Rent the Runway: Access is the New Ownership

Rent the Runway: Access is the New Ownership

Rent the Runway: Access is the New Ownership 800 534 Chute Gerdeman

After the recession in 2009 we watched consumer values shift towards taking pride in savvy shopping behaviors, and the share economy emerged with services like Airbnb, SnapGoods, and Lyft providing access over ownership and consumerism was redefined. One brand embracing the belief that “access is the new ownership” is Rent the Runway.

We’ve surpassed a time when one signature LBD might be enough to take you through most special occasions, and Rent The Runway gives female fashionistas options…a whole lot of them. The brand offers runway-style dresses at fraction of the price from high-profile designers like Badgley Mischka, Vera Wang, Diane Von Furstenburg, Narcisco Rodriguez, and Carolina Herrara, just to name a few. Sizes range from 0-22 with a rotating selection of over 190 designer brands. A Reem Acra Serenity Gown normally available for purchase at retail for $3,000 can be rented for a mere $70. And for those that are concerned about garments not being up-to-par, upon returning each garment it’s inspected by experts, dry-cleaned, and re-inspected by a seamstress for perfection as if it were worn for the first time.

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With a customer base of five million, founder Jennifer Hyman realized there was a need to supplement the brand’s online offer with brick-and-mortar stores. For those that still worry about the perfect fit or run into a last minute dress emergency situation, stores offer not only peace of mind but absolute convenience and personal service to compliment. The brand has four stores currently with one location in where else but Sin City.

Inside Las Vegas’ Boutique Hotel, The Cosmopolitan, a 2,000 sq. ft. store stands with 200 styles of almost 700 designer dresses. Try to squeeze that into your closet or suitcase. Appointments can be booked online or simply just drop by. Paired with a stylist, customers are asked what type of event they’re attending, discussing ideal silhouettes, color preferences, and things like how they plan to wear their hair and makeup to what shoe they’ll be sporting. In-store campaigns promote “Borrow It Tonight, Return It Tomorrow.” And fitting for the Vegas scene they also have a “Cocktail Menu” of dress options: The Manhattan for floor-length gowns, The Lemon Drop for sweet silhouettes, and The Fireball for the sequined cocktail dresses.

Aside from renting the runway attire, customers can also rent out the store for wedding stylings, bachelorette or birthday parties, and any other occasion that would suit a stylish private event. Guests can choose from either a two-hour or full-day private styling soiree with stylists available for consultation, dress and accessory rental complete with light bites and a little bubbly champagne.

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Adding a localized element to the experience the new Chicago store, set to open later this month, will feature designs inspired by local entrepreneurs and a place for the women to hold talks. The website will also feature them as models for the designer wear and showcase their unique business stories. The brand is preparing to roll out this locally supported program to other existing stores, and has plans for new stores in 15 markets this year alone.

Photo Credit: Rent The Runway | Chute Gerdeman

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