Shika Bodani is the CEO and Founder of London’s premiere Luxury Rental Service. After studying and working in finance, she followed her passion for fashion and sustainability which led her to launch the luxury women’s designer rental service, Front Row, in 2016.
Front Row is London’s premiere destination for on demand luxury, what inspired you to found the company?
I have always been passionate about fashion, after pursuing a career in finance - a heavily male dominated industry, I saw examples of women breaking the glass ceiling and decided to make a career change and turn my passion into a business. Whilst living in New York, I came across Rent the Runway and it highlighted that it is possible to keep up to date with fashion trends in a more sustainable way and I knew I wanted to bring the concept to the UK. What started as an idea, has evolved into the business it is today - democratising fashion by making luxury fashion accessible to all.
How does Front Row work?
The rental process is extremely simple, visit our website where you can browse designer clothing
and accessories from over 50 international designers including Chanel, Elie Saab and Alexandre Vauthier. Choose your favourite items, select your rental dates and finally add
on our optional insurance to ensure a smooth stress-free rental and leave the rest to us.
Our aim is to create an end-to-end luxury experience from customer service to luxury packaging, we want our customers to have the same aspirational experience that they would get if they walked into a designer store, ultimately giving them a “one-night stand”
with the fashion brand of their choice.
Nga Nguyen, a 28 year old Vietnamese heiress and influencer, recently spoke to Forbes about her love for Front Row. She stated that it is a win-win for those like her who can keep updating their wardrobe whilst renting them out to fellow fashion lovers, getting more wear out of them. What sets you apart from other rental platforms?
My aim was to revolutionise the luxury retail industry, making it more accessible to a wider audience by providing a lifestyle service that eliminates the age-old question “Will I ever wear this again?” Our digital platform enables you to keep up to date with the latest designers and trends whilst promoting the recirculation of luxury goods. We have a strong focus on our luxury curation - our aim is to connect people with the fashion they truly love. This includes current season pieces straight from the runway to haute couture gowns from Elie Saab and Ralph & Russo to exclusive vintage Chanel pieces. We also have a strong focus on international luxury brands such as Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra.
Clothing rental is a more environmentally friendly alternative to buying into fast fashion trends. Have you always been passionate about sustainability?
When I founded Front Row in 2016, the rental market was fairly unestablished and there was a stigma associated to the concept of renting and preloved clothing. However, the rental model appeals to a more sustainably minded generation and we have seen a number of customers willing to embrace the rental model after the pandemic. Our aim is to educate consumers on the benefits of renting clothes as opposed to purchasing first or second hand. I feel like we have to work together as an industry to educate consumers on the benefits of renting.
What Legacy would you like to leave?
I consider myself lucky to be able to do what I love every single day. Front Row will always be my first love and I hope for it to be my legacy.
The business is continually evolving and adapting, empowering more and more women every day to embrace the circular economy. Together we are working towards building a more sustainable future, making the world better than we found it.