With summertime comes weddings, proms and parties that demand you look your best. For many women that means spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars on new dresses for each event, or wearing the dress, hiding the tags and returning it to the store the next day. But Rent the Runway gives women another option --renting dresses that are in season, capture the hottest fashions, and doesn't require bending the rules.
"We’re actually legalizing a behavior that women have been doing kind of on the DL [down low] for many years," says co-founder & CEO Jennifer Hyman. "We’re taking away some of the worst customers from a department store and converting them into positive luxury customers on our end."
Hyman and her Harvard Business School classmate Jenny Fleiss started their company in 2009. It's been called the Netflix of fashion; they offer short-term rental of designer clothing at a fraction of the department store prices.
For instance: a $3,500 Carolina Herrera gown can be rented for four days for $450 dollars. If that's still outside your budget you could rent a $425 Diane von Furstenberg dress for 50 bucks. There are all sorts of price points available to customers who log onto RentTheRunway.com. Once there women can browse dresses by style, designer and price. They can even input their measurements and see user-submitted pictures of dresses being worn by someone with a similar body type.
"We think this is really empowering for women," says Hyman, "both that we’ve turned our customers into our models...[and] letting our own customers make the decision as to whether they think that someone like them looks good in [a particular dress]."
The company recently partnered with Beyonce. The international superstar has chosen her favorite Rent the Runway styles and put them all in one place on the website. This allows customers to get a Beyonce look without paying Beyonce money.Read More »from The Netflix of Fashion: Will Rent the Runway Revolutionize Retail?