Rent the Runway: Accessibility On Three Dimensions

By: Amy Rosner

By pioneering the concept of a closet in the cloud, Rent the Runway has transformed the luxury consumer experience. Started by Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, Rent the Runway is an online service that specializes in designer garment and accessory rentals; they carry thousands of styles from 550+ designers, including Vera Wang, Rag & Bone, Reformation, and more. But there is more to Rent the Runway than high-end designers and brands. Rent the Runway is about accessibility across three domains: a wide variety of trends at your fingertips, a more affordable price point, and a fast and easy delivery process.

The premise behind Rent the Runway is “unlocking your endless wardrobe.” This revolutionary digital platform grants individuals access to all of the latest trends. Trends are short-lived- they come and go as the seasons change. The brilliance behind Rent the Runway is that it accommodates to the ephemerality of fashion. Through innovative technology, Rent the Runway embraces the permanence of high-end style. The site enables consumers to wear something new everyday in an effortless manner.

As most of us probably know,  style doesn’t come cheap. But Rent the Runway expands the target market for designer clothing. You don’t need to break the bank to look good. By providing couture rentals for a fraction of the price, there are less limitations for the average women who may not be able to afford a Dior gown or Chanel purse at full price. This is extremely radical for the world of fashion, as this online service is widening the definition of couture by making it less niche and avant-garde. Through digital platforms like Rent the Runway, high fashion is now more accessible and available to wider groups of people. Furthermore, more affordable price points make fashion inclusionary... this is huge!

Unlike many online sites, Rent the Runway prides itself on their speed of delivery. Although there are exceptions, the average delivery date is two days. Once again, this expedited delivery process makes designer clothing more accessible. Rent the Runway has facilitated the online shopping process, by making it more efficient and easy for consumers.

The MFMS is honored to partner with a company as unprecedented and transformative as Rent the Runway.  The goal of MFMS is to make networking opportunities within the world of fashion more accessible to college students. By connecting students with industry professionals, we are closing the gap between the masses and the world of fashion. Although manifested differently, both MFMS and Rent the Runway are working towards the same objective of making the world of fashion more accessible and available. As an organization, we are both approachable yet exclusive. And Rent the Runway is the same, such that they are approachable in their prices, yet exclusive and cutting-edge in their merchandise.

Brian Zhao