Innovation That Matters

Designer dresses for rent (back-up size included)

Work & Lifestyle

From fine automobiles to designer handbags, we’ve covered various companies that let consumers rent expensive objects instead of buying them. The latest to join the herd is New York-based Rent the Runway, which allows women to rent designer dresses. Dress-seeking fashionistas browse RTR’s collection and schedule a delivery date (next-day delivery is available, as well as same-day in New York City). RTR then sends them the dress, including a second, back-up size to make sure the fit is as good as the design. Rental costs are around 10% of a garment’s retail price, and range from USD 50–200. Customers can rent for four or eight days, after which they return the dress in the USPS return envelope that RTR provides. The extra size—which RTR provides at no extra cost—must be returned unworn. Further proof that its founders have thought through the concept from a consumer’s point of view, RTR also lets members rent a second style for just USD 25. Which gives them a back-up option for last-minute decisions, or a second dress to wear at an elaborate wedding or a multi-day event. Brands currently on offer include Just Cavalli, Helmut Lang, Proenza Schouler and Hervé Leger. Appealing both to consumers who are cutting back for economic reasons, and to those who value experiences over ownership (dubbed transumers by our sister-site, there’s plenty of room for concepts like Rent the Runway to grow, especially if they provide their clients with heightened convenience as well as heightened style. (Related: Free clothes rental for fashionistasClothing rental for size-changing dietersBaby clothes rental service.) Spotted by: Mike Hudack



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