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Rent the Runway is a retail website that specializes in letting customers rent clothing from top designers for a fraction of the price it would take to buy those same items. Similar to other rental websites like Gwynnie Bee and Le Tote, the site lets you create an account, choose the clothing you like and rent that clothing for a set period of time.
Originally founded by Jennifer Fleiss and Jennifer Hyman, the two met while studying at Harvard Business School. As part of their studies, they attempted to come up with a new business plan and a successful company. After learning that Hyman's sister bought an expensive dress to wear to an event because she didn't want to wear a dress she already wore, the two realized that other women likely felt the same way. They created a concept that would allow women to rent clothing for special events for a smaller price.
The two met with famous designers and pitched the idea, which became an almost overnight success. Rent the Runway went live in 2009 after securing more than $50 million in financing. Those funds allowed the company to expand both its selection and sizing options. The site now allows women to rent designer clothing and accessories for up to 90% off the retail price of those items.
Before you can use Rent the Runway, you must create your own account. You can use an existing Facebook or Google account, or you can create a new account. Listing your billing/shipping address(es) and your payment information helps you pay for your rentals faster.
When you visit the Rent the Runway website, you can search for clothing by type, designer or occasion. The site offers special occasion dresses for cocktail weddings, black tie weddings, military balls and even college and high school formal dances. You may also find some items more appropriate for wearing daily to work or a night out with friends. In addition to dresses, Rent the Runway also offers some more basic pieces from top designers. You can look for jumpsuits, jeans, T-shirts, blouses and even jackets.
The founders of Rent the Runway work hard to remain on top of all the hottest trends. In the video Top 10 NYE Beauty & Fashion Trends, you can see some of the current trends sweeping across New York City. Use the video to get some tips on how to do your makeup to match with some of the hottest fashions.
Most clothing rental companies only offer clothing in limited sizes, and most of those sizes are a 10 to 12 or smaller. Rent the Runway worked with designers to extend the number of sizes it had available. You can now find clothing in sizes up to a size 22. The best way to find extended sizes is in the plus size section. This section shows you a complete list of all the fashions and accessories available in plus sizes. You can also search the site for the exact size that you need. Search for dresses, pants and tops designed for plus-size women.
The price that you pay depends on the item you select and the length of your rental, but you can usually find clothing for $100 or less. Rent the Runway recently introduced a subscription system called an unlimited account. You can choose three items, pay a flat fee of $99 and keep those items for up to one month before selecting more. If you decide you need more items, you can send the clothing back and select three new items. This allows shoppers to get more clothing items from top designers to try each month for a lower price.
Rent the Runway also expended into the world of accessories to help shoppers create a complete look. You can rent earrings, necklaces, purses, rings and other items at the same time that you rent designer clothing. Rent the Runway takes the time to thoroughly clean and inspect each item returned from a previous shopper before sending any item out to a new customer.
Rent the Runway on Facebook: If you need help transforming a simple outfit into one that will make a statement, follow Rent the Runway on Facebook. The company often post pictures of some of its newest and latest pieces with tips and advice on how you can wear those items in real life. You can like posts, share photographs and even follow the provided links to get more help.
Rent the Runway on Instagram: See how some of your favorite models wore red carpet worthy clothing on the runways on Instagram. When you follow Rent the Runway on the site, you'll see images of models and real life women wearing the same clothes you can rent, and you'll also see some photographs of new items arriving on the website.
Rent the Runway on Pinterest: The boards and pins you find from Rent the Runway on Pinterest might open your eyes to a whole new world of fashion. Check out ways you can rock some of the hottest clothing on your wedding day, tips for putting together an eye-popping look for prom and even some simple tips on wearing runway-worthy looks at the office or on a first date.
Rent the Runway on Twitter: Follow Rent the Runway on Twitter to enter contests to win free clothing and rentals from the website. Tweets released by the company also let you learn more about new designers and products added to the official website.
100 Metro Way
Secaucus, NJ 07094
All rentals incur a delivery fee that is based on shipping speed. Those that expect to rent often may want to consider joining the PRO program to receive FREE shipping for a year.
If a rental doesn't fit, you can request to have another dress sent to you or you can request store credit. Return shipping is free.
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