Fashion / Shopping

Renting (or Lending) Designer Handbags Made Easy — Two Fashionable Entrepreneurs Create Luxe Crush

A Completely Fresh Take On the Rent, Buy, Sell Bag Model

BY // 10.05.21

Besties Shirley Chen and Cynthia Hudson share quite a few common interests, but nothing bonds them like their love and knowledge of luxury retail. The duo decided to harness that expertise in an innovative way by launching Luxe Crush, a service that gives style seekers the flexibility to rent, lend, buy or sell designer handbags and accessories.

Luxury bag lovers rejoice. Your newest crush has arrived. 

The road to Luxe Crush started at Neiman Marcus, where Chen and Hudson met as buyers. Chen specialized in jewelry and accessories and Hudson in handbags and shoes. As the Dallas-based retailer began to reexamine its future, so did Chen and Hudson.  

“We started thinking what could be next for us. There were possibilities in the uncertainty,” Hudson says. “It was Shirley’s idea to reinvent ourselves in luxury retail.” 

After months of market research, the budding entrepreneurs identified their competition and examined how exactly they could improve upon the rental bag market. The answer lay in their own closets. 

“We all have things in our closet we don’t want to get rid of, but they are just sitting there, so why not monetize them?” Hudson asks.  

Their twist on the idea puts lending, buying, selling and renting luxury bags under one convenient umbrella. Luxe Crush debuted in November 2020, just in time for the holidays, and even though the season looked different due to the COVID pandemic, the response to their new venture was encouraging. Customers liked the idea of carrying different bags for different occasions and purchasing bags as gifts.

How Luxe Crush Works

Interested in the bag rental program? It’s free to join and renters receive 25 percent off the first rental. Browse the selection and select the rental period (four days, one week, two weeks, three weeks, or four weeks) pay the $5 lender protection fee, shipping and any applicable taxes. Once the rental period has ended, send the bag back in its original packaging with an emailed shipping label.

Luxe Crush
Customers can buy, sell or rent designer bags from Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Gucci at Luxe Crush.

Luxe Crush even has a Lend-a-Luxe option that gives luxury bag owners the ability to earn money on pieces they don’t want to permanently part with. Once a lender has joined the Luxe Crush program, they fill out an information form and submit images of the handbags, jewelry, watches and accessories they would like to rent. Hudson and Chen decide which items to accept, verifying condition and authenticity. Lenders receive 60 percent commission each time the item is rented.  They also have the option to sell their item and receive 70 percent commission when a customer buys the item.

“We have a great insurance policy,” Chen says. “It’s important to us that your bag comes back to you the way it was sent.”

Luxe Crush also offers opportunities for customers to purchase items from the site and every bag is authenticated, so renters/buyers know the quality is legitimate and confirmed.

Dreamy Bags

When it comes to the most popular picks, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Gucci reign supreme, but Luxe Crush fans will also find Balenciaga, Prada, Hermes and Bottega Veneta available on the site. There is also high-quality costume jewelry available for purchase at a much lower price point. 

“We know you have to think about a $1,000 bag, but $25 earrings are an easy add-on,” Hudson says. Adding other categories are also in the works in the future. 

Everyday fashionistas aren’t the only ones crushing on the brand. Luxe Crush bags were featured on season four of the NBC show Good Girls after a Hollywood prop master came across the site and rented multiple bags for the show’s stars. It was definitely a high point for the young company.

Luxe Crush
Luxe Crush customers can keep a designer bag up to four weeks before returning it.

“Starting a business isn’t easy and we are learning so much in the process,” Hudson says. “We’ve had high highs and low lows. It’s been a rollercoaster, but we are feeling very optimistic.”  

And when it comes to the variety of bags on the site, Chen and Hudson don’t play favorites, but they are willing to share their own current crushes. 

“My favorite is the pink Louis Vuitton Alma BB. I love how bright the color is. It’s really fun,” Chen says.  

“The Chanel black mini bag. I wear a lot of smaller bags and it’s always a classic,” Hudson says. 

From classic to contemporary, there’s a Luxe Crush designer bag for every taste and occasion just waiting to be carried someplace fabulous.

To browse Luxe Crush’s extensive selection or learn even more about the service, check out its full easy-to-navigate website