Why High-End Designers Love Rent The Runway

September 11, 2018

By Jacqueline Corba

The two designers at the helm of Badgley Mischka said retail start-up Rent the Runway is a "gateway" for the next generation of shoppers to discover their brand.

The consumer "gets a good experience from them, and then she gets introduced to the brand and she matures, gets a little more income and then she can afford to buy the clothes," James Mischka said Tuesday in an interview on Cheddar.

"Rent the Runway's buying power is phenomenal," Mark Badgley told Cheddar Tuesday. "Their buys are bigger than most of the major department stores today."

Badgley said this is a testament to the growth of the start-up, which was most recently valued at nearly $800 million.

The duo is also looking to tap into the next generation of their customers with the expansion of the company's lifestyle products, which will incorporate its signature sparkle.

"There's a thread of glamour in everything we do," Badgley said.

The label ー once known for its $10,000 red-carpet gowns worn by Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey, Madonna, and Kate Winslet ーis now adding housewares, shoes, and jewelry to its lineup of products.

In Mischka's view, the label has changed its conception of fashion and remade the pieces for real shoppers, not just industry insiders.

"We've really learned that you can't sit in New York and just be in an ivory tower and just design for what you think to be a fashionable thing," he said.

"We looked at the past 30 years of Badgley Mischka and what our customers have said to us over the past 30 years and try to answer all their questions or all their needs," he added.

Badgley Mischka recently debuted its Spring 2019 line on the runway at New York Fashion Week. The collection, set at a garden party, was a fantastical ode to "Alice in Wonderland."

For full interview click here.