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Rent the Runway Opens Its First Chicago Store

The Gold Coast shop allows customers to try on rented apparel.

Photo: Courtesy of Rent the Runway

On April 30, Rent the Runway will unveil its most fashionable look yet: a 2,940-square-foot store in the Gold Coast. This will be the brand’s third freestanding store to date, and its first in the Windy City.

“Chicago is already home to some of our most loyal customers,” says Jennifer Hyman, CEO and co-founder. “We wanted to bring them the option to rent, see, and try on beautiful designer dresses in person. In fact, as part of our retail launch in Chicago, we have partnered with a variety of local, smart, entrepreneurial women to create content that highlights their passions, pursuits, and the inspirations behind them.”

The store is done up in shades of gold, silver, and champagne—it has to match the gowns, after all—and is full of perks such as seating enclaves, in-store styling appointments, and same-day rentals for those who, like Cinderella, are never quite sure they’re going to make it to the ball until the last minute. And of course, the biggest perk is actually trying on the dresses in person instead of crossing your fingers and clicking “rent” online. Four-day apparel rentals start at $30 and run up to $800, while accessories rent at price points from $5 to $400.

Hyman says that each store’s merchandise is tailored to “the needs of the women in the area,” but doesn’t give specifics. However, she says that their customers generally go for “elegant” looks and “classic” designers, such as Badgley Mischka, Nicole Miller, Shoshanna, and Halston Heritage. “Chicagoans follow suit,” she says, “but also gravitate toward designers such as ML Monique Lhuillier and nha khanh.”

Stop by the new Rent the Runway store at 710 North Wabash Avenue from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. Got a big event coming up? Book an appointment with a stylist for $25 at renttherunway.com/stores.

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