While the majority of retailers are moving online, two New York stylists are complementing their e-commerce site with an apartment-based retail store.
Launched late last year by Vanessa Traina and Morgan Wendlborn, The Line is a provider of luxury fashion, beauty and home décor and has recently set up shop in an apartment on the third floor of a residential building built in 1872.
The gallery-inspired space is entitled The Apartment by The Line and offers a unique retail setting where everything is for sale, from the lighting to the crystal glassware.
The building itself, located at 76 Greene Street in SoHo was designed by Isaac F. Duckworth, a master of cast-iron architecture and features an “eclectic baroque” aesthetic.
Inside, the apartment creates a very suitable backdrop to showcase the luxury products. The space is cleverly curated by on set designer Carl Sprague, offering a minimal and timeless aesthetic. Light hardwood floors, wooden accents and textured rugs bring a natural and warm feel to the space.
Large windows on one side of the apartment drench the space in light while the other side features an original Corinthian column.
Located at the centre of the apartment are coffee tables which sit in front of a bespoke velvet sofa filled with housewares for sale.
Five glass-blown chandeliers designed by Jan Plechac & Henry Wielgushang hang from the soaring ceilings and above a custom marble dining table.
“We wanted to create just a ghost of the original chandeliers, or just the soul, the shadow, the shine of the original ones,” said Plechác of the iconic lighting pieces.
Even The Line’s clothing has a home, with a ready-to-wear collection hanging on coat hooks and within a walk-in-closet which plays fashion showcase as well as part-loft divider.
The space allows for flexible décor as well with Charlie Cole, president of The Line telling The Hollywood Reporter that the space “gives a certain amount of malleability and realism that I don’t think most stores have.”
The Apartment takes a realistic approach to its retail space, challenging what many retailers are attempting - to blur the boundaries of physical and the digital brand.
Last year, former Burberry chief executive officer Angela Ahrendts unveiled the fashion house’s flagship London store that was described as “the future of retail.”
The space features a centre screen, 550 speakers and a hydraulic stage which hosts concerts for Burberry Acoustic in-store before they’re streamed live.
Some of the clothes also feature radio frequency identification chips. When the clothes are tried on in front of a mirror, the mirror transforms into a screen telling the story of how the garment was made.
While the implementation of technology has been successful with brands like Apple, Burberry and Nike, The Apartment by The Line could be a benchmark for luxury products. This retail idea could target consumers who may be reluctant to purchase high-end products online if they haven’t physically seen the product and allow them to see it in an aligning environment – an actual lounge room.
CHANEL also creates spaces in their retail stores that draw inspiration from the elegant interiors of Mademoiselle Coco Chanel’s Parisian apartment on 31 rue Cambon. This curated CHANEL space invites clients to settle into the beautiful space and enjoy the surrounding products.
The Line is one of a growing number of retailers acknowledging just how empowered consumers are, reinforcing the notion of physical stores as places where people can actually touch and feel a product.