Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Boutique Borrowing New Service Will Let Subscribers Rent Fashion from Local Shops

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Boutique Borrowing New Service Will Let Subscribers Rent Fashion from Local Shops

Article excerpt

What if you took the ease of Rent the Runway, the curated options of Stitch Fix and combined them with the latest pieces plucked from Pittsburgh boutiques?

Carnegie Mellon University sophomore Siwei Xie is working to make that happen.

She's the creator of Closet Infinite, a subscription-based website that borrows some of the best features of other online fashion services and gives them a Pittsburgh twist. Here's how it will work: Shoppers are invited to browse the site and fill a box with three to five items stocked from local retailers, which will be shipped to them. Try on the pieces at home and rent or purchase your favorites. The rest can be returned for a new box of options. Pricing is still being ironed out.

Ms. Xie, 19, of Beijing, came up with the concept during an internship back home last summer.

"The company was doing something with a similar business model and was doing really well," she says. "I thought, 'Maybe we can bring this back to Pittsburgh?' "

In America, online shopping platforms - particularly subscription services - are thriving, too. Since 2014, they've grown by more than 800 percent, with more than 5.7 million subscription box shoppers in the U.S. As of April, Stitch Fix was the fifth most-visited subscription site, according to Hitwise, which tracks online trends.

When she moved to Pittsburgh to attend Carnegie Mellon's Tepper School of Business, she didn't know where to shop. Sure, there are malls, but not close to campus. Same with boutiques.

"There are nice boutiques in the Pittsburgh area, but they're spread out and people might not be familiar with them," Ms. Xie says.

Closet Infinite - a nod to the idea of having a never-ending flow of fresh fashions to choose from -- is designed to help expose Pittsburghers to the range of shopping options in their city, as well as make it easier for people who might not live near some of them to try them out. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.