An interview with Girl Meets Dress founder Anna Bance
As it’s Entrepreneur Week, there seemed no better way to celebrate than by interviewing Anna Bance. Having worked as a PR for Hermes, she went on to create Girl Meets Dress, a website that allows girls to hire designer dresses for a small proportion of their retail price. With McQueen dresses accessible to rent from £29, it’s clear that Anna knows how to run a business, whilst simultaneously giving girls what they want. We asked Anna a few questions about the brand.
What inspired you to start up the company Girl Meets Dress, and how did you draw from your previous experience in the fashion industry to make this work?
The Girl Meets Dress story began in 2009 when I was working as UK PR manager for French luxury brand Hermes – and like my previous roles in the fashion industry, it involved lending the collection of dresses and accessories out on a daily basis to fashion magazines, shoots, celebrities and journalists.
I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be amazing if we could all borrow dresses for just one event, and wear a different designer for every occasion in our calendar? My co-founder Xavier de Lecaros-Aquise and I looked into the market and we saw that no one was doing it. We were the first company to rent luxury fashion online and it is wonderful that Girl Meets Dress is now pioneering the way for rental as a new and exciting ecommerce category of its own.
Do you think it is important for girls to get the same privileges as celebrities who are able to swap and borrow collections from designers?
Of course! Celebrities have always been borrowing dresses for special events, and now everyone is a mini-celebrity in their own world; all women can have access to this luxury. Rental is a way for consumers to extract all the value without any of the headaches; women can now easily wear more relevant, trend-led, time-sensitive fashions, while continuing to invest and buy only in those classic pieces which will stand the test of time.
What has been the biggest achievement for you in terms of Girl Meets Dress?
The biggest ones are yet to come I hope, and 2014 has a lot of potential for exciting news for the business! Ensuring we have a full team in place while bootstrapping was no easy feat. We were lucky to find so many hard-working and ambitious staff to stick with the vision and us.
I am really happy with the fact that we’ve created a fantastic product for all women to have their Cinderella moment. We all need to feel amazing for life’s special moments and Girl Meets Dress democratises fashion, enabling millions of women to afford luxury every day.
What is your favourite piece from the website?
My current favourites for versatile party dresses to wear in the day and then straight out at night are Alice + Olivia and Rachel Zoe.
What plans have you got in store for the website?
Without giving anything away, Girl Meets Dress is proving the potential to be huge! We have ambitious and exciting plans for the year ahead. We want to continue to grow the collection of stock, the team and to innovate within the wider fashion space.
We will continue our leadership of this emerging space and be in a position to wow our customers in every way possible, and to forge a brand and quality of service which women will wonder how they managed without, giving women access to the biggest closet in the world!
To find out more about Girl Meets Dress, click here.