The only thing harder than picking out what to wear to work every day is trying to pick out clothes to pack for a trip, especially a business trip. But Rent the Runway just made your latest work trip a little easier. The women’s rental clothing company, which already revolutionized the fashion industry by expanding women’s closets virtually in the era of powerful outfit killing-social media, continues to be a game-changer for the fashion and business industries.
As of last week guests of W Aspen, W South Beach, W Washington D.C. and W Hollywood now have access to the ultimate travel wardrobe, curated by Rent the Runway for each destination. When guests book their room through Rent the Runway (RTR) Closet Concierge they can choose four styles for their stay from Rent the Runway’s Unlimited Closet for only $69. Guests have access to the entire Unlimited Closet in addition to being able to select from a destination-ready assortment tailored to each unique W hotel location incorporating RTR’s proprietary data on trending colors, designers, silhouettes and the climate of each location. Room service is nice, but having a great outfit you didn’t have to cram into your suitcase just waiting in your room is arguably even better. To return, guests simply drop-off the items at the Welcome Desk at check-out.
“Traveling without luggage has always been my dream. We are thrilled to partner with W Hotels to bring the RTR Closet Concierge to life, so travelers can simply show up and have their dream closet waiting for them in their hotel room,” said Jennifer Hyman, Co-Founder and CEO of Rent the Runway. “W is always looking for ways to give our guests new/next experiences that empower them to express themselves and upgrade their travel experience, and the RTR Closet Concierge does both,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader at W Hotels. “Collaborating with the Runway — such a creative, conscious and trend-setting brand — allows us to reinvent the way our guests pack and dress as they travel. Skipping the packing process is a whole new level of luxury for our guests and is yet another surprising way continue to reinvent hospitality.
2019 was a big year for RTR as they also partnered with WeWork back in October in another strategic move to help busy professional women. According to Business Insider, Rent the Runway’s subscribers are already wearing rented clothes 120 days out of the year and more partnerships like both of these could increase that number exponentially. Americans already experience “wardrobe panic” 36 times a year and another survey found that 49% of women reported feeling self-conscious about repeating outfits at work. Thus an infinite closet is pretty darn brilliant (especially if you have a tiny apartment.)
This is why Rent the Runway is is expected to reach a valuation of $1.96 billion by 2023 (as of last year it was marked for $1.18 billion.) Hyman said at an RTR store opening last month in Boston that her company’s mission is to reframe how we think of ownership. If experiences, documented on social media, are the new currency for Millennials, why should renting a dress or a purse, not feed right into that? Half of the purpose is just to experience that piece of fashion for an event, or a photo opportunity (or a really strong compliment) so why would you need to spend the money on physically owning something you may only wear once? “The burden of ownership”, according to Hyman, will be eschewed in the next decade. After all, we live in a world that made Marie Kondo, the ultimate dictator of abstaining from stuff and clutter, our guiding force.Why should you keep something in your (tiny) closet that doesn’t spark joy for you anymore?
With more players such as Bloomingdales, Ann Taylor, Nordstrom’s (which partners with RTR as well) and Free People entering the fashion rental game, 2020 will truly usher a new era of how we purchase or rather temporarily acquire fashion.
The RTR Closet Concierge experience is launching at the below locations:
W Aspen (in time for the hotel’s inaugural ski season)
W South Beach
W Washington D.C.