When you’ve perfected an outfit, there’s no better feeling than adding a stunning designer bag as the pièce de résistance. Whether it’s a geometrically pleasing Loewe Puzzle bag or a timeless Chanel Boy bag, adding that statement piece can really make you feel a certain way.
The problem, though, is that purchasing an expensive designer bag is a commitment; do you really want to drop a few thousand bucks on one single bag? While I’ll always support investing in your closet for the long term, Vivrelle, a New York City-based company, has a solution for people looking to dress up without having to pay down by loaning people bags from their designer arsenal for a flat monthly fee.
With Vivrelle, people sign up for a minimum 3-month plan that allows members to borrow a handbag based on its retail value from the company’s extensive collection. At $99 a month, the Classique plan (which I tried) lets members borrow items with a retail value under $4,000, meaning access to a lot of designer handbags. From there, rates go up: $199 a month gets you one item from the Couture collection (over $4,000 and limited-edition pieces) or $279 a month gets you one Classique Item and one Couture item at the same time.
After applying and joining, members then select their bag (or jewelery, which is also available) to be delivered nationwide or picked up from the NYC showroom. After selecting the first item, members can then “refresh” once a month by swapping it out with something else or just holding on to it for as long as they have an active membership. This, in theory, really gives folks the opportunity to give a bag they’ve been eyeing a test drive or, if your style shifts like the weather, constantly have a new style on hand.
For me, Vivrelle was a dream come true, because I was able to borrow (and keep for two months) a bag I’ve been considering purchasing for myself: the Dior Saddle pouch.
I will admit, the first few days of scrolling the website was a little overwhelming. Unless you filter out bags that have already been borrowed, you can easily get excited for a bag that’s not actually available. But, like a library, you can be put on a waitlist to be notified when it is. There are also just a lot of options, a good thing, but a bit daunting since you can only pick one (or two) at a time.
To make things easier, Vivrelle just launched its very first app so members can manage their accounts on the go. You can also search curated “closets” to rent from crafted by influencers like legendary Real Housewife of New York Jill Zarin or have easy access to your “wishlist” to see if any bags you’ve been hoping to snag have been returned.
Another great thing about Vivrelle is that if you become obsessed with a bag you’re borrowing, instead of returning it the company let’s you buy it outright. Great for people who get obsessed with something fast (like me), the company occasionally offers discounts to members to make it easier to decide to just keep it for themselves.
And, even if you’re not a member of Vivrelle, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the program if you happen to be visiting South Florida.
Partnering with sbe Hotels, guests at SLS South Beach, Delano South Beach, Shore Club South Beach, and SLS LUX Brickell can borrow day and evening bags from the hotel’s designer collections complimentary. A first-come, first-serve amenity, guests can also choose to purchase borrowed bags at the end of the stay. Even better, active members of Vivrelle get exclusive rates at the partnered properties.
Ultimately, if you’re wanting to experience designer bag life before purchasing your own or simply want to borrow something luxe for vacation or a special occasion, Vivrelle is the way to go. But hey, don’t just take my word for it, apply for yourself here. Just don’t expect to see that black Dior Saddle Pouch anytime soon, I’m not letting go just yet.
Tanner Saunders is an editor at Travel + Leisure. He’s not kidding about the Saddle Pouch. Follow him on Instagram @Tizanner.
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