Filipa Neto Is Chic By Choice

Grabbing and discarding all the items of clothing in your wardrobe until you have a large pile on the bed and/or the floor in a desperate attempt to find a dress for that upcoming wedding / office party/ any formal event - yes, we’ve all been there. Wouldn’t it be great if you could hire a designer dress for a fraction of the retail price for a short period of time...can you see where I’m going here.

Well, you can! Chic By Choice is an online marketplace for luxury fashion rentals for consumers across Europe to rent the perfect outfit for a short-term period at a fraction of the retail price. And what’s more, since the marketplace is open across Europe it means there is absolutely no chance you will rock up to the party wearing the same dress as someone else.

Fusing Fashion & Technology

Chic By Choice was founded by Lara Vidreiro and Filipa Neto, the two Portuguese entrepreneurs met at the Católica Business School in Lisbon where Filipa studied economics and Lara, management. Just like with many great startup ideas, it came from a personal need: “There was a university gala coming up, and Lara and I were talking in the car about what we were going to wear. We were like, ‘Are we really going to spend a huge amount of money on another dress that we’ll only wear once? Wouldn’t it be great to have a place where you could just rent a designer dress for the evening?’ So that’s where it came from.”

At only 21 years old, the girls applied for three different entrepreneur competitions, and they eventually came second place in the biggest entrepreneurship competition in Portugal (beating 3,000 entries!) Despite having confidence in their idea, the girls were concerned by the all-male panel, but their fusion of fashion with technology clearly hit home and the girls took home €50,000 worth of TV advertising.

Portuguese Startup, London Launch

On a mission to democratise the fashion industry, making the leading fashion brands available to everyone, brought the girls to London. They were aware that the concept of renting dresses was already in the marketplace with companies such as Far Fetch and Rent The Runway, making their concept easier to introduce despite the already established competition. London’s e-commerce market is well-established and this was a major factor in the girls’ decision to launch here: “London really gets the fashion and e-commerce markets, and it’s already used to the rental market. So it wasn’t about starting up a whole new category in a new place – it was about upgrading and expanding on a category that already existed here.”

What makes Chic For Choice different, according Filipa is threefold: 1) Choice: the dresses are sourced from boutiques rather than wholesale from the designers themselves. The girls choose their favourites from a selection. 2) Buy on demand: rather than buying hundreds of dresses in a certain style which could be risky if it was unpopular, the dress is bought once a customer orders it. The idea is that over time the collection they accumulate are the most coveted by the people. 3) Overseas shipping: the company ships to over 15 countries in Europe.

Our favourite feature of the website is the addition of the style quiz which gives you a personalised selection of dresses to suit you. An online stylist in your time of need? Genius.