Rent the Runway will loan its customers $1.35 billion of couture and other high-end clothing this year, Women’s Wear Daily reports.
The retail rental company, which started just renting out gowns for special occasions, will add designer sportswear to its offerings and is adding brick-and-mortar showrooms, first in Chicago.
Former Lucky magazine executive fashion editor Alexis Bryan Morgan is now the company’s director of designer relations and special projects, and Sarah Tam, a former buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue, is now SVP of merchandising and planning there.
Rent the Runway’s co-founder and CEO, Jenn Hyman told Marketplace Thursday that the company aims to essentially be the Netflix of couture, a way to access fashion that women believe they can wear only once for a special occasion.
“I believe that every woman in this country and later every woman in the world should have a subscription to fashion, just like you have a subscription to music or to entertainment and via that subscription, you would be able to just have fun with this amazing industry that we’re in,” Hyman says.
While at first blush that may seem to cut into luxury retailers’ bottom lines, Hyman said that women are drawn to certain designers after trying things through rentals and end up buying from their favorites.