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Alibaba founders bet on US subscription clothing pioneer

Rent the Runway eyes luxury-obsessed Asia for future growth

Rent the Runway's flagship store in New York City (Photo by Elisabeth Rosen)

NEW YORK -- Seated in a padded armchair at Rent the Runway's flagship store near New York City's Union Square, Abby holds an armful of dresses, waiting to try them on. If she likes them, she will rent them as part of her $159 monthly subscription to the company's "Unlimited" service, which allows her to keep up to four items at a time indefinitely.

But Abby will not keep her picks for too long. After wearing them to go out with friends, she will be back in a week or so to select a new outfit. "If you have to go to a lot of events, it's cheaper than buying clothes," she said. "I've gone to three or four weddings this year."

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