Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The e-commerce to brick-and-mortar conversion isn't more prevalent than in New York City, with shops like Warby Parker, Birchbox, Rent the Runway, and Bonobos and Ayr bringing our favorite online shopping experiences to fingertips. And the latest to join that fray is Gilt, which has converted an old conference room in its Park Avenue South offices into a shoppable dream closet that's now open to the public.
Well, it's almost public: You need to make an appointment to get in. And unlike some personal shopping experiences in the city — including those at Rent the Runway and the Bonobos/Ayr guideshops — these will cost you, but the deposit that you put down for the appointment can be usedtowards your future purchases.An hourlong private session with a stylist is $50, but you can knock that price down to $20 if you're open to sharing both the room and the stylist. And that's the same amount you and four friends would pay for two hours with the room all to yourselves (Bonus: Champagne and chocolates are included no matter which type of appointment you book).
It's best to come in with an idea of what you're looking for, whether it's something from the enviable selection of discounted handbags and wallets, a party dress, or Jimmy Choo heels. Specifying your sizes aheadof time — as well as the maximum amount you're willing to spend — is key, too: Otherwise, you might spend the entire 60 minutes browsing the color-coordinated racks for all the size 8 dresses under $350, for example. And in here, your time is precious.
You could browse the site for some shopping inspiration ahead of your appointment, but know that there's isn't much of an overlap between what's for sale online and what's on the gilded racks (we see what you did there, Gilt). That means that those pumps or that jacket you just spotted is probably only available in that size — so you better hope it fits. But as Gilt stylist Caroline Kornreich pointed out when we visited the showroom during last week's media preview, shoppers can't run into this problem with the selection of handbags; as it's a significant purchase that some might be hesitant to make online, appointments dedicated to pricey accessories have already been popular.
Today's the first day that the general public can make appointments to shop, but the online scheduler has been open since last week, and deal seekers have been snatching up those time slots: All of the appointments that show up right now currently have wait lists. If you want to guarantee yourself a spot at the time you want, be sure to log on at 9pm on Sunday nights — that's when the next batch of appointments go live.