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10 September 2018

In case you didn’t know, there is a Rent The Runway sample sale going on right now. If you are anything like me, and want to actually commit to dresses from Rent The Runway with which you might otherwise only have one-night stands… now is the time to get on one knee and propose—or hop on one leg in a dressing room and try it on. Either way, all this makes me wonder: do I love  Rent The Runway or do I hate it?

The sharing economy is all the rage these days, and we have to give credit to Rent The Runway for being a pioneer of sorts in that respect. It’s a logically sound idea after all. How many times are you going to wear the same dress you wore to that wedding? It’s nearly—gasp—blasphemous to wear the same dress twice to such occasions. So I doubt you would flaunt it at another event where you’ll see the same people you violently elbowed in an effort to catch the bouquet at that last wedding.

When the time came to choose a dress for a black-tie wedding that Saturday, I was delighted to see the Rent The Runway dress selection. I always wanted to wear a Monique Lhuillier gown, and renting one (in two sizes) for $140 seemed like a reasonable price for a dress that retails for $880. What could go wrong? A LOT, apparently.

I ordered the dress and the earrings from Rent The Runway and the following day I actually bought a pair of sandals that matched my evening clutch. When Friday came, the supposed delivery day, I received an email at around 4PM that raised my cortisol levels. The email reported the dress was actually not available in my size after all, but a stylist would choose another one for me so I was (kind of) covered. By 8PM I was still waiting for the surprise dress, so I called Rent The Runway and asked for an update. I was reassured the dress would be delivered within an hour. An hour passed and the dress was still not there.

At this time, my stress was teetering on the edge of a panic attack, so I crossed the street for a spicy margarita to forget my first world (but very serious) problems. When I returned home, the dress was still not there. Finally—at 11:30PM, it arrived. I just breathed a sigh of relief and went to bed without even opening the box.

When I opened the package Saturday morning, the day of the wedding, there was no surprise dress chosen for me by some mystery stylist. All that was there was original dress I’d chosen in its backup size that was too small for me. Panic overwhelmed me and there was not enough spicy margaritas in the world to make me feel better. I called Rent The Runway, and they advised me to go downtown to their store and physically pick up one. Um, the reason I’d ordered from Rent The Runway in the first place was so that I wouldn’t have to do exactly what I was doing right now.

But… here’s the good news: the store personnel was actually great. Both the customer service (Ru?) and the stylist (Mackenzie?) were professional, helpful, and (my perfect counterbalance) very calm. I ended up leaving the place with a better dress than the one I had originally chosen for myself.

So, after this both bad and good experience and then three more that proved to be somewhat similar, I guess I’m giving it yet another go? This weekend I am ordering another dress for a “casual country club look” and I am keeping the fingers crossed (as I type this—so excuse any typos) that it will be here on time.

Regardless of whether another dress fiasco ensues, here’s the takeaway lesson for you. I have placed a total of four Rent The Runway orders so far, and only two were delivered as expected. If you get the four days package, be prepared to receive it at the end of the first day, or on the second day (this is another story for another time). If you are flexible, keep calm, and rent the dress in a way that you are covered for anything that might go wrong because it’s still a great way to be stylish on a budget. Also, this is not based on my personal experience but rather on a stranger’s review; make sure you return everything on time. If you are late or they don’t receive the package, the penalties are such that you end up paying more than if you’d bought the item retail full price. Yikes!

What is your Rent The Runway experience?

Happy shopping,
Mirela



Posted by Mirela Gluck at 09:34 AM
Our Views and Opinions |


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16 July 2018

If you happen to work in fashion, you intend to work in fashion, or you just really love fashion, this post might make you just a little bit sad. Lately, there has been an avalanche of bad news when it comes to fashion and retail. As consumers or employees of these industries, we are in the odd position of being the sources, victims, and beneficiaries of these changes all at once.  Our relationship with the fashion industry? Well… the Facebook classification would be “It’s Complicated.” Brands themselves are trying hard to make sense of these tectonic movements, but I believe we as people must try to make sense of them too.

Here are some titles I came across just today:

How ‘Fashion’ Became a Bad Word
What’s Ailing America’s Fashion Darlings?
How Algorithms Are Threatening Fashion’s White-Collar Jobs
Influencer Ex Machina

Maybe reading just the titles alone won’t give you a full impression of what’s going on, so here’s a long (news) story short:

Fashion has fallen… well, out of fashion.

That’s it. Point blank. Fashion is no longer in vogue. How can I say that? Because evidence shows that we consumers are still spending money, but just not the way we used to. In the last year alone, the luxury market has experienced a 5% growth that has benefited not only them, but also digital upstart brands and direct-to-consumer companies. However, the cool kids of fashion from a couple of years back didn’t feel the same love. Brands like Narciso Rodrigues, Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, Rag and Bone, and Opening Ceremony, once encouraged by the enthusiastic response in their heyday, have hyper-expanded using the old-fashioned department store business model of distribution and are now struggling to understand the shift in the market. They’re scrambling to cut their losses and reposition themselves. Brands like Everlane that praise themselves for basic clothing and price transparency are the new cool kids.  Blame us, fickle consumers. It’s now trendier to spend money on wellness than on fashion.

