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The Rise Of Fashion Rental Companies


Fashion rental companies offer the opportunity to enjoy high end and trendy fashion without spending a fortune. Instead of making large investments into fine clothing, patrons of fashion retail companies rent clothing, accessories, handbags and other fashion apparel for a percentage of the retail price and return them after a specified time. The fashion rental industry started about a decade ago and has increased in popularity. Today, the industry helps designers reach new customers, and customers enjoy the clothing and accessories they love to wear.

Why are they so popular?

Men and women want to look good. They want to follow the fashion trends. They want to flaunt their fashion style. Fashion rental is the perfect way for anyone to enjoy fashion without spending large amounts of money on a style and trend that will be out of style within a few months.

There are many benefits to renting high end fashion. It is convenient. You just need to browse through the internet sites and choose what you would like. It is a fast and efficient process. It is inexpensive with rental costs typically 15% below the retail cost of the item. There is a good selection of items and sizes to choose from. You can stay up on the latest trends and be glamorous with minimal cost.


Two friends developed the idea of fashion rental. They noticed the women in their life were constantly sharing their fashion accessories. Lloyd Lapidus was president of Master Data Group, Inc, and Greg Pippo was a financial advisor. They understood what fashion labels meant to women and developed a plan to start up Bag Borrow Or Steal which was launched in 2004. The website lists a variety of handbags, jewelry, sunglasses and other accessories for rental. Customers have the opportunity to rent the items for a percentage of the cost. After a month of rental, customers can return the item or pay to keep it. Bag Borrow Or Steal was featured in the Sex and the City film in 2008.

Fashion rental companies proceeded to grow despite recession. It was the perfect business to grow. Women could enjoy the fashion trends they loved without spending all of their budget on the luxury items. Rentarunnway became a popular fashion rental company in 2009. The company has 95 designers and rents items at 10% retail cost.

The fashion rental industry has continued to grow over the past decade and seems be on track to continue to grow in the future. Renting a piece of clothing, accessories, or jewelry is a the perfect solution for fashion levels on a budget. The industry has grown to include formal wear and maternity wear.

How to use a fashion rental company

Using fashion rental companies is a quick and easy process. First, choose and browse sites. Use detailed measurements using easy to use templates and charts. Once your item is selected, you enter your payment selection. Most sites require a high deposit along with the rental cost of the item, but the deposit will be returned. It is a good idea to purchase a couple dollars of insurance against damage to items. Once the agreed time of rental is completed, you can return the item to the company in a pre-addressed envelope. If there is damage to the item when it is received, you should take a photograph. The company takes care of all cleaning necessary.

Companies to look for

Over the past decade, many internet fashion rental companies have grown and remain reputable for quality fashion items at affordable prices and easy return procedures. Designer handbags can be found at All That Bag Borrow or Steal, From Bags to Riches, Kiss Me A Handbag and Rent Me A Hand Bag are popular sites. Rent fine jewelry at Adorn Brides or Borrowed Bling. Fashionable maternity clothing can be found at Change With Style. Quality costumes are available at Costume Holiday House, Costume Salon and Costumes Galore.

Fashion gowns, tuxedos and high end suits are available at Closet Elite, Dress Vault, Jims Formal Wear, Tuxedo Rental and Albright NYC. Rent me the Runway is one of the biggest fashion rental companies. International success has been found in companies including Formal Affairs, Edge2Edge, Jolu, Formal Attire, Ski Togs Hire, Rent a Suit and Maternity Exchange.

How do fashion rental companies help designers?

Fashion rental companies do not just help consumers, but they help the designers of the clothing and accessories as well. Many companies work directly with fashion designers to appeal to the public. The company can report back to the designers the data on popularity of items. Also, customers may wish for tweaks to the designer fashion. Often, rental companies can work with designers to make the items more appealing to consumers and increase their demographics. Fashion rental companies help designers reach new customers. For example, Rent a Runway works with designer labels including Jason Wu, Marchesa and Tanya Taylor to create luxurious and elegant pieces that are more rentable by the general public.

The future of fashion rental

Fashion rental has become one of the fastest growing internet start ups during the past decade and should remain a productive industry. It is a great opportunity for those on a budget to enjoy high end fashion even for just a short time. Most people have a basic fashionable foundation such as a classic pair of pants, shirt or a blazer. Renting high end luxury fashion lables is a great way to add a statement piece to your something that looks good, feels good and follows current fashion trends. The buyer can enjoy the trend for a while, and return it for something even more current. Fashion rental is helpful to designer labels as well. Designers often work closely with rental companies to explore designer trends of a greater demographic and tweak the designer pieces so they are more appealing to a wider audience.

Garrett Parker

Written by Garrett Parker

Garrett by trade is a personal finance freelance writer and journalist. With over 10 years experience he's covered businesses, CEOs, and investments. However he does like to take on other topics involving some of his personal interests like automobiles, future technologies, and anything else that could change the world.

Read more posts by Garrett Parker

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