We launched our first-of-its-kind West Coast flagship in San Francisco — at 228 Grant Avenue, in case you were wondering — and designed it all with Y-O-U in mind.
To create our dreamiest closet yet, we teamed up with two super-talented women designers. Heard of Parsley Health? What about The Wing? You got it–all spaces designed by our architects too. (Not to mention, our flagship has now received an honorable mention in Fast Company’s 2019 Innovation by Design Awards.)
We sat down with Hilary Koyfman of Hilko Designs and Alda Ly of Alda Ly Architecture & Designs to chat design philosophy and inspiration, how that infused itself into crafting our unique space and how they hope our SF community will be interacting with it.
Alda Ly and Hilary Koyfman
Tell us about your day-to-day.
Hilary: Most of my day consists of sourcing pieces for my projects. I am constantly scouring the internet, looking through magazines and books, as well as visiting stores to find the perfect items for my clients. The best part of my job is that I get to be creative most of my day.
I’ve been lucky enough to work on a number of projects that I’m really excited about. Most recently, I designed a new wellness clinic called Parsley Health. I love the idea of working in a space, like healthcare, that isn’t typically associated with design and helping to create a world where design is an essential element to the identity and functionality of the space.
Alda: On a typical day, I may be splitting my time between sketching concept plans, reviewing design details with my project teams, visiting a construction site, and meeting really inspiring company founders for potential new collaborations. We’re so proud to have been the architect for The Wing’s initial five rollout locations. What an incredible company made of so many kick-ass women! It’s led us to work with so many other amazing female-founded companies, such as Parsley Health and now Rent the Runway! [Ed. note: TechCrunch described our new space as “essentially The Wing with an enormous closet of designer clothing available to rent” — spot on.]
What’s your design philosophy?
Hilary: Make it look drool-worthy, but also make it comfortable, functional and livable.
Alda: Thoughtful design, at any scale, lets people know that they are being considered. Smart layout and engaging spaces are essential, but also clever and beautiful little details can bring joy to an experience.
What excited you about partnering with RTR to design our new space?
Hilary: I’ve known RTR since it began, and they have done an amazing job innovating in the digital retail space. The challenge of taking their concept and creating a voice through a physical space was especially exciting to me. This was an opportunity to rethink how this new type of retail should look and feel.
Alda: RTR’s loyal SF customers — they’re confident, relaxed and down-to-earth, but busy and on-the-go. We designed specifically for them with a spacious layout and flow, lots of options for fitting rooms and efficient service touchpoints.
It was also a fun logistics challenge! We were amazed by the amount of inventory available and wanted to ensure as much of that got out on the floor as quickly as possible. The RTR team was so knowledgeable and open-minded about their retail model and community — so interesting to learn and collaborate with them in physicalizing their space!
What inspires you? And where did you draw your inspiration for our redesign?
Hilary: I always draw inspiration from my surroundings. Whether it’s walking around my neighborhood in Brooklyn Heights to traveling to different countries and cities, I’m always snapping photos of things that catch my eye. I love visiting other people’s homes and am constantly taking pictures of details like a bedspread color, a kitchen shelf or my favorite, the inside of a well organized fridge.
For this space, I was very inspired by the idea of creating a luxurious, dream closet for everyone, and used lots of rich materials like velvets and brass.
Alda: Before the design process began, we met a large group of dedicated RTR customers and heard them speak about how they use the existing retail store location. This new space was 100% designed for them and customers like them.
Describe our new SF space in 3 words.
Hilary: Fun, feminine and functional!
Alda: Warm, genuine and adaptable.
How do you hope the RTR community will enjoy and use this space?
Hilary: I want customers to feel like the store is an extension of their closet. I want them to come back and do it all over again the next morning, which is actually how many of the RTR customers use the space. If they are busy, I want them to be able to get in and out with ease, and if they have some more time, I want them to linger at the beauty bar while sipping a coffee.
Alda: We hope the space will be intuitive for RTR’s customers. With a larger space and a range of try-on and check-out options, RTR’s customers will be able to tailor their experience to match their lifestyle–they can pop in quickly to pick up exactly what they need, or they can have a relaxing experience while sipping a coffee and answer some emails.
Latest read or podcast?
Hilary: Lately, I’ve been listening to Michael Lewis’s podcast called Against The Rules. It’s an interesting look at the idea of fairness in todays society. He’s just a really smart guy and I love the angle he takes on the stories he covers.
Alda: 99% Invisible, a Bay Area staple!
Your self-care ritual?
Hilary: My favorite recent self care ritual has been buying soups from Juice Press. They are so delicious and healthy and perfect for a quick meal when I am working from home.
Alda: I’m learning that it’s ok to politely say no to new requests whenever I’m feeling overworked and stressed. I naturally want to do everything I can to help others, but making time for myself allows me to be a healthier, better person.
Thanks to Hilary and Alda’s thoughtful work, we can’t help but show off our gorgeous new space! Head over to experience it yourself. Not in SF? Get a closer look here: