Rent the Runway: Love, Wear, Return

February 4, 2010 • Fashion

Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss

Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss

It’s a week until your extravagant party that you need to look jaw dropping for, and as days draw the event nearer you start to panic because every store you’ve scrambled into is too pricy for your budget. Before you convince yourself that one night’s outfit could possibly be worth the thousand-dollar bill, turn to your new rescuer: Rent the Runway!


This mail-order service, created by Harvard Business School graduates, Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Carter Fleiss, invites you to feel like a true princess twirling in couture gowns from prominent fashion designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, Hervé Léger and Proenza Schouler for only one-tenth of the actual retail price!

It’s as easy, but far more magical, as renting a book or movie. You simply pick which gown you want at a renting price ranging from $50 to $200 (for a four-day rental), and it’s shipped to your doorstep!


Custom Garment Bag

All orders come with a garment bag and a “fit kit,” which includes double-sided tape, bra strap adjusters and deodorant stain removers.

You can rent two sizes of the same style just in case and free of charge. If you’re scared you won’t like the first style, you can add in a second for only $25. They also allow returns in the first 24 hours for any reason.

After your night in a fairytale, you place in the dress into a prepaid package and drop it in the mail. They even take care of the dry cleaning! There is a $5 insurance cost, and if you somehow manage to destroy the dress, then you must pay the full retail price. Remember, Cinderella was never sloppy.

The idea sparked Hyman when she saw her sister struggling and debating whether to spend a lot for a gown she’ll wear only once to a wedding.

 “Here was this young girl who loves fashion and was willing to spend a good portion of her salary on a dress that she’s only going to wear once or twice, and I thought, there has to be a solution for this,” Hyman said.

If you’re hesitant about the fit, there are on-call stylists who can tell you how certain materials feel and how a particular dress might hang on a certain body type.

Christian Siriano, the winner in season four of “Project Runway,” said Rent the Runway was a way to include a broader audience with his collection.

“Even though most people probably know who I am, they don’t know the brand yet,” he said. Siriano’s retail pieces can cost as much as $3,000. On Rent the Runway, his styles only cost $150 to $200.

It has an exclusive waiting list and invitation-only approach, but 20,000 members have found their way in and are able to select from 160 styles.  

What are you waiting for? Sign up and get on the waiting list right now!

Story/ Photo Source: The New York Times

-Heather Youkhana

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