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Meet the sister duo behind Girls Gown Bad, the dress rental business with luxury and sustainability at its core

In an era when trends change constantly, and people are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the fashion industry, many shoppers have started to question: How can we enjoy designer clothes whilst still being a conscious, sustainable consumer?

Rental fashion provides in part a solution to this dilemma, and is the forward-thinking concept that led Genevan sisters Yvana and Jo Crivelli to create Girls Gown Bad. Launched in 2019, the business is a collaborative effort between the duo, whose concept encapsulates their passion and drive to enter the fashion world responsibly.

For the sisters, fashion has always been an important part of their lives. They moved between fashion capitals London, Paris and Milan, where they studied the industry and sharpened their knowledge. But with a growing desire to enter this world, came an increasing concern towards the environmental consequences of the industry, a problem the sisters could not ignore.

They would go on to build a business with luxury and sustainability at its core: renting out high-end fashion from iconic brands and emerging designers, making it possible for everyone to look their best.

Intrigued by how they started it all, we sat down with sisters Yvana, and Joana, to discuss their journey and how rental fashion is changing the industry.

How did you get into fashion and what inspired you to create GGB ?

We were always into fashion from a young age and really enjoyed discovering new designers and brands. Having lived in vibrant cities like London, Paris, Milan and Amsterdam, we were inspired by the fashion culture and knew we wanted to take part in the industry. But the more involved we became, the more uneasy we grew with the environmental impact of the fashion industry — it was something that really concerned us and we knew we had to approach responsibly. From here, we came up with the idea for GGB, a rental fashion business with the potential to make luxury dresses more attainable and sustainable.

Why is sustainable fashion important to you?

Fashion in general is hugely important to us— it’s a form of expression that allows us to reveal who we are. This makes it all the more worrying, that as consumers driven to shop new styles and trends, we are contributing to a global crisis. We want to contribute to making a more sustainable community, and show people that awareness doesn’t lead to sacrifice—its an opportunity to look into ways of doing things differently!

How does GGB work and what do you offer to your clients?

GGB offers women the chance to rent high-end dresses at an affordable price. We personally curate a selection of iconic luxury brands and emerging designers, offering customers the ability to rent them for up to 4, 8, or 12 days. This works both online and in-store, where clients can either select a dress on our website, which will be delivered to them— along with a pre-paid label for free returns—or they can come to the boutique where they’ll have access to even more options and flexible rental periods. We also invest in the management of items, and make sure that each dress is dry cleaned and immaculate before delivery. We really want to show people that renting clothes isn’t much different to buying them—it offers even more variety and the chance to consume responsibly.

How do you select the garments?
 Do you have a preference for certain brands?

Yvana: Personally, I focus more on luxury brands and high-end designers that are well known in the fashion community. I am totally inspired by the world of haute-couture and really admire the craftsmanship that goes into the clothes. We also love to travel and find new pieces, selecting prestigious brands from other countries that you wouldn’t normally find.

Jo: For me, it’s all about discovering new brands and emerging designers that are under the radar. These brands are still luxurious and high-quality, but they offer creative, unique pieces that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. For example, we recently took on the brand AMUR, a clothing label from New York City, who use sustainably sourced materials in all their pieces and are extremely mindful of the environment.

What are the benefits of renting fashion?

Renting fashion not only benefits the environment, but offers a way for consumers to save money, time and energy. Renters can access brands which they may have otherwise been unable to afford, while also being exposed to emerging designers they might not have heard of. They may be in search of a dress for a special occasion, that they’ll only wear once —rental fashion gives them unlimited access to unique designs that won’t go to waste. Especially at GGB, we manage the process to make it super easy to rent, and give genuine advice to our clients on what’s best for them. Its an extremely beneficial service, where women can access high-end pieces while supporting sustainable fashion.

Why do you think renting fashion has become so popular?

Although it’s booming in another parts of the world, here in Geneva, and in Switzerland as a whole, it’s still a new concept with a lot of stigma around it. It’s something that actually drove us to start our business— to show people that you don’t have to disassociate luxury from renting fashion, you can achieve a luxurious outfit whilst still being sustainable. The younger generation are definitely more open to the idea, and with the rise of social media and transparency, more people are realising the consequences of fast-fashion.

What are your most rented pieces? Is there a specific occasion that your clients are most looking to dress for?

Most of our clients rent for weddings, special occasions and formal events that require eveningwear. Our younger clients steer towards renting trendy designers like Zimmermann or Etro, and our older clientele go for elegant brands like Elie Saab or D&G. But during this period with Covid-19, we’ve really opened our eyes and want to broaden our collection to include leisurewear—we hope to show our clients that there are options for casual events too!

What do you love most about your business?

Yvana: I personally love the selection process, and discovering new collections—colours, prints and designs—while negotiating with the vendors. We get to travel to showrooms in different countries, and engage with likeminded people who share our same passion. I also really enjoy the encounters with both clients and designers, we have inspiring conversations that give me a fresh perspective.

Jo: I really enjoy the journey of progressing professionally and personally. In this industry, we’re always learning and becoming more aware and conscious of how we can do better. Its so fulfilling to see how our business has changed people’s mindsets—some of our clients leave the experience with a new perspective on fashion, realising that they can still achieve the perfect outfit whilst being more sustainable.

What do you think is the future of sustainable fashion? 

Considering how we have reached people who would have otherwise never turned to renting fashion, we see great potential for sustainable practices in the fashion world. With transparency on the rise, more people are becoming aware of how they can do better—especially in our business, they are realising that sustainability doesn’t lead to sacrificing luxury, the two can co-exist in harmony.  

Girls Gown Bad

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