Well-paying fashion and social media influencing jobs are filled more by AI and less by humans.

After years of education, internships, and endless efforts to make the right connections, you are finally ready. And then you read the news: more and more companies use artificial intelligence to design clothes, and to serve as buyers and merchandise planners. Some of us grew up dreaming to get a job in fashion and a few lucky ones have actually made that dream come true. But for those still dreaming, what shape do those dreams take now with these fewer options?  While the fashion industry was one of the first to export the manufacturing jobs overseas, it’s the first we hear of losing its white-color jobs to computers. So far it looks like machines are there only to “augment and automate tasks” and I understand companies’ efforts to be as efficient as possible, but I am not looking forward to a future where an algorithm decides what I buy, what I wear, and how I wear it. No matter my feelings about social media influencers (I’ve never been a fan, but that’s for another post), I still doubt that replacing them with computer-generated models will make me feel any better.



Posted by Staff Writer at 02:58 AM
Our Views and Opinions |


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19 June 2018

Reformation is a company that made its mission to be environmentally conscious while making you oh so West Coast chic. Its long-awaited sample sale has started today and this is what we know:

1) If there is one New York sample sale worth traveling for on a day like today (temperatures above 90 degrees), certainly it is this one.

2) Pictures supplied by 260 Sample Sale show racks of summer dresses that could be on the list of 50 styles to buy right NOW.

3) We are riveted. With prices ranging from $20 for T-Shirts to $100 for long dresses there is little to feel guilty about. Have we mentioned they are trying to save the planet?

REFORMATION SAMPLE SALE

WHEN: 6/19 – 6/24; Tue (9-8), W-Th (10-7), F-Sat (10-8), Sun (10-5)

WHERE: 260SampleSale
150 Greene Street
New York, NY 10012

 



Posted by Staff Writer at 02:48 PM
Our Views and Opinions |


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11 June 2018

Like most of us, I too have reacted with shock and disbelief at the news of Kate Spade’s death. The brand’s ubiquitous presence in New York made me feel somehow connected to the woman who had envisioned and created it. The moment I read the news I felt a painful sense of loss—the kind you’d feel for a friend. That got me thinking: she could have been my friend, a woman I could have learned from only if I’d had the chance to meet her. I mean, we were almost the same age, both transplants in New York, living just a couple of blocks away from each other. It could have happened, right? I know it’s absurd but grief wields immense power and often plants in us crazy seedling ideas that often begin with that small but might word, “If…”

I had been carrying this sadness around for the last two days, not knowing what to do with it. Today I realized that I could use it as fuel to raise awareness about other women designers and founders of successful companies on my little megaphone here… and while we’re at it, talk about their upcoming sample sales too, of course.

Stacey Bendet of Alice + Olivia and her intricate esthetic are well known to New York shoppers. What started as a student’s search for the perfect pair of pants ended being a $200 million company of which Ms. Bendet is CEO and creative director. This year sample sale (we have pics!) presents a gorgeous colorful collection and we are certain the magical world of Alice + Olivia will draw a large crowd ; we hope that crowd will be less rowdy than it’s been in the past. As you might recall, last December a fight broke out at the Alice + Olivia sample sale that made headlines on “Page Six.” The Alice + Olivia Sample Sale starts today,  June 11th at 260 Fifth Avenue.

The La Perla name is synonymous with sexy so it might come as a surprise to you the fact that the company is over 60 years old. Ada Masotti, an Italian corset-maker, nicknamed “golden scissors” for her extraordinary talent, had dreamed to start her own company, and her dream became reality in 1954. Although the company is no longer managed by Ada’s family (they sold it in 2007), she should be acknowledged as a visionary that understood that lingerie is not only functional, but also fashionable and seductive. The good news for us, bargain aficionados, is that the company has new owners as of February, which means there is a good chance this is going to be a great sample sale. La Perla Sample Sale starts on June 12th and it is hosted by 260 Sample Sales at 260 Fifth Avenue.

The list continues. Pauline Nokios is the owner and creative director of Lilla P and Leo & Sage, their sample sale takes place at 32-34 Little West 12th Street, and it is starting on June 12th. Megha Mittal is the chairwoman and managing director of the German fashion luxury brand, Escada. The Escada sample sale will be hosted at Soiffer Haskin, 317 West 33rd Street starting June 9th. There are so many more incredible women with incredible stories behind these designer tags, so although our list of sample sales stops here, the exploration behind them doesn’t have to. Your legs might give out from shopping till you drop, but your fingers are nimble enough to Google more. Go forth, learn about these genius ladies, and may your closet overfloweth to honor them!

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Posted by Staff Writer at 06:30 AM
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