When Rent the Runway announced earlier this year that it reached $1 billion in valuation, the company became the second woman-led business (after beauty brand Glossier) to achieve so-called "unicorn" status. The subscription-based, short-term rental model has since infiltrated just about every part of our daily lives, including how we shop for clothes, from piecing together our Amazon Prime wardrobe to literally renting our outfits through Rent the Runway — and the latter just became even more appealing.
According to Sarah Tam, Rent the Runway's chief merchant, the new designers added this year include R13, Ulla Johnson, Anine Bing, Danse Lente, Pyer Moss, Nanushka, Khaite, Monse, Officine General, and Rixo among others. “Rent the Runway has created a model to complement a designer’s business through key insights and a channel that expands the audience for 'luxury' to a demographically diverse group of women,” Tam tells Refinery29.
She also reports that RTR's average subscriber discovers and experiences 15 brands during their first three months using the company's unlimited service with its ever-expanding matrix of new designers and new product categories. Rent the Runway introduced their $159-a-month unlimited subscription three years ago, offering everyday items like pants, jackets, and sweaters.
It also helps that Rent the Runway works hard to stockpile information about its customer needs to help shift sales for their benefit. “It’s really allowed us to understand what our customer is looking for, and once we know that, we can go to market and find the most relevant and exciting designers [to meet that demand],” Tam said to Vogue. “For instance, last fall we saw blazers had a huge uptick, so we added brands with great tailoring, like Khaite and Veronica Beard.”
Last year, affordable, mass-market brands joined the high-end labels typically offered by the popular service. "While many of Rent the Runway's longtime brand partners (Jason Wu, Rebecca Minkoff and Prabal Gurung) are joining the platform, several larger-scale players (Levi’s, J.Crew and Club Monaco) are also partnering with the service for the first time, making Rent the Runway more accessible then ever. It's the perfect high-low mix — the closet of your dreams is not just a click away.