May 2024

Passion for Fashion: Taking Over the Fashion Rental Empire

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Ekaterina, founder of Passion for Fashion- one of the fastest-growing rental marketplaces in Australia. Here’s what she had to say about all things fashion and beauty.

Q: Who are you and what is Passion for Fashion?

A: Hello, my name is Ekaterina Richardson and I am a Gold Coast businesswoman and leading digital marketer. I am also the Founder of Passion for Fashion, an online fashion rental and resale platform launched in 2023 and is now transforming the way we consume fashion.

Passion for Fashion offers women their dream wardrobe, filled with a curated collection of designer clothes and accessories provided by our network of lenders and are available to rent at a fraction of the cost of buying from a boutique.

Why pay a high price for an outfit you might wear only once? The appeal and value of Passion for Fashion is that we are bringing a designer fashion experience to women everywhere.

Since its launch, Passion for Fashion has grown immensely. We have gone from ranging 70 items to now more than 2700 designer pieces and accessories and it continues to rise. Our relationship with customers, lenders and brands/brand ambassadors is also expanding. We have also recently launched our resale facility and introduced ID verification for even more secure bookings through the Passion for Fashion platform. Throughout this process, Passion for Fashion has become one of Australia’s fastest-growing rental marketplaces whilst actively promoting a more sustainable future in fashion via a “buy less, reuse more” approach to the sharing economy.

Q: How does Passion for Fashion strive to make clients feel beautiful and confident in the dresses they choose to rent?

A: We want our customers to look great and feel great and we achieve this in several ways, such as:

High-Quality Selection: Curating a collection of high-quality dresses from reputable designers ensures our clients can access stylish, well-made garments that inspire confidence and project individual beauty.

Variety: By offering a diverse range of dress styles – from casual to formal – clients can find options that suit their tastes, preferences and occasions.

Inclusive Sizing: Providing dresses in a wide range of sizes means clients of all body types can find options that fit well and make them feel beautiful and confident.

Transparent Policies: Transparency about Passion for Fashion’s rental policies – including return procedures, damage fees, and cleaning processes – assures clients that they are renting from a reputable and trustworthy brand.

Empowering Messaging: The incorporation of empowering messaging into our marketing materials and communications can inspire clients to feel confident and beautiful in their chosen dresses – regardless of size, shape or occasion.

Community Engagement: Building a community of renters enables clients to share their experiences, provide styling tips, and offer support that in turn fosters a sense of belonging and value.

Q: How do you promote inclusivity and cater to women of all body shapes and sizes?

A: Fashion brands can play a significant role in how women feel in their clothes. At Passion for Fashion, we seek to enhance this process by prioritising inclusivity, diversity, empowerment in designs, meaningful marketing and an overall approach that understands what fashion means to women, and what women want from fashion.

We offer a wide range of sizes catering to diverse body types which can make women feel acknowledged and valued, regardless of their shape or size.

We also provide personalised styling services that help women express their individuality through looks that resonate with their style and preferences.

Moreover, as a brand, Passion for Fashion incorporates empowering messages into our marketing campaigns, complementing branding initiatives that inspire women to embrace their uniqueness and feel confident in expressing their personal style.

Q: Empowerment is a key aspect of your business. How do you go beyond just providing dresses and contribute to empowering women?

A: As mentioned before, we offer an extensive range of sizes to ensure that women of all body types can find dresses that fit them perfectly. Our team also provides personalised fit assistance to help clients feel confident and comfortable regardless of their size or shape.

Passion for Fashion also proudly supports organisations that help women and girls through the promotion of gender equity, education and women’s rights. Furthermore, $1 from every rental goes to Baby Give Back, a local non-profit providing essential baby items and support to families in need.

By aligning with causes that resonate with shared values, Passion for Fashion and our clients come together to make a positive impact in our communities.

Passion for Fashion’s fit assistance services

Q: In the fashion industry, there are societal pressures regarding body image. How do you actively challenge and address these pressures to create a more positive environment for your clients?

A: As a fashion business, we are acutely aware of the societal pressures surrounding body image. Accordingly, we are committed to challenging and addressing these pressures, and to creating a more positive environment for our clients through:

Inclusive Sizing: We offer a wide range of sizes to ensure that women of all body types can find dresses that fit them comfortably and flatteringly. By providing options for every body shape, we challenge the narrow standards of beauty often perpetuated by the fashion industry.

Diverse Representation: We prioritise diversity and representation in our marketing campaigns by featuring models of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds. By showcasing the beauty of real women, we challenge traditional beauty norms and celebrate the uniqueness of every individual.

Empowering Messaging: This is fundamental to our branding and communications by promoting self-love, confidence and authenticity. Through affirmation and positive reinforcement, we encourage our clients to embrace their bodies and celebrate their individuality.

Educational Resources: We provide educational resources on body positivity, self-care and mental health, enabling our clients to cultivate a positive relationship with their bodies and to prioritise their well-being. Through such guidance and support, we help our clients build, sustain and apply resilience and confidence to navigate the pressures of societal beauty standards.

Q: How do you engage with your customers to understand their diverse needs and preferences, ensuring that everyone feels valued and represented?

A: Engaging with our customers to understand their diverse needs and preferences is essential for ensuring every Passion for Fashion client feels valued and represented. Here are some of the strategies we use:

Surveys and Feedback Forms: We regularly solicit feedback from our customers, asking about their experiences, preferences and ideas for improvement. By actively seeking input from our diverse customer base, we gain valuable insights to influence and inform the services we provide.

Social Media Interaction: We maintain an active social media presence, engaging with our customers through comments, messages and polls. Through these interactions, we gain a better understanding of our customers’ interests, concerns and feedback.

Fashion for Passion engages with their followers to determine their interests

Personalised Communication: We personalise our customer communication based on their past interactions, preferences and purchase history. By tailoring our messages to individual needs and interests, we demonstrate that we value and respect each customer as a unique individual.

Strategic Collaborations: We work closely with influencers, advocates and community leaders. By amplifying their diverse perspectives and voices, and by leveraging their platforms, Passion for Fashion can reach a broader audience and gain insights from different communities.

Q: What’s next for Passion for Fashion?

A: Initial success and growth confirm the demand for Passion for Fashion. I am so delighted at how warmly we have been received by the community and fashion industry. However, we are far from complacent.

Our goal is to build upon this wonderful start by continuing to grow our customer, industry and product base, sharing our environmental philosophy, and becoming the most user-friendly rental platform in the marketplace.

App development looms as a crucial part of this objective, with the technical advances available today presenting exciting opportunities. We are already working on the introduction of AI to assist customers with size selection, as well as revamping our back end for lenders.

Other works in progress include integration with Australia Post to make our delivery/collection service even more efficient and convenient. We are also looking to establish a Loyalty Program and to grow our partner network to 80 lenders.

Finally, we have been so busy since starting Passion for Fashion that we have not actually had time for a launch event. We look forward to doing that this year.

Read more of our small Business Highlights here.

Learn more about Passion for Fashion or rent a dress below.

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