Professional women still want to rock the trends — but don’t want to add to an already overflowing closet.
E-commerce entrepreneurs like Mary Wu (pictured) are experimenting with a new model, a “Netflix for clothing.” Rather than buying a new dress, why not rent one and return it when it’s no longer in style?
For $25 a month, Wu will send you a monthly “box” filled with clothing from stores like Zara and H&M. Boxes can be ordered on the website CoutureSQD by theme, such as professional or date night. Each box contains three outfits, which you can keep for as long as you want.
“I follow trends and see what’s popular,” said Wu, who developed the website on her own. “A lot of women are like me in that they wear 20 percent of their clothing, 80 percent of the time.”
Wu’s customers will get the satisfaction of wearing a new outfit, but won’t slide into debt. The website just launched, so only about 100 women have signed up, but Wu is confident about her chances with the twenty and thirtysomething professional set.
Websites like RentTheRunway.com are already well-established among young professionals who can’t afford to buy a designer dress, but are willing to fork over about $100 for a one-off rental. CoutureSQD works differently as it’s a subscription service, and specializes in lower-end trendy apparel for everyday use.
This subscription model is tried and tested when it comes to other areas of fashion; Rocksbox focuses on high-end jewelry, Shoedazzle focuses on designer shoes, and TieTry lets people rent fancy ties by mail.
Similarly to these sites, when you want to return the items, CoutureSQD will send a prepaid shipping label by email. The company covers the cost of dry-cleaning, so you won’t need to run the clothes through the wash. If you happen to like an item of clothing and want to keep it, Wu will sell it to you at a discounted price.
The site is still in the early-stages of development, but Wu has identified a strong pain-point. In the coming months, she hopes to recruit additional team-members, and procure a round of angel funding.
“The whole purpose of this is to help women mix and match, and try fashion at a lower-risk,” said Wu.
Would you use a subscription clothing service like this one? Let us know in the comment section below.
VB's research team is studying web-personalization... Chime in here, and we’ll share the results.