A model presents a creation from Spanish designer Marcos Luengo's Spring/Summer 2020 collection during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Madrid on July 10, 2019. / AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS
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Just a decade ago, clothing rentals were for special occasions.Cosmetics executive Jacqueline Jackson had her eureka moment when she realized that a monthly unlimited subscription for Rent The Runway, the leader in the American sector, would cost less than for her to rent one dress she wanted to wear to a wedding.Like many of its competitors, Rent The Runway, which has more than 11,000 monthly subscribers, offers ready-to-wear pieces from luxury labels like Victoria Beckham, Proenza Schouler and Phillip Lim.For $89 a month, a subscriber can get four pieces at a time from the company, now valued at $1 billion.Seattle-based startup Armoire, which already has several thousand subscribers, offers a plan at $149 a month.Once a Rent The Runway client has worn an item and wants to swap it for something else, they can send it back via UPS or drop it off at a bricks-and-mortar store. Swedish furniture giant IKEA is moving into furniture rental, a service already provided in the United States by startup Fernish.
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