Last night, a group of the industry’s top plus-size bloggers and journalists–including host Nicolette Mason–gathered at Rent the Runway’s New York headquarters for a sneak preview of the brand’s newest venture: Plus size rentals.
It’s the latest in what Rent the Runway CEO (and former Fashionista contributor!) Jenn Hyman calls “little punches” towards changing the industry’s attitudes about what is beautiful. She told last night’s group that she founded Rent the Runway so that every woman could have a “Cinderella moment”–and that up until today’s official launch, her mission has been “inauthentic.”
“Until now, we have only been able to follow through on this undertaking for virtually half of the female population,” she said in a statement released today. “We are so proud that our business has grown enough that we are finally able to make designer fashion not only accessible to, but also inclusive of, women of all shapes and sizes.”
Hyman said that when she first launched the company, she asked designers for sizes 0 through 22–and was “literally laughed out of the room.” But over time, she accrued enough influence (read: money) to pressure designers to offer cocktail and formal dresses for her plus sized customers as well.
“I spent years learning the rules of the industry so I could break them,” she added.
So with that, designers like Carmen Marc Valvo, Badgley Mischka, and Theia have made beautiful options in plus sizes, which are now live on the site under RTR Plus. And last night, she vowed that she would keep fighting until plus size women had as many options on the site as straight sized women currently do.
Check out the styles now being offered up to size 22: