Fancy affordable Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton? Luxe Crush offers style without commitment


Photograph by Carly May.

SHIRLEY CHEN AND CYNTHIA HUDSON were hanging out at Hudson’s Lakewood, talking about the 2020 mess last March. After spending 20 years with Neiman Marcus, Hudson had recently discovered that his division was being dissolved as the retailer went bankrupt.

“We were just talking about different ways to reinvent ourselves and different opportunities,” Hudson said.

Chen and Hudson met over ten years ago through a mutual friend. Incidentally, they both worked at Neiman Marcus, but they never crossed paths. Eventually the friend moved to Chicago, but Chen and Hudson are now close friends and business partners. With over 40 years combined in the fashion industry, they launched Luxury crush, an online marketplace for people to sell, buy, lend and rent their designer bags, jewelry and accessories during the pandemic. Unlike other rental programs, Luxe Crush offers flexible rental periods, a trial before you buy program, and a White Glove membership option for sellers and lenders.

The luxury goods resale market is one of the fastest growing retail segments. It has grown from small consignment stores to multi-million e-commerce businesses like Poshmark, Thred-up, and The Real Real. A showcase for The Real Real opened in Knox Henderson in the spring of 2021. It’s not just about sustainable fashion, either.

“The younger generation didn’t necessarily need to own something, but they love the experiences,” Chen says.

Photograph by Carly May.

Luxe Crush offers style without the commitment of a handbag that costs several thousand dollars. What makes it different from other luxury consignment stores is that individual luxury enthusiasts can monetize their own closets as well as consignment sales.

“It’s an alternative where maybe you’re not ready to sell, but you can actually rent and earn extra income,” says Hudson.

The company insures up to $ 10,000, so lenders can have peace of mind knowing that their bag will come back pristine. Only high-end luxury brands are listed on the site, another clothing-focused differentiator from The Real Real or Rent the Runway. The duo especially has their eye on the holy trinity of Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

The site’s most expensive bag, a classic black double-flap Chanel with an estimated retail value of $ 6,500, can be rented for a month for $ 650 or $ 260 for four days. Or if a buyer wanted to steal, they can deposit $ 4,750 to own the bag.

Orders didn’t just start to arrive when they were launched. Special events where high-end jewelry and special bags are often touted were on hiatus. Most of the inventory on the site comes from their own personal collection.

“The real work begins now,” Chen says. “Our big challenge at the moment is to develop brand awareness. “

They caught the attention of an NBC master prop Good girls, who rented a bulk order of bags for an episode focused on counterfeit goods.

Chen and Hudson want users to use Luxe Crush not only for events, but to make every occasion special.

“We really want this to be part of your lifestyle,” says Hudson. “You should always be able to treat yourself, dress for these everyday occasions.”

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