Interview with Amina Musaeva, Founder & CEO of Cloudset, A Fashion Resale and Rental Marketplace

Interview with Amina Musaeva, Founder & CEO of Cloudset, A Fashion Resale and Rental Marketplace

Growing beyond a buzzword, sustainability has become a conscious life choice for many. The fashion industry is also undergoing a transformative shift towards mindful living. One such fashion venture that has been making commendable strides towards sustainability is Cloudset.

Cloudset is a fashion resale and rental platform where you can rent, shop, or sell designer pieces. From renting and resale to ownership models that empower consumers, Cloudset is leading the charge in fostering a community of style enthusiasts committed to embracing fashion with a sustainable twist.

Embark on an innovative entrepreneurial journey as Amina Musaeva, founder and CEO of Cloudset, shares how the platform is leading a revolutionary approach to fashion consumption.

Amina found the inspiration to launch Cloudset while attending the Forbes Women Conference in 2019. Witnessing the success of Rent the Runway, she recognized the transformative power of the rental and circular fashion movement. She was amazed by how women, irrespective of financial capability, found value in renting clothes. Drawing parallels to other shared economy services like Airbnb, Amina was inspired by the prospect of bringing this mindset to a new marketplace.

Cloudset’s slogan ‘Nothing Personal’ embodies the strategic shift in power dynamics within the fashion industry. It signifies the disruption of the conventional notion of possession and ownership. Rather than being ashamed or hesitant to express detachment from personal ownership, Cloudset promotes the idea that fashion is about experience, not possession. Amina explains that this approach to fashion encourages individuals to explore and experiment with styles, reinforcing the brand's core philosophy.

The revolutionary approach of Cloudset is what sets them apart in the fashion industry. The company's goal is to shift control over the terms of engagement from producers to consumers. The platform offers a flexible range of ways to interact with clothing, allowing users to take items for a test drive, purchase them outright, rent out their own clothes, or engage in the complete cycle of renting and subsequent resale. With their non-commitment-based installment option, users can test items before making informed decisions about purchases.

Positioned as both a resale and rental platform, Cloudset offers users a unique opportunity to engage with luxury fashion without the commitment of ownership. As the ‘Airbnb of fashion’, Cloudset emphasizes optionality for its clients. Further enhancing user flexibility, the platform offers various rental periods and a loyalty program. Users will be rewarded through the loyalty program. The rewards can be exchanged for special discounts on subsequent rentals or eventual buyouts.

The key proposition of Cloudset lies in accommodating rentals to fit specific scenarios best, considering the active usage period of an item. Amina says,

"Our goal is to make sure that you are only paying for those active usage days, not paying for the passive days. We want Cloudset to be a platform to test alternative brands, fabrics, and designs."

By offering a range of daily rental options with automatic discounts and a built-in loyalty program, Cloudset aims to maximize user engagement and satisfaction while introducing a novel perspective to luxury fashion exploration.

Cloudset showcases a diverse array of premium brands, encompassing well-known luxury names such as Dior and Birkin bags. The primary reason Cloudset was established was to offer a platform where individuals can relish the experience of luxury fashion without the exorbitant price tag. The platform is also trying to include more niche and emerging designers. Cloudset has collaborated with distinctive brands like Yaspis, a Ukrainian label recognized for its beautiful contemporary designs, as seen on artists like Beyonce and Rita Ora during their performances. Amina aims to further broaden these collaborations and establish partnerships with up-and-coming or lesser-known designers.

Additionally, Cloudset provides you with an opportunity to sell your designer pieces on their platform. The process involves a meticulous and selective approach. If you are interested in being a seller, visit Cloudset’s website where you will be prompted to provide details about the items you wish to sell. Following this, a comprehensive Q&A session is conducted with you before it undergoes a thorough authenticity check. Cloudset adheres to strict selection criteria, ensuring that only items meeting their standards are featured on the platform for potential buyers. This stringent process is in place to maintain the platform's commitment to offering high-quality designer pieces.

Authentication poses a significant challenge in the secondary fashion market. Cloudset addresses this challenge with a comprehensive approach. Amina says,

"None of the tech or A.I. or nano-imaging solutions are perfect in and of themselves. So there needs to be a comprehensive hybrid solution to authentication, and we exhibit both."

Cloudset utilizes both nano-imaging and manual checks, particularly for rental transactions due to cost considerations. The team boasts an in-house expert authenticator, with a background from seamstress to garment specialist, who employs a rigorous process, scrutinizing textiles, garment specifics, and brand norms. Additionally, Cloudset employs small tags attached to items, designed to be irreversible upon detachment. If a detached tag is detected upon item return, a more intensive manual check is initiated, including customer inquiries and proof requests to ensure the authenticity of the items. This multi-layered authentication strategy safeguards Cloudset against accepting or selling non-authentic items.

