You might not be able to afford a Monique Lhuillier gown for that upcoming wedding you’re attending, but you probably can afford to rent it for a few days thanks to Rent the Runway, which launched five years ago. While initially met by skepticism from the fashion industry, the tech startup has proved naysayers wrong, with rentals expected to reach the equivalent of $600 million in retail value this year. Another interesting fact showcasing the company’s rapid growth? Rent the Runway is the biggest dry cleaner in America, because of its constant need to turn over dresses.
In celebration of the company’s five-year anniversary, seven top designers have created a 25-piece collection exclusively for the website, including the likes of Christian Siriano, Oscar de la Renta, Lela Rose, Kenneth Jay Lane, and Monique Lhuillier. Items will include things like a Badgley Mischka gold sequin crop top that rents for $45 and a Monique Lhuillier silk faille high-low gown that rents for $400. Styles from Siriano will rent for between $100 to $175.
Rent the Runway’s Co-Founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman told Women’s Wear Daily: “The intention is to enable women to get out of their fashion comfort zone and try new brands and experiment with styles that push them. You shouldn’t be renting the little black dress,” and this collection is intended to be “far more dramatic” than what the site’s traditionally offered. “We want them all to be statement pieces.”
Have you ever rented from Rent the Runway? Share your thoughts on renting rather than buying in the comments below!