Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Netflix Model for Haute Couture

I found this article recently in the New York Times:

"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.

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...

Julia Harris, a 27-year-old graduate student living in New York, turned to Rent the Runway when she needed something chic for a fall wedding. For $50, she got a fuchsia Catherine Malandrino number with an elaborately ruffled bust that would have cost $495 to buy."

While this business is a creative idea, I firmly believe that anyone can look stylish at a low or high price point. I feel that this business could potentially encourage women to spend beyond their means just to 'keep up with the Jones.' The clothing I've spent the least amount of money on are usually the items I receive the most complements on. I can’t personally fathom renting clothing I can’t reasonably afford to purchase. The idea of wearing a lovely piece of clothing once and then having to return it seems disappointing to me. I’d rather buy something I love and can afford to wear over and over again. It’s kind of disheartening that for some people, fashion is so-throw-away these days. Whatever happened to purchasing items that will last and can be passed down or donated to someone else?


Dina's Days said...

I agree, creative idea but I don't see the point either. I think it's a much better deal to spend $50 on a dress you can keep, wear to 5 weddings instead of just 1.

I never got into the whole bag, borrow or steal thing either. If I'm going to splurge on a bag, I'd much rather have it forever!

me in millions said...

I don't like the idea of renting clothes, mostly because you don't know how they are going to fit. I have such a hard time finding things that fit properly. The idea of renting a bag seems easier.