What happens when two women who love fashion graduate from business school at Harvard with aspirations to become entrepreneurs? Rent the Runway.
Lela Rose dress worn by Ginnifer Goodwin rents from Rent the Runway for $150 and retails for $1,295.
Azara Earrings rent for $35 and retail for $263.
Rent the Runway is a unique style option for the fashionista who’s also a budget-savvy recessionista. Founded in 2009 for all those ladies who have a closet full of clothes but â€œnothing to wear,â€ Rent the Runway allows them to rent or â€œborrowâ€ designer clothes, including chic and stunning bridesmaid dresses, gowns perfect for an engagement party or rehearsal dinner, and more.
Jennifer Fleiss, co-founder and president of Rent the Runway, recently took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to share more about this amazing service with Weddzilla readers.
What inspired you to start Rent the Runway?
Rent the Runway is inspired by a desire to give fashionistas budget-savvy options to help them attain the designer wardrobes of their dreams. It’s the ultimate answer to the age-old question, what to wear? Co-founder Jennifer Hyman and I were also inspired by the opportunity to allow customers to rent rather than buy a designer gown. After all, most girls don’t wear their evening gowns or bridesmaid gowns more than once!
What’s the average bridesmaid dress rental price?
Dresses start on the Rent the Runway website at $40, and in theory, any dress on the website could be used as a bridesmaid dress. However, the designer bridesmaid dresses start at $75.
How would a bride begin the process of selecting her gowns from Rent the Runway?
Rent the Runway can outfit an entire bridal party for a minimal cost! And yes, that also includes the mothers of the bride and groom. Any bride interested in using Rent the Runway would simply need to log onto the website, select her choice of bridesmaid dress, and then inform her bridal party. Each member of the bridal party can then order their gowns separately or as one group. Rent the Runway offers varying options of color and fabric for bridesmaid dresses.
What happens if the dress doesn’t fit the renter? Or the renter damages the dress?
Every dress should fit the renter. All renters requesting bridesmaid dresses are given the option to try on gowns months before their event. Renters selecting traditional evening-wear rentals receive their gowns in two sizes for them to try on and determine which size to wear to their event.
At Rent the Runway, we want customers to enjoy the experience of wearing designer clothing. So, don’t worry about spilling a drink or a little food on the gown. All our Rent the Runway gowns are insured, allowing customers to be comfortable and confident at their special events.
How can women use Rent the Runway for wedding-related events, like engagement parties and rehearsal dinners?
Parties and special events are the bread and butter of Rent the Runway, and most of our business revolves around these types of occasions. We help outfit ladies in different gowns for every occasion, ensuring no one is ever caught wearing the same gown twice.
Do you plan to expand your selection into rental wedding gowns and veils?
The simple answer is no. There are no plans to expand into wedding gown rentals. Wedding gowns require a lot of alterations and hold more sentimental value than bridesmaid or special-event dresses. Rent the Runway does have a line of Little White Dresses that are great for brides to wear to their receptions, rehearsal dinners or showers. There are also a few long white gowns that brides have used as their wedding gowns.
Do you plan to expand your designer selections to include plus-size dresses?
Most of Rent the Runway’s gowns are size 12 or smaller, simply because high-end design houses do not offer plus-size dresses. However, the Rent the Runway bridesmaid collection does offer dresses up to size 16.
Who are the most popular designers whose styles you rent out?
Badgley Mischka and Nicole Miller are the most-rented designers. However, our customers also love to rent from our accessories collection!
Nicole Miller dress worn by Rachel McAdams rents from Rent the Runway for $50 and retails for $430.
Chamak by Pyra Kakkar bracelets rent for $25 and retail for $220.
What do you think? Would you â€œrent the runwayâ€ for your wedding or special occasion?