Most style savy women have tried, or at least heard of, Rent the Runway. The growing website offers high-end designer dress and accessory rentals for weddings, parties or whatever event you have planned. Even if you have a whole closet dedicated to Chanel, Lanvin and Dior, there are times when you need a gown that you know you’ll never wear again. I mean, who wants to be caught in the same red Badgley Mischka dress twice? No one. So you can find a dress online (and a hot clutch to go with it), have it delivered the night before the big event, and return it within a few days. But if all that sounds a bit bothersome or unnecessarily slow, then you’re in luck. Rent the Runway is opening its first brick and mortar store today.
Set in a 1400-square-foot space on the second floor of Henry Bendel’s Fifth Avenue flagship store, the new shop will offer a selection of the most current and on-trend dresses from over 175 different designers. Styles will be in rotation seasonally, combining the ease of rental with current fashions. "It's become clear to us at Rent the Runway that our customer is the true go-getter girl—she is smart and busy; she loves fashion but wants it easily and at the highest level of service," said Jennifer Hyman, CEO and Co-Founder of Rent the Runway.
Now instead of waiting for snail mail to deliver your New Year’s Eve cocktail dress or charity ball gown, you can run over to their Fifth Avenue store and try on dresses before taking one home that night—which is perfect for last minute events. Combining quality customer service and updated technology, the showroom may be even more high tech than shopping online. Customers will be given their own personal Go-To-Girl for style consultations and all dressing rooms are fitted with iPads which can upload notes, images and designers for later access in their Virtual Closet. Appointments can be made online, but walk-ins are also welcome. We can’t wait for our next event just to give it a try.