The sharing economy – the one that has made it possible to not own a car, but still drive one when you need to, rent a room from a perfect stranger for your vacation, and grab a bike at one end of town to drop off at the other – has now made it into our closets with some shareable high fashion couture.
Rent the Runaway is leveraging all the sexy things of start-ups like big data, tech, customization, analytics, engineering and insights to help people find the perfect outfit for a day. That expensive bridesmaid dress? Yeah, you could probably get that. Invited to a black-tie event? Don’t buy something new, get it from Rent the Runway. With over 65,000 pieces – including accessories – the site can supply any individual with a head-to-toe-receive-by-mail-send–back-when-you-are-done-fashion-make-over.
What does this mean for the average person? That $300 Badgely Mischka Gold Dust Top can be yours for your event for $65. Dresses, tops, bottoms, purses, necklaces, bracelets – the whole outfit for less then you would likely spend on one piece.
Rent the Runway claims they aren’t disrupting high fashion with their sharing model, that they are creating a whole new market. I agree. As someone who wouldn’t even look at a Badgely Mischka top that costs three digits, I would be tempted to rent it to wear to an important event and turn some heads. And, if I can get the shoes and purse and skirt all in one shipment, all the better. And, if I can box it up and return it instead of feel guilty that a $three-digit shirt hangs in my closet and not feel guilty if that was my plan all along, then absolutely. Sign me up. I am the new market Rent the Runway is looking for.