(NEW YORK) — Little fashionistas can get a fresh new wardrobe this spring that changes with them — because Rent the Runway Kids will be in full bloom!
The company will capitalize on well-known challenges that many parents face, getting their children dressed in clean, cute clothes for any occasion without the hefty price tag.
“Nothing has ever made more sense than renting for kids,” Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman told “GMA.”
“I think after 10 years of being one of the largest dry cleaners in the world we’re ready to take this on,” she added, referring to the notoriously messy clientele. “Parents were constantly bringing up to us that their kids are really messy and how often their kids’ clothes would end up with stains and rips and with spills on it and the burden of dealing with that as a parent.”
So Rent the Runway wanted to create a new option that could alleviate some of the burdens on parents, such as paying too much for clothes that kids will quickly outgrow.
“It’s both a financial burden and also the work associated with it. Because of our expertise in restoring clothing to perfect condition, we’re able to alleviate that burden from parents, and kinda deal with all the messy stuff.”
Hyman said children are the “perfect expansion category” for their already proven success in the clothing rental business.
“I just think that we’re so used to boxes and boxes filled with kids clothes that you’re praying are gonna fit your second kid — it’s truly one of the more ridiculous categories to spend tons of money on,” she said. “I’ve been shocked as a parent at how expensive it is to outfit your kid.”
The average American family spends nearly $17,000 annually on a single child through age 17, according to the 2015 Expenditures on Children by Families report compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A spokeswoman for Rent the Runway cited a report by Good that found “babies go through seven sizes by the time they’re two years old.”
RTR Kids will launch with 60 spring styles for girls ages and sizes 3-10 on-site the week of April 15.
The clothing rental service will roll out kid-friendly outfits from 13 different designers including Chloe Kids, Fendi Kids, Stella McCartney Kids, Little Marc Jacobs, Marni Kids, Philosophy Girls, Crewcuts, Milly Minis, Lilly Pulitzer Kids, Roberta Roller Rabbit Kids and LoveShackFancy Kids.
“They’re basically the coolest designers in the world,” Hyman said laughing. “It’s a dream. Some of these brands we don’t even have for adults yet at Rent the Runway.”
Hyman continued, “We’re cool with the idea that your kid might look cooler than you do.”
The CEO said it was important for the new line to be “super fun, really fashionable, really colorful and trendy and things that truly you’ve always wanted your kids to wear but didn’t make any sense for you to buy.”
The spring launch will feature “a lot of dresses” and Hyman said the company will “expand that assortment very quickly into all different categories for kids.”
“Kids clothes is the ultimate purchase that three months later it’s just never going to be used again because your kid doesn’t even fit into it. The idea that you could have a closet that’s constantly growing with your kids and also it’s fun, the value set is more sustainable,” Hyman explained. “It teaches kids about sharing very early on — so the value set was kind of spot on for our parents.”
RTR also announced the platform will now have built-in flexibility to add extra spots for members who can currently only get up to four items at a time.
“We just want to make it as simple for our members to incorporate and use as possible.”
Hyman said they expect kids will be “some of our most vocal customers in telling us what they want” and RTR will lean into their ability to receive instantaneous feedback from customers.
“Kids love dressing up,” she said. “This just brings that fun spirit of dress up into your everyday life. And you don’t feel like you have to financially invest.”
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