The collection is part of RTR’s Design Collective, which spotlights exclusive collaborations with designers, offering pieces for its customers, manufactured and marketed by RTR. These collections are informed by RTR’s data about what the customer wants and are available via subscription or a la carte.
Rent the Runway launched Design Collective in 2018 initially with Prabal Gurung, Derek Lam and Jason Wu, and has since expanded it to include Thakoon, Marissa Webb, Adam Lippes and Peter Som, said Sarah Tam, chief merchant of Rent the Runway.
“This summer we added five new designers to the program who we feel collectively embody fashion’s new guard and reflect the joy customers are expressing through fashion during this moment in time, including Pamela Love,” Tam said. The other designers are Busayo Olupona, Esteban Cortazar, Jonathan Saunders and Osman Yousefzada.
“We’ve long admired Pamela’s whimsical eye for design and jumped at the opportunity to bring her aesthetic to her first full line of apparel,” Tam said. “We also share a commitment to sustainability and providing access to designer fashion in a more conscious way for consumers. Through our platform, these pieces will be worn and loved again and again, which was a critical consideration for Pam when she was deciding whether to expand into clothing.”
Love, who is based in Brooklyn, N.Y., is known for her rock ‘n’ roll-inspired jewelry pieces. She started her jewelry brand in 2007, and today offers fine and fashion jewelry. In 2013, she won the CFDA Swarovski Award for accessory design.
In an interview, Love explained how she got together with RTR and said she’s especially excited to work with them because of their sustainability model.
“It was the idea Rent the Runway had to collaborate with different designers that maybe do apparel already, and maybe don’t, and they thought of us,” Love said. Several years ago, she did a denim collection for J. Crew and designs and makes clothes for her models to wear during jewelry presentations. “People always asked me when are you going to do apparel for yourself?” she said. She said the world doesn’t need more apparel, and she wanted to do it when she could do it in the most responsible and sustainable way possible.
“It’s a circular model, clothes don’t go to waste, and they are offered for rent for many seasons to come. For me, that seemed like an ideal opportunity to launch apparel, which I’ve always dreamed of doing but had my reservations with regard to sustainability,” she said. “I would want to make clothes that are well-made and beautiful and responsibly made and also reasonably priced for women like me. It’s tough to do it on your own.”
For her first full apparel collection, Love was inspired by her personal style and mixing masculine and feminine details with urban and country aesthetics. She has designed a total of 12 dresses, including intricate woven textures and prints inspired by her jewelry design. She is working with cottons, linens and lace. “We were careful with what we chose and made sure we reused fabrics for multiple styles so we weren’t wasting,” she said.
Sizes range from XS to XL.
“It’s a little bit feminine, kinda tough, there’s a bohemian element, there’s a Southwestern vibe and also a New York City element. There are a lot of contrasts,” Love said. She called them ideal summer dresses that include midis, maxis and one on the shorter side. Some are flowy, some ruffly and some are a little bit more tailored, she said.
Love developed her own prints based on some of her jewelry collections, such as a pomegranate print whose motif is evident in her jewelry. She said there are snaps and buttons that are made of metal (flowers and hearts), rather than plastic.
In the collection photographs, some are styled with Doc Martens and funky socks, and others with a a minimal sandal. She said she envisions very young women in their early 20s wearing the styles, as well as women in their 50s and 60s.
Love has no plans to add apparel to her regular business and said that her jewelry business is going well. “I have no complaints,” said Love, who recently gave birth to her first baby.
Asked whom she considers will be the customer for Love’s designs, Tam said, “This collection is for anyone and everyone looking to infuse newness and joy into their summer wardrobe. Customers can access Pamela’s collection via a subscription to Rent the Runway or via Reserve, our a la carte rental service, for a specific occasion.
“What makes these designs special is that they’re tailor made for women based on feedback and data from our community. Traditional retailers’ data ends at the point of sale. By contrast, we are getting constant feedback from our customers around fit, fabrication, occasion, etc., and have a deep understanding of the trends and styles that resonate best with them. As a result, these collections are consistently among the most highly demanded on site, and they also have a better fit rate and higher longevity. Pamela’s collection is no exception — it embodies the essence of easy, feminine summer style, with light and airy silhouettes that can be dressed up or down for any occasion this season,” Tam said.
Tam said they’re partnering with Love on a second apparel collection launching this fall, and this month, they’ve added a new assortment of pieces from Love’s signature jewelry line to the platform.
In other Rent the Runway news, the company has partnered with the online bookings site Kayak for its “Travel Hacker Guide: Wedding Edition,” which launched Tuesday. With an exclusive code for Kayak travelers, first-time Rent the Runway users can get 25 percent off their first reserve rental. Through the alliance, Kayak users can get fashion advice about what to wear to weddings. The fashion company’s style director Blaire Walsh is serving up curated looks for different destinations.
As reported, Rent the Runway’s revenues for the three months ended April 30 doubled from a year ago to $67.1 million, while active subscribers rose 82 percent to a new high of 134,998. Net losses were $42.5 million for the quarter, slightly higher than the $42.3 million a year ago.
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