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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

A stack of invitations but nothing to wear: an all too familiar scenario for young women.

Maybe go with Diane von Furstenberg for the spring formal, and then the Calvin Klein Collection for the engagement party.

With more than 100 top designers, Rent the Runway provides people with brand-name dress and accessory rentals for four- to eight-day periods.

The company, based in N.Y., allows customers to experiment with their favorite styles online and have their orders delivered to their doorsteps. To help customers not break their bank accounts, the company revamps wardrobes for 10 percent of the retail price.

According to RTR's press kit, users choose their rented items and the date for delivery, along with two backup sizes or an additional backup dress for $25, in case something goes wrong before the big event.

For the past two years, Lindsey Sachs, a UF marketing senior, has worked trunk shows to showcase the RTR collection and scrambled for timely dress deliveries in the Campus Representative Program.

Sachs ran the program during her first year, but now she has a team of six people to help push the RTR name in Gainesville.

Along with a designer-brand package, customers have access to a stylist six days a week via phone, email or live chat. A "fix kit" comes included with their rental and brings fashion tape, deodorant remover and more tools to remedy mistakes.

Founded by Jenn Hyman, CEO, and Jennifer Fleiss, president, Sachs said Rent the Runway was born at Harvard Business School when the pair met and decided to change the way women shop.

Unlike metropolitan cities like Miami or New York, Gainesville residents have a more casual fashion and believe RTR dresses don't fit everyday occasions, which Sachs said isn't true.

"Girls don't have the easiest time and there isn't the highest fashion in Gainesville," Sachs said.

The RTR warehouse has dresses for job interviews, black-tie affairs and weekend wear including clothing by designers Cara Accessories, Nina Ricci, Elizabeth Cole and more.

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Available RTR styles have been featured on the CW's "Gossip Girl," and Gator Growl staff members dawned dresses the night of the show. Sachs said the exposure proves how girls can get their hands on clothing they otherwise wouldn't expect to run into.

"You can't really beat the price for these events," Sachs said. "Rent a dress for as little as $40 - it fits amazingly and it's not something everyone else in Gainesville is wearing."



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