Love fine jewelry? But living on a bijoux budget? We feel you. Which is why we’re so excited about the continued success of Flont. The fine jewelry sharing service is an answered prayer for those who dream of diamonds and precious stones, but who lack the resources to buy them outright. Like so many other companies in the sharing economy, Flont is the secret to luxury life that’s actually accessible to people living in the real world. Our correspondent Jillian Tangen breaks it down for us.
It’s been well over a week since the Golden Globes aired and since we put together our annual list of our favorite looks from the red carpet, but there is one look we can’t get out of our heads: Lady Gaga’s jaw dropping custom diamond Tiffany & Co. necklace.
Dubbed the Aurora necklace, it featured more than 80 carats worth of sustainable diamonds and is estimated to be worth a whopping $5 million dollars! If that was not enough, Gaga also rocked an additional $115,000 worth of diamonds on her ears and wrists that evening (also from Tiffany’s).
At the first major event of the awards season, she and her necklace made an impression that we won’t soon forget. It also got us thinking about our own jewelry collection and how we can only dream of having something so dramatic around our own neck.
Or is wearing something like this no longer a thing of fantasies?
sharing fine jewelry is no longer a dream
The sharing economy is nothing new. If fact, it seems like wherever you look now, there is some new form of collaborative consumption emerging across every industry. From home sharing to luxury car shares to right-off-the runway pieces, many people can now partake of a luxury lifestyle without the burdens of ownership.
So it only makes sense that fine jewelry is next in the continued democratization in the luxury segment. Instead of wishing from afar on our couches for a dazzling diamond necklace like Lady Gaga’s, we can now rotate diamonds, emeralds and sapphires from the likes of Tiffany’s, Cartier and Chopard.
For those who dream of switching out their fine jewelry just as often as some people rotate their handbags, it’s now possible, thanks to jewelry sharing services like the New York-based luxury subscription brand Flont.
Got a big business pitch coming up on a Tuesday? Rock a Bvlgari Allegra Gemstone Ring to show you mean business. Then wear a Leo Schachter Diamond Cascade Necklace to the wedding you are attending over the weekend.
Sounds like a dream come true, right?
We decided to dig a little bit deeper and get the scoop on Flont and its collaborative jewelry consumption model to see if it’s a fit for everyone.
So what is Flont?
Launched in 2017, Flont has opened up access to the world of fine jewelry by allowing subscribers the ability to rent branded pieces.
over 40 designer brands, plus vintage
The pieces available via Flount’s service are from more than 40 high end designers, ranging from Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier to smaller names like Sabine Getty and Noor Fares.
The brand also maintains its own impressive vintage collection, with pieces dating back to the 1930’s for members to choose from.
four membership levels
As of now, they offer subscribers four different types of monthly memberships:
- Demi ($59) where you can borrow up to $1,500 at one time.
- Demi X ($119) where you can borrow up to $2,500 at one time.
- Fine ($239) where you can borrow up to $5,000 at one time.
- Fine X ($379) where you can borrow up to $8,000 at one time.
Each tier allows for unlimited rentals – meaning there is no cap on how many times you can swap out pieces. And if that’s not enough, Flont lets you hang onto your selections as long as you would like.
If you happen to really fall in love with a piece you are borrowing, you can even opt to buy it – often at a pretty big discount. In fact, the company says that almost 10% of their subscribers end up purchasing at least one piece from them.
3-day rental option
If you’re not ready for that type of commitment yet, and are instead just looking for something to help you shine bright for a special event, the site offers one off 3-day rentals. That makes it ideal for brides and members of the wedding party – or those lucky enough to be invited to a splashy social event.
The three-day rental program includes pieces from Flont’s exclusive Privé Collection. Those pieces are available for short-term rental only, actually. But membership in any of the other levels gives you a 20% discount on a 3-day rental of a Prive item.
Why you might consider renting, even if you can afford to buy
If you’re a member of the 1% who can afford to buy whatever piece of haute joallerie strikes your eye, you might still want to explore the advantages of Flont – or another jewelry rental and subscription service.
We’ve come up with a few reasons to consider giving a jewelry share a whirl:
1. Cost effectiveness.
Renting, even among even among the most elite, has become a more cost-effective way to experience luxury.
Thanks in part to the rise of social media, even the ultra rich have become averse to being seen in the same piece of clothing or jewelry more than once. Given these self-imposed limits on an item’s lifespan, wearers are now considering the cost per use instead of the overall price of an item.
In that case, it may make more financial sense to rent instead of buy, especially if you don’t see yourself using an item more than a handful of times. Plus, it opens up the opportunity to have countless options to choose from instead of just a handful on repeat – making getting dressed up so much more fun.
Across fashion, there has been a heightened awareness of the importance of sustainability. Issues like over-consumption and unfair treatment of laborers has given the fine jewelry industry a bad rap.
It makes sense that as people become more aware of the flaws within the industry, more consumers would turn to businesses that promote sustainability. By offering jewelry sharing, where pieces can be used time and time again, Flont is doing just that. Instead of spending time in a dark and dusty box between special occasions, beautiful jewels can be enjoyed regularly and by more consumers. After all, art should be appreciated.
3. Risk Mitigation.
One more thing to consider if you’re weighing the benefits of a jewelry sharing service is the risk you take on when you own something even as remotely fabulous as the Aurora necklace. Insuring something like that can bear a pretty hefty price tag. As can the need for personal security when you’re out and about wearing your dazzling diamonds (remember the Paris incident with Kim Kardashian West?)
With Flont there’s no need to worry about insurance, because the company has collaborated with a big name insurance company to ensure that every member is covered. So if a piece is damaged, it’s fully insured at no extra cost and won’t affect a person’s membership. And if it’s lost? As with most insurance, there’s a deductible. In that case, members would pay 25% of the cost of the item – which is still less than what it might be if you actually owned the piece.
are you in?
Want to change up your jewels as often as you change your shoes (or simply just aspire to)? Looking for a way to make your wardrobe just a little more brilliant? Then maybe a jewelry sharing service like Flont is the secret to luxury life for you.
After all, why should celebs have all the fun of rocking dazzling jewels? Sharing jewelry could help keep you dazzling during meetings at work, big events or even when you are unwinding on the couch.
If you want to level up your life, what do you have to lose?
That being said, remember: unlike Gaga, you will eventually have to return that gorgeous necklace at some point.
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Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier. Formerly, she was a Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in NYC and is married with three young children. She loves cross country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.
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