Will Rent the Runway become all the fashion for kids?
Rent the Runway, the online clothing rental leader, is adding kids’ apparel to its monthly subscription service.
The initial launch will include girls’ sizes 3Y to 10/12Y and feature special occasion and everyday wear from designers such as Chloe, Fendi, Stella McCartney, Mark Jacobs and Marni.
Jennifer Hyman, CEO and mother of a two-year-old, told Women’s Wear Daily that parents often don’t want to invest in trend-driven or special-occasion clothes since kids are inherently messy and continually growing.
She told Business Insider, “With this launch, you’ll never have to worry about a stain or a spill because Rent the Runway handles everything.”
Children’s clothing has also been a constant request from customers. The average age of a subscriber is 29 and many have young children.
Rent the Runway began in 2009 as a destination for women to rent formal gowns and cocktail dresses for weddings, sorority formals, proms and other special occasions. In 2016, it launched Rent the Runway Unlimited, which allows women to rent everyday apparel as well, four items at a time, for a monthly fee. Unlimited costs $159 per month.
Serving as an extension of the subscription offering, members will be able to rent four pieces of either women’s or kids’ offerings. Extra items can be added for a surcharge.
Children’s clothing is the third category Rent the Runway has entered. It moved beyond women’s apparel in March when it announced a partnership with West Elm to rent home furnishings such as throw pillows and blankets. Also in March, Rent the Runway received a new round of financing that valued the company at $1 billion.
Recently defining its goal to become the “Amazon Prime of rental,” Rent the Runway is planning to expand across categories over the next year on its belief that consumers will embrace an ever-rotating array of options as well as the sustainability benefits that come from renting instead of owning.
“Consumer behavior is shifting,” Maureen Sullivan, Rent the Runway’s COO, told Adweek. “There’s a massive cultural trend driving this behavior change. The experience in the sharing economy has made people realize they don’t need to commit to owning so many things.”
- Rent the Runway Offers Fashion for the Younger Set – Women’s Wear Daily
- Rent the Runway is now renting out designer clothing for kids – Business Insider – Business Insider
- Rent the Runway Expands Into Children’s Clothing Just Weeks After Becoming a Unicorn – Adweek
- Rent the Runway is getting into the kids business – CNBC
- We’re Trying to Build the Amazon Prime of Rental, Says Rent the Runway CEO – WebProNews
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How appealing do you think rentals of designer kids’ apparel will be on monthly subscription basis? What do you think of Rent the Runway’s ambition to expand into kids, home and other categories?