Last week, supermodel and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova hosted a dinner at Inga Rubenstein’s residence in New York to support the launch of peer-to-peer luxury wardrobe rental platform Villageluxe’s philanthropic arm, Charity Closets. Through the Carmen-backed start-up’s initiative, 100% of lender earnings from the rentals, as well as a portion of Villageluxe’s earnings, will be donated to charity.
Vogue Russia’s Masha Fedorova, Aimee Song, Alisa Volskaya, Antoine Arnault, Carine Roitfeld, Loree Rodkin, Kilian Hennessy, Doutzen Kroes, and Nicky Hilton Rothschild were among the night’s guests.
Natalia is renting out 24 items from her closet on Villageluxe with proceeds going to the Naked Heart Foundation. By renting pieces from Natalia, you are helping to give back 100% of her closet earnings to children who will live a fuller life. “We just needed to mention this project once to Natalia and she was quickly onboard, not only as an investor and advisor but also thinking of how we can help give back and support charities and thinking of the benefits of sharing our closet beyond just the fashion but what they can do for the environment”, said Carmen. See Natalia’s edit here.
The idea for Villageluxe came to Julia while she was busy working at a leading tech venture capital firm in New York after graduating from Harvard, which she quickly scribbled down on a napkin.
“I saw the growth of Airbnb and Uber before others took notice…I thought if the sharing economy is here to stay, if we’re sleeping in each other’s beds and driving in each other’s cars, what personal asset hasn’t yet been disrupted? The natural next was the closet — arguably one of the biggest assets”, Julia told W.
In 2018, the peer-to-peer luxury rental site secured $2 million in seed funding, led by Carmen, Adrian Cheng’s C Ventures, Erica Duignan Minnihan of Reign Ventures and former Mosley Music chief Monique Mosley.
To date, Villageluxe boasts over $13 million of inventory, spanning vintage pieces, couture and ready-to-wear from luxury brands including Balenciaga, Gucci, Chanel, Hermès and Celine, with renters and lenders including Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine, DJ and designer Harley Viera Newton, hairstylist Sally Hershberger and photographer Sophie Elgort.
Carmen has said, of the platform: “Villageluxe for me is everything that I believe in. The beauty of luxury fashion and protecting the earth. Villageluxe decreases the need for wasteful fast-fashion spend and allows us to share our closets and pieces we love with incredible women we know and those we do not.”