Rent the Runway, a website that allows people to rent designer dresses and accessories at a discount of up to 85%, has partnered with fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez to develop a collection available exclusively to its customers.

This is the first partnership the company has secured, and is predicted to differentiate the start-up from other rental-based retailers like Rent Fashion and Fashion Hire.

This presents the opportunity to sport an iconic dress that no one else will have, and is a perfect example of the growth in popularity surrounding collaborative consumption.

In Rent the Runway's case, four dresses will be available to rent for $275 to $400 for four to eight days, all of which are modelled on Rodriguez’s most famous styles. The cutout gown for instance is similar to one worn by Jennifer Aniston on the December edition of Vogue in 2008. 

The collaborative consumption trend reflects the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping, reinvented through networked technologies on a scale and in ways never before possible.

Championed by author Rachel Botsman, this is disrupting outdated modes of business and reinventing not just what we consume - but how we consume. 

New marketplaces such as TaskRabbit, ParkatmyHouse, Zimride,, Zilok, Bartercard and thredUP are enabling peer-to-peer to become the default way people exchange — whether it’s unused space, goods, skills, money, or services.

This nod from a reputable designer only enhances Rent the Runway's credibility, making it even more appealing to consumers.

Vikki Chowney

Published 16 January, 2012 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

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