A Captive Audience

Rent The Runway
June 3, 2010, 12:20 pm
Filed under: Research | Tags: , ,
A Netflix Model for Haute Couture
Published: November 9, 2009

Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Jennifer Hyman, left, and Jennifer Carter Fleiss at Rent the Runway headquarters.

// // For many women, a $1,000 dress is something they admire in the pages of a glossy magazine or see draped on the frame of a celebrity — not an item hanging in their closet.

Through the mail-order service from Jennifer Hyman, above left, and Jennifer Carter Fleiss, a four-night dress rental costs $50 to $200.

But a nascent Web site called Rent the Runway is hoping to make high-end fashions much more accessible and almost as easy as renting a movie from Netflix.

The mail-order service, which finishes the testing phase on Monday, allows women to rent dresses from notable fashion designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, Hervé Léger and Proenza Schouler for roughly one-tenth of what they would cost to buy in a retail store.

The rentals run $50 to $200 for a four-night loan and are shipped directly to the customer’s doorstep. After wearing the dress, she puts it into a prepaid envelope and drops it in the mail. Dry cleaning is included in the price, but damage insurance costs $5, and in the case of outright destruction of the dress, the renter is responsible for the full retail price.

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Avelle’s CEO on Why Bag, Borrow or Steal Was a Crappy Name, and More
June 3, 2010, 11:58 am
Filed under: Research | Tags: , ,

Avelle’s CEO on Why Bag, Borrow or Steal Was a Crappy Name, and More.

By Lauren Sherman, 1 June 2010

I remember quite vividly surfing Bag, Borrow or Steal during my first year of full-time work. The site had just launched, and despite its unfortunate design, I found it to be quite cheeky–and in many ways, appealing. And although I never could bring myself to take the plunge, I knew plenty of women who “borrowed” one of the company’s bags for weeks at a time, whether it was for job interviews or big meetings.

So I was pretty shocked when Bag, Borrow or Steal decided to change its name to Avelle in 2008, shortly after its prominent mention in the first Sex and the City movie. Sure, BBS isn’t the the most glamorous moniker, but it was catchy, and people knew what it meant.

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