THE RIS­ING POP­U­LAR­ITY OF GUNAS FOR HIRE

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - STYLE WATCH -

LIKE MOST WOMEN, I have toyed with no­tions of own­ing a walk-in wardrobe. When I bought my house in 2015, I thought about turn­ing my spare room into a stu­dio – work space meets wardrobe – but really just some­where to keep my cum­ber­some amount of coats and shoes. Prac­ti­cal­ity reigned and so the builder con­verted the small box room into a mod­er­ate-sized dou­ble room, rip­ping out all the wardrobe space, knock­ing the wall and fit­ting long spa­cious shelves into the land­ing.

Suf­fice to say, I packed the space with ev­ery­thing I couldn’t fit in my own closet and I still – with the ex­cep­tion of when guests stay – have a spare bed that’s fre­quently piled high with clothes. Our wardrobes are of­ten more life­style tro­phies than they are con­ducive to liv­ing. We have de­vel­oped ways of keep­ing pho­tos via iCloud, mu­sic via Spo­tify and movies via Netlix, free­ing up shelf space in our homes and yet we still have to climb over boxes of old shoes in our be­d­rooms.

Fash­ion may be lag­ging be­hind in terms of tech­nol­ogy but it is be­gin­ning to change via a new way of think­ing from New York-based com­pa­nies like Rent The Run­way. Founded and run by en­tre­pre­neur Jenn Hy­man, she makes the point that in a world where we have con­stant ac­cess to movie, phone and mu­sic sub­scrip­tions, our phys­i­cal closet will soon be­come a relic of the past just like CDs, DVDs and land­lines. If you’re still not con­vinced, lis­ten up. Hy­man founded her closet in the Cloud­style start-up eight years ago, when she rented oc­ca­sion-wear and debs dresses to women. Now she runs a sub­scrip­tion-based clothes rental, where her clients can ac­cess a li­brary of de­signer fash­ion and re­fresh their wardrobe ev­ery month for a rea­son­able price. Hy­man of­fers four gar­ments a month at $89 (€70) or un­lim­ited ac­cess at $169 (€120) a month that al­lows you to swap at any time.

In Ire­land, Alana Laverty from Covet (covet.ie) on the top floor of the Pow­er­scourt Town Cen­tre of­fers a sim­i­lar ser­vice on a smaller scale. Laverty moved home from New York and took over the shabby chic­themed bor­rower’s boudoir three years ago which she has now ex­tended into a bri­dal room for savvy, stylish brides who don’t want to buy a wed­ding gown that will later just sit in their wardrobe. She houses ev­ery­thing from Bad­g­ley Mis­chka to Rachel Gil­bert and Greta Con­stan­tine for €150 up­wards on a three-day rental scheme.

An­other woman up­dat­ing the gladrags for hire phe­nom­e­non is Rhoda McDon­agh from De­signer Room (de­sign­erroom.ie) in Sandy­mount, which of­fers high-end de­signer names like Vic­to­ria Beck­ham, Preen and Gucci. Tap­ping into the mil­len­nial idea that many of us will only ever wear a dress once, es­pe­cially com­ing into party sea­son, McDon­agh of­fers de­sign­ers gems over four days, for a frac­tion of the re­tail price.

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