New York—A symbiotic relationship of sorts is developing between an online fashion rental site and a major specialty retailer. This week, Henri Bendel and Rent the Runway unveiled a 1,400-square-foot showroom at Bendel’s Fifth Avenue flagship.
The “showroom” contains a rotating selection of the trendiest dresses and accessories from Rent the Runway’s 175 designer brands. Thus, women can now try on dresses in advance of renting and work directly with a Rent the Runway Go-To Girl personal stylist to ensure they look and feel their best for every occasion.
As Rent the Runway’s first brick-and-mortar retail partnership, they are bringing the online rental experience to life and creating a destination for the shopper who wants access to luxury fashion but with the ease and convenience of a personal stylist who understands her most pressing needs. Customers will be able to reserve rentals for all upcoming occasions or take their dresses and accessories with them directly from the Rent the Runway showroom.
Drop by After Work for a New Look
“Henri Bendel is the perfect partner for us to innovate offline as they are also known for the spectacular customer experiences they offer through their stores,” said Jennifer Hyman, chief executive/co-founder of Rent the Runway. “With the ability to try on the designer dresses that would be paired with your newest on-trend Henri Bendel accessory purchase, women can alleviate their fit concerns, drop by after work for that last minute event, and more confidently book dresses for the entire season.”
Customers can book an appointment online at www.renttherunway.com/henribendel and create their style profile including personal information such as size, shape and style preferences. Upon arriving at Rent the Runway showroom, customers will be greeted by a Go-To Girl, who will provide a one-on-one styling consultation. Each fitting room will be equipped with a scanner and iPad for their stylist to scan each dress tried on which will upload to their “Virtual Closet.” Customers can add notes to each dress they try on, and later view their closet at any time on www.renttherunway.com for future reference when booking rentals.
Walk-in appointments are also welcome. Customers can easily browse dresses organized by occasion–from black tie and cocktail party, to date night or wedding–from designers such as Badgley Mischka, Vera Wang and ML Monique Lhiullier, among others. Following customers’ four- or eight-day rental, they can either return their dresses directly to Rent the Runway at Henri Bendel or send them back via the provided pre-paid mailing envelope.
“The Rent the Runway experience perfectly complements the Henri Bendel brand,” said Scott Schramm, SVP of Henri Bendel. “Both Henri Bendel and Rent the Runway girls are looking to discover what’s new and next in fashion and accessories. Bringing Rent the Runway’s online experience to life in our 5th Avenue store is exciting and unexpected.”
The showroom will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Rent the Runway at Henri Bendel will also host a “Girls Night Out” event series with various beauty partners, offering women complimentary nail services, makeovers and additional beauty services to complete their head-to-toe look during the holiday season.