Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss, Co-founders of Rent the Runway
It’s a dilemma every woman can identify with: having nothing to wear. And as her sister lamented not being able to afford to buy a designer dress for an upcoming wedding, Jennifer Hyman, 32, decided that all women should be able to wear beautiful things—no matter their budget. So in 2009, along with Jennifer Fleiss, 29, she launched Rent the Runway, a site that allows users to “borrow” dresses and accessories for special occasions.
How is Rent the Runway different from other shopping sites?Jennifer Fleiss: We’re making fashion accessible at an affordable price point so you can really have fun and play dress up with different designers in a way that you couldn’t before. It’s renting a dress for the special Cinderella moment of your life.
Who is your style muse?Jennifer Hyman: Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who runs her own fashion consulting business in New York. She’s a mom of three, a wife, and a business power woman, and she always looks fabulous. She certainly knows how to accessorize, she’s always on trend, and she takes a huge amount of risks with fashion.Fleiss: I get inspiration from the women in our office. I love getting tips from them on a daily basis. I’d also add that we’re huge Beyonce fans and we’re in awe of everything about her!
What item are you planning on splurging on this season?Hyman: A pair of Lanvin heels with kind of a bow on them. I’m constantly running to meetings outside of the office and I think that you can’t go wrong with a great pair of Lanvin pumps.Fleiss: I’m turning 30 in September, so I’m thinking either a Chanel bag or a really beautiful coat. It’s very hard to choose a Chanel bag. I’ll probably go with something really classy.
What are your workday and weekend uniforms?Hyman: If I am looking to impress people, I’ll be in a Rent the Runway dress and great accessories. My go-to is Narciso Rodriguez. On the weekend, I love walking around the city in a distressed leather bomber jacket, skinny jeans, and a tank top. I think layering is key for fall along with a really colorful scarf to bring spiciness to the outfit.Fleiss: I wear Rent the Runway whenever I have meetings or something press related. We’re very lucky because we have the best wardrobe ever and can call in amazing dresses. Otherwise it has to be really functional. I have an 18-month-old daughter, so I have to wear something that she won’t entirely destroy.
You feel most creative when you’re wearing…Hyman: Something that was given to me by someone I care about. It creates a memory for me and reminds me of what’s important.Fleiss: When I wear heels, I have an extra jump in my step and I feel more put together. I think confidence can lead to creativity.
Plus, Jennifer and Jennifer share their style essentials with us! See their must-haves.