In today’s day and age, keeping up with fashion trends and attempting to stay “in style” is no small feat for you wallet. Fashion forward clothing bears a cost, and one that is not always reasonable for your budget, especially as trends and styles change so frequently. When it comes to special occasion clothing, dresses can cost up to a couple hundred dollars for you to wear once and then have just hang in your closet. Men have always been able to rent tuxes but for the longest time, women didn’t have the option to rent and return formal wear. This is where Rent the Runway got its start.
Rent the Runway is an eCommerce site that disrupted the fashion market with a model that allows women to rent high end designer clothing for a lesser cost than straight out purchasing. It is a simple model that is very similar to Netflix, offering their customers 3 different options:
- They can reserve and rent clothing for future events to keep from 4-8 days.
- They can pay for a subscription in which they are sent 4 pieces of clothing a month, only to return and exchange for 4 new pieces of clothing the next month.
- They can pay for a subscription in which they can rent and exchange 4 pieces of clothing of their choice at their leisure.
Rent the Runways offers high end designer clothing at an extremely affordable price. They have changed the game for fashion, giving women the opportunity to dress in the latest fashion at a reasonable cost. This model is extremely effective and successful. In the beginning they focused on supplying dresses for black tie events and now they have moved to supplying types of clothing for a variety of other events. Through their model, they are able to collect data as to trends in what their customers like and are renting. This allows them to continually improve their company, being able to collect their own market research.
Rent the Runways is a great example of a successful internet entrepreneurship venture. Their story goes to show that if you are able to find an uninterrupted market and disrupt it, you have a fair shot at creating your own niche within that market. Rent the Runway was able to do this and develop that niche, based off a model that worked in another market (Netflix). At this point, they have grown to compete with larger eCommerce fashion sites such as Amazon. This company has grown significantly since its founding and will continue to develop in the future, expanding and making its presence more well known. To learn more about Rent the Runway, click here.
This is a very interesting idea. Often times women need to dress up and want to change their appearence… to “not wear the same dress twice.” It would be interesting to see if they expand into the men’s clothes market as well. I agree that their online platform allows them to collect valuable information critical to their growth as they head on with Amazon.