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Though it was established as a super-cheap alternative to getting high-end dresses for special occasions, Rent the Runway is about to branch out in a major way. The New York City based-company announced today that they're expanding their offerings to include sportswear from the likes of Derek Lam, Nina Ricci, Giambattista Valli, Carven, and Opening Ceremony, WWD reports, in the hopes that women won't only head to their site (or Flatiron store) for wedding season and holiday parties, but for occasions as commonplace as a work meeting or a weekend brunch.
"This is as critical to [the consumer] for how they could think about getting dressed as to how a Spotify is to listening to music," cofounder and CEO Jennifer Hyman told the paper. "The goal is to change the level of engagement of membership so they see us as more than a place catering to special events."
The company first started to get its five-million plus users to think of them as more than just that fancy dress place when they launched a subscription service for accessories last summer (they recently included dresses in that package, too). Customers will be able to borrow non-special occasion clothes as a one-off rental or as part of a subscription, though an undetermined surcharge will be added on for the fanciest of labels. They'll keep on adding in new brands, too—Kaufman Franco and Naeem Khan, for instance, will be available beginning in August.
WWD writes that the new apparel will be available for rental on the site beginning tomorrow, but it's unclear whether it'll be available in the physical New York City stores on that day as well; we've reached out to the company's public relations team for more information.
Update: Rent the Runway has informed Racked that it is not planning to carry sportswear in its stores at the moment.