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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Got handbag envy? Rent one!

hermeskellybag.jpgGreen with envy over Hermes "new" Kelly bag? At $129,000 US, I am assuming this is not the most pressing "must get" item on your shopping list.

If you must however, really really have one, dont fret, help is at hand. There are so many handbag rental places online and I never figured out how they actually work except that I know you pay a monthly fee which is a fraction of your retail price and then you return the handbag.

Thanks to strong word-of-mouth and a healthy internet buzz, there are now a number of US websites offering thousands of handbags from brands such as Yves Saint-Laurent, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Chanel, each for rent by the week or the month, with an option to buy.

Looking to make a more glamorous statement? A crocodile skin "Kelly" bag - named after the legendary actress-turned-princess Grace Kelly - by fashion pioneer Hermes will set non-members back a whopping $US500 per week.

The online boutiques operate much like other shopping sites, with a search function, scores of product photographs, rental prices, and a purchase basket that helps whisk you through the digital checkout line, of course with your credit card at the ready.

On the aptly named "Bag Borrow or Steal" website, a Bottega Veneta number in woven leather costs $US90 per week or $US229 per month for non-members - members receive a 30 per cent discount.

The core customer demographic, he says, are women aged 20 to 55: "Single women with income of $US60,000 per annum, married women with household income of $US125,000 per annum and college students."

He admits certain celebrities use the site but won't provide names, undoubtedly to protect starlets whose reputations would plummet if fans discovered they were accessorizing on the cheap.

The most coveted bags this year? A padded Chanel ($US299 per month), a Louis Vuitton carry-all ($US139) and an evening handbag by Gucci ($US85).

Upon return of the bag, experts undertake three separate screenings to make sure it has not been replaced with a fake.

Counterfeiting has crippled the luxury consumer goods industry, but Mangiere "guarantees" his bags are the real deal.

An email reminder is sent a few days before the bags are due to be sent back, and clients risk another charge to their credit cards if they don't return the loaned items on time.

But women have been known to develop an affection for their handbags, and could find it near-on impossible to be separated from the "Kelly" of their dreams once the rental period comes to an end.

For more info, visit Bag Borrow or Steal or visit our website to drool over other handbags.

If you ever wanted to know why a handbag should cost $129,000, read this and if you are still not convinced, check out other handbags under $129,000.

Now you can know exactly how the process works!

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