Project Spotlight: Rent the Runway

The project consisted of the development of a new concept prototype environment for Rent the Runway and the implementation of that concept into a new, New York City flagship location of approximately 6,000 sf. The program included reception and service areas (Service Bar), main merchandise area (Dream Closet) and fitting rooms for walk-ins and appointments (Styling Studio).

From the first moment you enter the store, the overall abundance of the closet is intentionally visible but as you explore more you’ll find giant jewelry cases and other smaller scale details and surprises. Unlike typical retail fixtures, these cases are fully accessible and customers are invited to open and search through drawers as if they were in their own closet. From the Dream Closet, customers can then move to the walk-in fitting rooms or
the appointment only Styling Studio – depending on their desired level of service.

RTR is exactly the kind of project we love – a client that is intentionally trying to create something entirely new and unique. As they are a disruptive, paradigm shifting online business, the store had to equally demonstrate that it is not a retail-asusual environment (Dream Closet). In addition, we wanted to foreground and fully integrate the service portion of the RTR model in a unique and customer focused way (Service Bar) as well as create a new signature environment for one-on-one styling appointments (Styling Studio). The key to achieving the project goals was to really commit to the idea and details of a giant, aspirational “Dream Closet” and intentionally move away from recognizable retail elements like free-standing fixtures and mannequins. Similarly, the Service Bar sought to deliver a high level of customer care in a more enjoyable social environment. At the end of the day, far from being a typical retail store, the
main space was designed more as the world’s greatest closet that happens to also include a really cool bar.

Through the layout, design and details the store is the physical embodiment of the band promise. Customers are welcomed into an aspirational fantasy closet where access and abundance are readily on display. Signage and wayfinding are intended to reinforce the not retail-as-usual design goals. Subtle and elegant, they are intended to provide clear direction without recalling any of the loud, commercialism of traditional retail graphics.

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