Soon Rent The Runway Will Offer More Than Just Fancy Gowns

Our beloved Rent The Runway (or is that just me?) is stepping up its game to rent you more than just evening wear. As a refresher, the company rents out designer dresses by mail at a huge discount from full price, and has a few showrooms if you’d like to try something on before ordering. Renting expensive clothes over the internet sounds like a business venture that would be too riddled with possible error to be anything more than a sorority girl’s pipe dream; but the company has developed an efficient, (somewhat) fool-proof process for avoiding ill-fitting dresses, delayed deliveries, and damaged designer goods.

Alas, despite finding popularity, the company was still not turning a profit as of last October, so the brand has plans in place to start including sportswear in its rentable collection. From my understanding, this means you’ll soon be able to rent high-end ready-to-wear street clothes, not athletic wear that you’d put on to head to the gym. (Apologies if you’re reading that and thinking “duh,” but I’m a rube who had no clue and just had to ask the other Frisky staffers whether sportswear meant leggings and sports bras, which I would definitely not want to be renting.) Designers like Derek Lam and Opening Ceremony are on the roster of what will be offered, and the company also plans to open more brick-and-mortar showrooms.

Renting high-end everyday clothes sounds awesome in theory, but I’d think the company’s rental process would have to undergo some big logistical shifts for this to work out. The clothes would need to be pretty heavily discounted because renting a high-end dress to wear to my super chill office would not prompt me to shell out in the same way as renting a high-end dress for an important wedding would. Since I wouldn’t be renting for a special occasion, would the process only be fun if I rented out a revolving set of clothes each week? If it was an isolated habit like it is when I rent a gown, what would ever prompt me to do that on, say, a random Tuesday? Wearing expensive clothes is fun, and I like RTR, but I’m not sold just yet. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the company to share more about their plans. They’ll be loaning out $1.35 billion worth of clothing by the end of this year, so they must be doing something right!


[Women’s Wear Daily]