Anna Bance is the co-founder of Girl Meets Dress, the UK’s leading luxury fashion rental website. The London-based fashion rental pioneer aims to make fashion accessible to everyone, offering women access to over 4,000 dresses each season from more than 150 British and international designers, including Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Herve Leger, Diane von Furstenberg, Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, Alice and Olivia, and Gorgeous Couture. Designer dresses and accessories can be rented for up to 95 percent off their original retail price, and Girl Meets Dress even takes care of the dry cleaning for customers.
Bance got the idea for Girl Meets Dress when she was working as the UK PR manager for French luxury brand Hermes. She lent dresses and accessories out to fashion magazines, shoots, journalists, and celebrities on a daily basis, and thought it would be amazing if everyone could borrow dresses for just one event and wear a different designer for every occasion.
Girl Meets Dress was launched in 2009. Bance brought her background in fashion to the table, while her co-founder Xavier de Lecaros-Aquise handled their digital media efforts. Girl Meets Dress now offers women across the UK, Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Wight, and the Isle of Man numerous options for weddings, birthday parties, black tie events, girls’ nights out, prom, graduation, and all of life’s special occasions. The company has been featured in Vogue, Grazia, Daily Candy, The Guardian, Elle, and InStyle, among others.
One of Bance’s tips for success is to not overthink it. “There will never be a perfect time to leave your secure job, risk your salary decrease, take a chance on an idea which might not work – but what’s the worst that can happen?” she says. “You’ll go back to your previous role until you come up with the next idea!”