Hey, if there are rental sites for baby clothes, why not an online service for specific, traditional garb? With over 4200 membership sign-ups in the month since its launch, Luxemi hit the ground running. The site offers a Rent the Runway-style service marketed to Indian-Americans, providing a range of sarees and salwars for either four- or ten-day rental periods. Luxemi also offers the requisite accessories (unlike Rent the Runway, which just recently added a jewelry section). And the site’s users receive a $20 credit for any friends they refer who place an order.
Though one needs to sign up — which is free — to use the site at all, Luxemi also runs regular e-commerce. Many of items show both rental and purchase prices (it’s generally around $70-$100 more to buy a garment than to borrow one). On their own, saree blouses are available for purchase only, but a saree rental includes two different sizes of blouses in order to ensure a correct fit. They also come with the requisite bindis, safety pins, and a saree bag to keep.
With their high sign-up rate and niche appeal, will Luxemi inspire cultural copycats? Besides letting shoppers and renters browse by price, color, and garment, the site’s utility really shines through when searching by event — these range from “cocktail party” to “ladies lunch” to “sangeet” (a celebration typically held a few days before a wedding). Though we admire Rent the Runway’s stylish sensibility, that’s a level of specificity it doesn’t offer.