Rent your way to a designer wardrobe

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Story highlights

  • In Hong Kong, fashion rental site Yeechoo hopes to transform how we approach evening wear
  • They encourage customers to spend $10,000 on borrowing 10 different dresses, instead of buying one for the same price
  • The company's founders believe this will make designer clothes accessible to the mass market
For many women, a Carrie Bradshaw closet would be a dream come true. But without one, dressing for a special occasion can be a girl's nightmare. Smart Business meets Abby and Shan Shan, co-founders of Hong Kong company Yeechoo, who are hoping to solve the age old dilemma of having nothing to wear.
CNN: What was the idea behind starting Yeechoo.com?
Abby: You know us girls, we are always facing the issue that we have a whole closet of clothes, of dresses, but that we still don't know what to wear. With Yeechoo, this is like your best friend's closet - you dont have to spend thousands of dollars to buy a dress you're only going to wear once or twice.
CNN: Yeechoo functions as a shared closet focusing on variety over ownership. How does that work?
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Shan Shan: What we found is a girl would only wear a dress maximum of five to six times, and on average only twice or three times before they get forgotten. That's why we think the cost per wear is just too high to justify the high price tag for the designer dresses.
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We always say you can spend $10,000 on one dress, or $10,000 for ten different dresses.
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CNN: How do you keep up with the variety of women's sartorial tastes worldwide?
S: We always need to expand our styles that fit different bodies because all the girls have different tastes and different needs.
CNN: Which markets have been the most receptive to Yeechoo?
A: Asia's not very into second hand clothing, it's unlike US or Europe. People are very conservative, and they'd rather chose fast fashion over secondhand clothing, so the challenge is to educate our customers, too.
CNN: What kind of effect do you hope the company will have on the fashion industry?
A: At the moment, only a very small fraction of people can have access to a luxury good, to designer brands, because of their high price. But Yeechoo made a change, and has made a disruptive entry here. we are democratizing the fashion industry, and making it accessible to the mass market.