Our study examines the relationship between the fashion industry and the sharing economy, specifically peer-to-peer fashion rentals curated and styled by social media influencers. In addition to clothing rentals, styling platforms provide curation and taste for the consumer, a form of field-specific cultural capital (Rocamora 2002).
New forms of status and exclusivity have manifested online through these platforms with online influencers at the helm. We conduct an ethnography of three of the leading fashion rental platforms, all based in London.
Our research has the potential to positively impact the scholarly community, economy, and society. This provides important implications for sharing economy platform brands, allowing for new ways to imbue status via sustainability claims. The sharing economy has not brought about the positive sustainability and social benefits that were hoped for (Schor 2020), however the role curation plays has the potential to transform access platforms to deliver on pro-social outcomes.
Instagram account: @the_fashion_rental_project
King's Business School Incubator Fund: £10,000