How did Milani’s wardrobe come about?
I finished my university degree and I was working as a youth worker for three years and I got to the point where I realised my passion was in the creative industry. One day I was talking about business ideas with my mum and the conversation evolved into a discussion about designer clothing hire. I’ve never worked in fashion before so this was completely out of my realm. I’m so passionate about it that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. For the past three months, I have been getting about four to five hours sleep a night just to get my business up and running. I really don’t think I’ve had a ‘rest day’ in three months. It doesn’t feel like work though – it’s too fun!
How long has your business been running for?
It’s been running since early March 2015, but the inception of the idea was in December. Over the silly season was the hardest to apply for business loans, get stock and set up the business so I pretty much did it myself. I had a bit of financial guidance from a family friend but nothing apart from that. My website is now up and running as of last week which is exciting.
Can you explain the concept behind Milani’s Wardrobe?
Some people can’t afford to wear designer clothes so we are giving clients this opportunity. Another motivation is because of social media. When people go to an event, they are plastered all over social media and won’t wear the same dress again. So we found that if you hire a dress, you don’t have to worry about cleaning it, you don’t have to worry about paying for it. When you hire it you pay a small percentage of the RRP, we will deliver it to you two days before your event, you wear it and a few days later we will come and collect it. We also deliver to workplaces so you don’t have to be home to receive a package you have to sign for – we can drop it to you at a time that’s convenient. It’s a luxury product so it has to be a luxury service.
What brands do you stock?
We stock mainly Australian brands - Manning Cartell, Alex Perry, Aurelio Costarella and Thurley.
Where are you based?
I work from home. I would like to have a boutique showroom within my home where clients can come in and try on the garments before they hire. At the moment we offer a ‘try on’ service – for $25 extra you can provide us with your details on your size, type of event, and I will bring the dresses to you to try on. You can try them on in the comfort of your own home and have the confidence of knowing that it will fit you. Otherwise, if you order a dress that you are not happy with, we offer exchanges or a full refund.
Where do you see your business in the future?
I would love to hire out designer bags – Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, you name it. They are quite expensive so that probably won’t happen for a while. This is way down the track but I also have my eye on designing a few pieces too!
Which is your favourite dress in your collection?
The Sahara dress from Thurley – white with gold foil. [Designer] Helen O’Connor can do no wrong!