Rent the Runway Offers Free Subscriptions for Non-Famous Award Attendees

Photo Credit: Justin Lane/EPA/Shutterstock
February 22, 2019

By Carlo Versano

The rich and famous will spend the weekend trying on exorbitant designer clothes, shoes, and vintage jewels in preparation for Sunday's Academy Awards. All of it for free.

But a significant number of non-famous people ー from publicists to assistants to most of the actual nominees ー will also walk the red carpet at the Dolby Theater, and not all of them are blessed with stylists or an abundance of free gown choices. They are the customers whom Rent the Runway is courting ー the clothing-rental company is offering a free two months of its Unlimited subscription to "below the line" Oscar nominees.

"There's so many different incredible women ... who are nominated and don't have access" to designer clothes, Rent the Runway spokeswoman Gabby Cohen told Cheddar.

Rent the Runway has expanded ー its CEO has said she sees a day when half our closets are rented ー from a place to snag a high-end gown for a weekend event, to a "wardrobe-as-a-service" that is changing how women dress for the workweek. The promotion tied to the Oscars is intended to spotlight its Unlimited subscription, which costs a little more than $100 a month for a wide array of outfit options.

In an age of KonMari, decluttering, and a push for sustainability, clothing rental services fit into the shared ethos of the moment, Cohen said.

"We just don't need to own so many things."