Renting out designer clothing and accessories has become a booming industry in fashion, especially for those who know what’s-what in fashion but can’t afford to buy such items.
The undiscovered additional marketplace, however is a new youth marketplace moving into their mid-20’s who shop differently–with an environmentally conscious buying pattern and who seek ways to minimize constant consumerism and disposable fashion (see also our Sustainability and Youth Culture Studies 2014).
These reasons are just some of aspects that Rent the Runway has going for it. Since it raised $54.4 million in 2009, the brand has not looked back and more designers have become a part of the growing collection.
This week, Rent the Runway CEO and co-founder Jennifer Hyman, announced a new deal with Netflix at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference in Aspen, CO. For a monthly $75 fee, subscribers can rent an array of accessories (to start) and choose between 3 designer items. The great thing about it is that the renter can return the item at their convenience. Once you send back one item, then you can queue-up the next, and so on.
“The whole idea here is to create a rotating closet and to give users control over how long or how short they want an item for,” Hyman said, adding that the service hopes to give fashions lovers an alternative to fast fashion retailers like Zara and H&M.
Rent the Runway has added another 75 new designers to handle the expansion they predict via Netflix including handbags, outerwear and jackets, sunglasses, and jewelry.
Fast-fashion retailers are eyeing the situation carefully, as it brings to the forefront the competitive landscape of trendy pieces that are made well and with credibility, for less (i.e., $75).
There are other companies that offer rentable fashion, such as Bag Borrow or Steal or Lending Luxury, but Rent the Runway is the first to now also offer a subscription basis.