Rent the Runway: “The Netflix of Fashion” by Grace Hovis

In today’s day and age, trying to keep up with fashion trends and stay “in style” is no small feat for your wallet. Fashion forward clothing carries a cost, and one that isn’t always reasonable for your budget, especially since trends and styles change so frequently. When it comes to special occasion dresses, dresses that you wear once and then hang in your closet can cost up to several hundred dollars. Men have always been able to rent tuxes but for a long time, women did not have the option of renting and returning formal wear. This is where Rent the Runway began.

Rent the Runway is an e-commerce site that has disrupted the fashion market with a model that allows women to rent high-end designer clothing at a lower cost than buying outright. This is a simple model similar to Netflix, offering their customers 3 different options:

  1. They can reserve and rent costumes for 4-8 days for future events.
  2. They can pay for a subscription where they are sent 4 pieces of clothing a month, only to return and exchange for 4 new clothes the following month.
  3. They can pay for a subscription so they can rent and exchange up to 4 outfits of their choice at their leisure.

Rent the Runway offers high end designer clothing at very affordable prices. They have changed the fashion game, giving women the opportunity to wear the latest fashions at reasonable prices. This model is highly effective and successful. Initially they focused on providing attire for black tie events and now they have moved on to providing attire for various other events. Through their model, they are able to gather data about their customers’ preferences and rental trends. This allows them to constantly improve their company, able to collect their own market research.

Runway Rentals is a great example of a successful internet entrepreneurial venture. Their story shows that if you are able to find an untapped market and disrupt it, you have a fair shot at creating your own niche within that market. Rent the Runway was able to do that and develop that niche, based on a model that worked in another market (Netflix). At this point, they have grown to compete with larger ecommerce fashion sites like Amazon. The company has grown significantly since its inception and will continue to grow, expand and make its presence known in the future. To know more about runway fares, click here.

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