, an online bridesmaid-dress rental company, has raised $1.25 million in seed funding from Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Launch Capital, Neu Venture Capital, NYC Seed, Charles Smith, David Tisch (BoxGroup), Rett Wallace and Joanne Wilson.
The startup rents a line of bridesmaid dresses that it designs and manufactures in New York City. Unlike typical bridesmaid dress retailers, which charge an average of $230 per dress before alteration costs (I’ve been a bridesmaid many times, so I can attest to this being true), Little Borrowed Dress rents dresses online starting at just $50.
The curated collection of 12 classic styles are offered in 18 colors. Moreover, the company attempts to design its garments so they fit and flatter all body shapes and sizes without alterations. The startup used multiple fit models that have varied body types but are all the same size for each size to fit a spectrum of body types (even women who are pregnant, says founder Corie Hardee).
Little Borrowed Dress guarantees availability for all orders placed at least eight weeks before the wedding date. The dresses arrive on their doorstep two weeks before the wedding date and then the first day after the wedding they can drop them in the mail in the pre-paid packaging provided, similar to the way other rental dress sites (e.g. Rent The Runway) work.
Cocktail length styles rent for $50 and full-length gowns rent for $75 (two-week rental period). All dresses are also available to purchase new – $150 for cocktail length and $185 for full-length gowns.
The startup has also added “bride-friendly” features to make ordering dresses online a little bit easier. For example, Little Borrowed Dress has a real wedding section where brides can look through wedding albums of past customers to see how the dresses look. Brides can also request swatches of fabrics and colors before ordering.
In the same way that Rent the Runway has been able to solve a problem for women not wanting to shell out massive dollars for a dress you’ll wear once or twice, Little Borrowed Dress saves brides time and makes the process much easier and, most importantly, cheaper for bridesmaids. And if you aren’t sacrificing quality (Hardee attests to this), then why not save your bridesmaids a few dollars?