Amina Musaeva emphasizes the underestimated durability of most items. She continues,

"Our main goal is to maximize the product lifecycle. We emphasize manual care combined with the expertise of a premium dry-cleaning partner to ensure proper care for each item."

A dedicated team at Cloudset oversees wardrobe management placing significant importance on manual care over excessive dry cleaning. This meticulous approach ensures that garment care is tailored to individual needs, considering factors such as brand, garment type, and item specifics. For accessories, bags, jewelry, and textiles, different treatments are applied. Cloudset has also partnered with premium dry-cleaning operators to guarantee the highest quality standards in maintaining rented garments.

Amina acknowledges the customer concerns regarding hygiene considerations and the manual approach to maintaining garment quality. At Cloudset, manual care is synonymous with professional care and takes a more nuanced and pointed approach. While professional care may resemble a conveyor belt with a standardized process, manual care offers a heightened level of attention and specificity, given the diverse materials and textiles handled.

Operating primarily as a B2C marketplace, Cloudset envisions expanding into a B2B-to-C business model. The company collaborates with brands, working on their behalf, without providing white label services. Brands offer their inventory through Cloudset's platform and directly connect with the customers.


Looking into the technical aspect, Cloudset has developed everything in-house, including a custom-built CRM system and API. This technology aims to ensure the long-term scalability of the platform into a fully functional, market-based solution. This way the platform specifically addresses the nuances of rental functionality and the essentials of the temporary ownership model.

Cloudset has successfully nurtured a sense of community among its users. Amina shares,

"The key idea is to bring up the memory of sharing items in a dormitory, creating a sense of community and trustful space where users can confidently explore fashion together."

Cloudset tries to evoke a shared sense of experience bringing in a nostalgic sisterhood found in dormitories, where borrowing from a friend's wardrobe was a common occurrence. The meticulous authentication process also extends to clients and not just items. Renters are required to undergo biometric authenticity checks during the process.

The launch of Cloudset corresponded with the COP 28 summit. The team actively participated in the Global Citizens Forum and the subsequent green carpet gala. Fundamentally, the company has been designed with a commitment to CO2 compensatory effects. Every rental transaction is provided with a CO2 compensation report. This is a seemingly small yet impactful practice. The report illustrates the measurable environmental advantages resulting from rental activities, quantifying the benefits in terms of kilowatts of energy saved and CO2 metric tonnes reduced.

Amina acknowledges that there is limited progress in sustainable practices in the fashion industry. A shift in the consumer culture can however positively impact sustainability. She also draws a parallel with the automotive field where advancements in battery technology and the EV revolution are in place. Unlike top-down legislative measures that focus solely on reducing garment production, Cloudset advocates for a transformation in consumption culture and habits. The key lies in fostering an independent industry perspective, detached from the financial interests of fashion stakeholders like brands, retailers, and holding companies.

For Cloudset’s 2024-25, Amina charts an ambitious course featuring a multi-faceted strategy for growth. Currently, Cloudset’s pop-up space is at Beauty Salon FaceRoom in Dubai Marina. Amina envisions establishing a permanent offline location where customers can enjoy a physical experience.

Additionally, the company aims to diversify its product categories, expanding beyond its current emphasis on premium experiences, brands, and selections. Cloudset is contemplating entering into diverse industries like interior design, homeware, and sports equipment.

Looking into the future for Cloudset, Amina reveals that the ultimate goal involves creating a plug-and-play platform solution for brands. This would allow brands to seamlessly integrate rental services directly into their websites and apps. The focus will shift towards technology, analytics, reverse logistics, and rental-specific operations.

Cloudset emerges as a driving force dedicated to empowering women within the fashion industry. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Amina says,

"Female empowerment lies at the core of Cloudset's philosophy. We celebrate International Women's Day as a significant event, supporting and motivating women to break down stereotypes."

The launch of their pop-up store in Dubai Marina is strategically positioned to celebrate this auspicious day. Cloudset views rental as a potent instrument for women to explore and navigate their psychological impulses in a thoughtfully crafted environment. The platform empowers female consumers to proudly engage with fashion exploration and experimentation. The company aspires to foster a community where women are encouraged to break free from stereotypes.

Amina emphasizes the unique strength derived from the support and collaborative networks available to female entrepreneurs in the region. Reflecting on her connection with the founders of Face Room, she underscores the powerful emotional connection and empathetic capacity within the community. She also encourages aspiring female entrepreneurs to venture into entrepreneurship asserting that now is an opportune time.

Finding inspiration in the face of fear and doubt is a paradoxical yet crucial aspect of the entrepreneurial journey. Amina recognizes that being an entrepreneur means navigating a constant process, where fear is a normal and natural part of life. She ends by saying,

"Being afraid is normal and natural, and everybody is afraid. The key is to nurture optimism, belief in oneself, and a supportive environment to navigate the entrepreneurial path successfully."

Under the visionary leadership of Amina, Cloudset continues to reshape consumer culture in the fashion industry, championing conscious living along the way.

Watch the full interview:

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