It's crazy to think that Rent the Runway--the site that lets you rent dresses for 10% of the retail price--just launched this past November. In January, the company raised $15 million in capital. Today, its boasts over 300,000 members, with designers like Proenza Schouler, Prabal Gurung, and Matthew Williamson along for the ride.
Most recently, the site quietly launched its accessories collection, which features earrings, bracelets, and necklaces by 34 designers, including Dannijo, Gemma Redux, Ted Rossi, and Badgley Mischka. (For instance, the Subversive piece shown retails for $575--a four-day rental costs $65.) Rentals start at just $10.
Jennifer Hyman, CEO of RTR, says members demanded accessories, so the company delivered. Designers are eager to work with the site because when a member rents a piece, she's more likely to buy something else from that designer in the future. (And yes, Hyman's got research results that back up this statement.)
Hyman's sister Becky, a former Bloomingdale's accessories buyer and inspiration for the site, is heading up RTR's accessories efforts. She's trolled trade show after trade show to find the most diverse selection of designers. (But please know that you're not going to find $10,000 diamonds here. Most pieces hover in the $100-$1,000 range.) "We did a mix of new pieces and archival pieces that represent the brands best," explains Becky.
What's next for Rent the Runway? Handbags.
Avelle, once called Bag, Borrow or Steal, has basically fallen off the map. Which means the space for rented "It" bags is fairly clear.