Friday, 14 January 2011

Blast from the Past: Kennedy Purple

If any of you happened to see my last blog (the first LC Issue - was Lindsay's Fashion Blog) then you may have seen this post about the wonderful Kennedy Purple, a company where you can rent designer goodies - genius! Nearly a year ago (oh how time flies!) I was lucky enough to rent a Steven Shein bangle and after thinking about the service again, I decided to repost this blog (with a bit of a revamp) for all my lovely new readers to see! So here it is, my first Blast from the Past blog post!

If you're going to a fabulous party, an incredible holiday or even just fancy a piece from a designer collection then you no longer have to save and save to be able to afford these incredible pieces. Kennedy Purple are making designer items even easier to get your hands on with their rental scheme!

Rent-a-bag got it's first major break in the first Sex and the City movie when Jennifer Hudson's character admits to renting her Louis Vuitton bag, and today the idea is becoming more and more successful. Kennedy Purple is the place to rent yours! The company is run by the Kennedy Purple girls, lead by Joanne Halley (twitter: @kennedypurple / @Joanne_KP) who told me a bit about their exciting venture....

How did you come up with the idea for Kennedy Purple?
The idea for handbag rental was mentioned in Sex and the City (I wish I had come up with it) and I owned one designer bag myself - out of curiosity I looked up how much it would be to hire it and thought it was a great idea for a business. I had a look at the sites that do it in the UK and saw various areas that I thought could be different or better, and hopefully Kennedy Purple addresses them. A lot of our stock is not available to hire anywhere else in the UK. For example, we're the only company that hires the Eiffel Tower bag that Carrie had in the SATC movie, and we're the only one to hire Angel Jackson products. Rather than waiting lists, every product has a booking diary so people can book in advance and choose exactly when they get the bag and how long for. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, as many items on the site as possible have been spotted on celebrities - a lot of people take style inspiration from celebrities, but few of us have their budget, so the site lets people have eg. Cheryl Cole's handbag for a few weeks. Everyone deserves a bit of luxury afterall.

What is your fashion history?
I just have a love for it, especially accessories. Like most women my weight can go up and down and outfits don't always look the way we want them too - but accessories always 'fit', and can make or break an outfit. I have been making jewellery since I was twelve so my passion for accessories started at an early age. I've worked for myself as a freelance television editor for a few years, and enjoy being my own boss so was toying with the idea of starting my own company for a while, and this business seemed ideal for me. I love fashion, and if I hadn't worked in television, I would have liked to work in the fashion industry - this way I get to do both, and not many people are lucky enough to have two jobs, let alone two that they love.

How did you find setting up the company?
Setting up the company was, and still is extremely hard work, but as it was something I was so passionate about doing I didn't mind. My social life definately took a big hit, but luckily I have a very understanding group of family and friends around me. There are, of course, fun bits - like choosing the stock, but the business side of things was a real challenge - but hopefully one I met head-on. I'm naturally a perfectionist and so I wanted every aspect to be perfect, and hopefully have or will achieve it. I went to the Business Gateway for advice on the all the legal, and business issues as well as speaking to other women who had set up their own companies, which was invaluable.

How can fashionistas rent your items?
Orders can be placed via the website - meaning people can order 24/7. They can browse by category (The Accessories Closet, The Bag Bank or The Jewellery Box), or they can use our drop down menu's to search by designer, colour or celebrity. Then once they have chosen their product they can select either a week, or four-week hire period and their start date, then as with most websites they pay by credit card. (The site has been carefully set up to ensure credit card transactions are completely secure). Then they just have to wait for their chosen piece to arrive on the date the they chose to start the hire period. Once the period ends they have to return the item to us.

What are your favourite pieces that are available for hire?
The first bag I bought was the Alexander McQueen black Elvie, and it will always be one of my favourites - along with the purple one of course (purple being my favourite colour). I also love the Angel Jackson Jaguar bags which we have in yellow, red, black or bluebell; the Jimmy Choo Mandah, as seen on Cheryl Cole is gorgeous as well. From the accessories and jewellery sections - I love the large printed Alexander McQueen scarf, and the Erdem scarf is so luxurious! I love the White Trash charms and CC Skye jewellery - they're fun costume statement pieces that go with everything! I admit that not everything on the site is my taste, but I've tried as hard as I can to have as big a range and to cater for as many different tastes as possible, and hopefully I've managed to do this.

The experience ....
I was able to rent a fab bangle from The Jewellery Box, the Steven Shein for Lazy Oaf multi-coloured bangle as seen on Jessica Alba, Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton. I rented it for a week and was able to wear it at uni, at my part time job at House of Fraser (where it received lots of lovely comments!) and with my friends, allowing for plenty of time to proudly show it off!

The package arrived wrapped up beautifully in purple plastic and black ribbon. Inside the box was the bangle complete with a little, very pretty compact mirror and a cosmetic bag (so your make-up doesn't ruin the lining girls!) - all completely free gifts that the Kennedy Purple girls give you to show their appreciation of your business. I was not expecting this at all, so opening the box and seeing the goodies definitely put an even bigger smile on my face!
The bangle itself was a joy to wear; because it contained many colours it went with practically anything I wore and it jazzed up any outfit! It is definitely a statement piece that has been made to show off.

But, as Joanne mentioned, it is not only jewellery you can rent, you can hire bags, scarves, necklaces, watches, belts, anything to complete your outfit! The website is easy to navigate through and you are sure to be pleased with their service.

So if there is something designer you ache to have, seriously consider renting it, especially from Kennedy Purple!

Since late 2010, the Kennedy Purple website ( has been revamped, making browsing even easier, and there you will find a link to the Kennedy Purple blog which is written by the lovely Joanne. Not only will you be the temporary owner of a fabulous accessory that is bound to draw attention but you are also getting a friendly, efficient service with guaranteed satisfaction. For more information about Kennedy Purple, visit their website or find them on twitter - go on! You won't be disappointed...........


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