Designer Dresses in Your Rental Queue? A Netflix for Fashionistas

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A new website allows you to rent dresses for a few days from designers like Diane Von Furstenburg for one-tenth of what it would cost to buy them.

The site, Rent the Runway, is nearly as easy to use as Netflix, as the NY Times reports:

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.

Rent the Runway is a recession-era twist on the Internet rent-by-mail model, which has been used for things like textbooks and video games in addition to movies. Unlike those utilitarian items, however, the dresses offer a touch of Cinderella — on a budget.

Q&A with Josie Daga of