I have a book at home called ‘I Am Dandy’, which is devoted to elegant…
What do you do when your Gap Year is cancelled because of COVID? You start a luxury fashion business, of course.
A modern online boutique that allows women to rent hire-end fashion from Australia’s leading designers, SOKEN was established in August 2020 by two childhood best friends, Sofia Estanillo and Mackenzie Browne.
The inspiration for SOKEN came when the pair’s Gap Year travel plans were cancelled by COVID—while some 18-year-olds might have fallen in a heap of Netflix and self-pity, Sofia and Mackenzie got to work.
The result is a sleek website where customers can browse an impressive range of designer dresses by colour and style.
Stocking styles from Nookie, Bec + Bridge, Eliya the Label, Shona Joy and By Johnny, SOKEN’s rentals range from sweet cocktail frocks to elegant formalwear with 47 dresses to choose from in total (from size XS-XXL) with new dresses arriving fortnightly.
The best part? All you do is browse, select your dress and then book an appointment to try on and pick up at SOKEN’s COVID-safe showroom, with each hire costing a fraction of the purchase price. Alternatively, for $12.95 the dress will be sent to you via AusPOST with a return satchel included.
“SOKEN’s prime function is to offer designer outfits for a specific event with the ease of being local and an affordable hire price,” says Sofia.
With further relaxations to COVID restrictions and warmer weather—as well as the school formal season approaching—the pair foresee the demand for beautiful rentals increasing. But they’re quick to add they’re not just aiming at a younger market.
“SOKEN is not just for young girls renting for formals,” says Mackenzie.” Instead, it’s applicable to all women who want to look fabulous when it matters most—cocktail events, functions and birthdays.”
In the future, Mackenzie and Sofia also hope to collaborate with other local businesses and potentially sell jewellery.