Leveraging the success of Rent The Runway’s model, Luxemi is launching as an e-commerce site where customers can both borrow or buy Indian apparel and accessories. The site is targeted at a niche audience of South Asian American women who don’t want to spend the money on an expensive Indian outfit, or that don’t live near a shop that sells traditional Indian wear.
Instead of just offering apparel and accessories for sale, Luxemi maintains two completely separate collections: one consisting of apparel and accessories for sale and the other a “borrow closet” consisting of apparel and accessories available for rental. When borrowing, shoppers will select their reservation date, rental period (4 or 10 days) and their size.
The site’s rental price point starts at $78 for traditional Sarees and Salwars and $28 for jewelry (includes a backup size saree blouse to ensure fit, the Luxe Pack for the clothing including pins, Bindis and a garment bag to keep, and free return shipping). Luxemi, which has been open for only a month, has signed up 4200 memberships, and so far the average order size is over $250.
While this is sure to be a hit amongst Indian-American women, it’s questionable whether Luxemi will be able to create a market outside of this ethnic demographic. But the startup says that they have seen a strong interest outside the South Asian community with 40 percent of orders placed by non-Indian customers.
And Luxemi isn’t the first retail site to cater to the Indian-American shopping community. Exclusively.in is another e-commerce site that caters to the Indian diaspora, but with a flash sales model. The company just raised $16 million from Tiger Global, and is growing fast for a niche e-commerce site.