A new Columbus tech startup is bringing fashion innovation to Ohio State through a clothing rental pop-up shop.
FITNXTDOOR will host its first pop-up at Trism from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The event will be an opportunity for the public to see the clothing rental services the brand will provide through a style experience.
The brand aims to bring the concept of a sharing economy, similar to services like Uber and Airbnb, only now with clothes, according to the press release. The inspiration came from the co-founders’ own experiences with sharing clothes.
“My friends would constantly borrow my clothes which made me realize I had a lot of pieces in my closet I didn’t wear,” Ryan Shaw, co-founder of FITNXTDOOR, said. “I knew I didn’t want to get rid of my clothes completely, but I thought, ‘What about renting them?’”
This idea turned into a concrete concept after the group noticed the broader impact this could have with current trends happening in the fashion industry.
“Fashion is kind of working into this place where renting an outfit isn’t that strange of a concept,” Leigha Anthony, another co-founder, said. She said that people are starting to establish “closets in the clouds,” meaning they don’t own all of the clothes in their closets, and they rotate their wardrobe based on different moods.
Instead of taking FITNXTDOOR immediately online, the team wanted to attract people to the brand through in-person, experiential events.
“We wanted to launch our brand with an activated pop-up tour to first create brand awareness and get more people comfortable with the idea of renting clothes,” Audrey Anthony, another co-founder, said.
To bring the idea to life, the team brought together stylists and influencers in the community who will share their pieces and make them available to rent.
“We’ve partnered with local influencers and asked them to curate closets of about 15 to 20 pieces, and their racks will be on display for people to look at and shop around in,” Shaw said.
This is much more than a shopping experience, though, as Shaw said there will be a live DJ, food truck, cocktail bar, runway and photography stations set up throughout the venue for people to experience as well.
The event will give Columbus fashion enthusiasts the opportunity to experience a fashion event similar to those they see in other large cities.
“Columbus is a fashion-forward city, and we want people to know that the kind of events they see that are happening in L.A. and other cities are happening here in Columbus, too,” Anthony said.
While the pop-ups are centered on creating an in-person style atmosphere, the brand hopes to take the concept to the next level by creating a social media platform to allow users to post their clothes for rental.
The pop-ups serve as a proof-of-concept for future investors to see that the idea can be taken to technology, according to the press release.