After watching his date rustle through her closet and not knowing what to wear, Curtsy co-founder and University of Mississippi student William Ault decided to take matters into her own hands and build a dress rental system at her university. Now, this rental system has expanded to 16 other campuses, with a recent arrival at USC.
Curtsy is an app that allows female college students to rent dresses from each other in their neighborhood. Women are able to browse the closets of people around the area and post their own dresses and articles of clothing to make money. Curtsy is currently run by Mississippi students Eli Allen, David Oates and Ault.
The app is free to download on any Apple device and charges a $5 flat charge from the borrower to ensure that the damages are accounted for. Curtsy ensures the safety of users’ closets by insuring up to $1,000 in case of any damages.
The USC Curtsy app launch created an overwhelming response.
“College women typically need 20 dresses a year for events and formal occasions, particularly if they’re involved in the Greek system,” said Caitlin Tran, USC’s Curtsy campus director. Tran is a junior majoring in arts, technology and the business of innovation and also serves as the blogs editor for the Daily Trojan.
“The day we launched at USC, I visited many of the sorority houses to share the news, and women were really excited that they could make money from all the dresses not being used in their closets,” Tran said.
Curtsy gives users a way to do borrow clothes without the awkwardness of asking.
After the launch, word has been quickly spreading through USC, with effective marketing during the launch, according to Tran. As the campus director, she is making sure that more measures are being to make the women at USC aware of the app. Tran explained the practical and economic benefits of the app.
“Everyone has nice dresses in their closets that are only worn once every few months,” Tran said. “Students can make easy extra money by putting those dresses on Curtsy to be borrowed by other students.”
As campus director, Tran plans to continue her plans to expand user engagement between USC students and Curtsy through events.
“We’re planning on hosting trunk shows on campus so students can see the wide variety of dresses that are available to rent on Curtsy,” Tran said.
The trunk show would be held on campus, after inviting users already on the app to have their clothes picked up. The trunk show would allow users to browse what is available on the app in-person.
When Tran asked to share her own personal experiences or what she witnessed when the app launched, she described it as an amazing moment.
“When my classmates at USC first started uploading outfits to Curtsy on our launch date, I got to see some gorgeous dresses that I didn’t even know my friends had,” Tran said.
When asked about the problem about not including males, Tran explained the mission of Curtsy.
“Curtsy is currently focusing on solving a unique problem for many women in college that doesn’t exist for most college men,” Tran said. “There is nothing stopping men from downloading the app, signing up and requesting to borrow dresses.”
Harini Reddy, a master’s student in computer science, loves the app. She shared that it allows her to experiment with different fashion trends. However, being a graduate student, she doesn’t have enough time to shop.
“It is truly a blessing to have Curtsy come to USC. Now all I have to do is browse through my phone to get an online shopping experience but at a much easier and cost-effective way,” Reddy said.