In a first for the menswear industry, sneakerheads (of the luxury fashion variety) can now rent designer footwear from New York-based online subscription service LSWOP.
Customers can rent between one and three pairs of sneakers a month from brands including Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin, Lanvin, Martin Margiela, Tom Ford, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Rick Owens for up to four days.
There are three packages available: $150, $300 or $450 a month, providing one, two or three pairs per month respectively – a tiered pricing structure that also correlates to gifts and rewards. It’s a strategy potentially suited to style-conscious millennials who respond positively to personalisation, including non-generic rewards, as well as consumers looking for day-to-night products (see Membership & Tiered Retailing and The Future of Athleisure).
The concept talks to the monumental rise in spending on high-end menswear and accessories, estimated to reach $480bn globally by 2019 (Euromonitor, 2015) and the rise of the rental economy. Fifty-seven per cent of young American adults say access is the new ownership (PwC, 2015), while Deloitte analysis states global investments in sharing start-ups now total $12bn+ (BoF, 2016).
LSWOP ensures all sneakers arrive in new or pristine condition. Soles are covered in a 3mm-thick film and are dry-cleaned after each return. According to co-founder/creative director Jonathan Escoffery: “LSWOP is an intelligent option for men who want to elevate their sneaker collection with minimal investment.”