Not only did you just max out your Visa card and called everyone in your phonebook to borrow a few dollars, but you even managed a month living by candlelight because you held off on paying your Florida Power and Light bill. And you did this all just to sashay down the street sporting the new exclusive legendary luxury Louis Vuitton gold strapped handbag.
Oh, yes, you look great, but was it worth it? Probably not! Enter the geniuses behind “Bag Borrow or Steal,” who have the secret to you looking priceless without the hefty price tag.
Co-founders Lloyd Lapidus and Greg Pippo were your typical South Florida businessmen. Lapidus, a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C. headed a direct response firm that specialized in online direct sales and marketing. Pippo, a graduate of Binghamton University in New York, was an attorney and entrepreneur with a solid background in finance. He also served as an equity trader/manager for a national trading fund.
One thing these two gentlemen had in common was witnessing their wives and sisters raid each other’s closets to borrow the perfect handbag for every outfit or occasion.
In no time, the seed was sewn, the vision was set and in April 2004, the birth of www.bagborroworsteal.com came into fruition. Assuming all women shared that same passion for designer accessories, the men ran with the idea of creating an outlet for the ultimate luxury accessory closet.
The name Bag Borrow or Steal may sound familiar to many. It was mentioned in the popular Sex and the City film. The character Louise played by Jennifer Hudson was a customary renter of luxury items through the innovative web site. The director of the film, Michael Patrick King, wrote in the company to provide a more authentic reality to Hudson’s character and personality traits.
When New Line Cinema called Jodi Watson, the company’s chief marketing officer, to collaborate on a promotion for the film, she knew it was something she could not refuse.
“The Sex in the City movie gave us instant credibility. We totally ran with the collaboration. We opened a Sex in the City shop with items inspired by the characters of the film; we did a You TUBE contest and we just finished a sweepstakes giveaway for the Timmy Wood Eiffel Tower handbag,” explained Watson.
The concept for Bag Borrow or Steal is quite simple – and with a member base of more than 800,000 members and guests across the United States – the fashion rental bug is spreading fast.
There’s a monthly membership fee of either five or ten dollars, along with a weekly or monthly borrowing fee for the luxury accessory selected. Members can enjoy the handbag, jewelry or sunglasses for as long as they want, be it a few days, weeks, or even months. They then exchange it for another listed item.
For members who can’t bear to part with the luxurious accessory they’ve borrowed, they can request to “steal,” or purchase it.
Watson said every woman deserves the red carpet experience when shopping for luxury items and that’s what makes the business stand out.
“We’ve been called the Netflix for handbags. People are looking for new shopping experiences without the hassles of ownership which makes renting the new buying,” Watson told the South Florida Times.
Bag Borrow or Steal offers members the opportunity to borrow more than 4,000 styles of luxury handbags and jewelry from more than 100 designers, including Chanel, Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Stephen Dweck, Coach, and Vera Wang.
Photo: BCBGMaxazria evening handbag