7 Head-Turning Fashion Start-ups

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Rent the Runway

Just as the name implies, the concept of this start-up is simple: Members of the site can rent expensive designer clothes at a fraction of their cost—and have the dress delivered to their doorstep. Founded in 2009 by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, the company ignored the industry trends of diffusion lines and designer imitations, and bought a small inventory of real designer dresses to rent out to a small membership. The idea took off. Rent the Runway now boasts hundreds of designers' dresses, and recently added handbags, jewelry, and wedding attire.