Montreal boutique La Petite Robe Noire offers an alternative to traditional shopping Look Good

Have you ever purchased an expensive dress for a special occasion only to wear it once and let it collect dust in your closet? Montreal boutique La Petite Robe Noire provides a dual solution to this common problem with a modern-day closet-sharing concept. Rent a dress for your next event and return it after dancing the night away and snapping a few pics. Or drop-off your own dress and make a commission every time it is rented by somebody else. With rental prices ranging between $20 and $150, the service is an eco-friendly and economical alternative to traditional shopping. Each time your own items (which remain your property) are rented, you get 30 percent of the rental price in cash or 50 percent as store credit. From H&M to Moschino, the selection includes affordable brands as well as higher-end labels. “People don’t want to spend a fortune but they still want to have access to luxury,” says co-owner Mélodie d’Amour.  “For $100 you can wear a $2, 000 Hervé Léger dress for an evening and feel amazing.”

Mélodie and her business partner Vanessa Lajeunesse are longtime friends and self-proclaimed shopaholics who share a passion for fashion. They also share clothes. The idea to create La Petite Robe Noire came up when Vanessa couldn’t find a dress to wear to a wedding and asked Mélodie if she had anything she could borrow. The girls realized that they often only wore dresses once because of the social media effect: In the age of Facebook and Instagram, outfits get instantly immortalized and no one wants to be seen wearing the same cocktail dress to two different parties. Together, Mélodie and Vanessa owned over 200 dresses. They transformed a corner of Mélodie’s condo into a shopping area for their friends. After a busy holiday season filled with one appointment after the other, they took their business to the next level and opened a boutique in the Château Ste-Ambroise building near Atwater market.

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La Petite Robe Noire boutique.

Customers only come in on an appointment basis, which gives an exclusive and personalized feel to the shopping experience. “We offer them something to drink and then we sit with them and discuss their tastes and needs. We help them find a dress and give them tips on accessorizing it,” says Mélodie. The co-owners keep the selection constantly flowing, replacing some pieces when new ones come in. “We stay on-trend. For example, right now we have a whole section of jumpsuits and sets of crop-tops and pencil skirts.” The boutique is a one-stop shop for getting dolled-up. Shoes, handbags and accessories are also available for rent and you can get your hair and make-up done or even get spray-tanned. You can reserve your rental in advance and once you pick it up, it is yours for 72 hours. There are also bundles of summer dresses that you can rent for a whole week to bring on vacation.

photo courtesy of La Petite Robe Noire

photo courtesy of La Petite Robe Noire

 

La Petite Robe Noire, 4030 Saint-Ambroise St., suite 230, Montreal, QC, 514-507-7717, lapetiterobenoire.ca 


Anouare Abdou is a freelance journalist from Montreal, Quebec.

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