The women-only coworking space and social club The Wing opened its doors in the Flatiron District one year ago this month. The club’s location on the neighborhood’s historic Ladies’ Mile was a happy accident. “It was very difficult to get a landlord to rent to us because we were two women under 30,” says The Wing’s co-founder, Audrey Gelman. “We found a great landlord who had a daughter our age and he took a chance on us.”
That chance has paid off. The Wing, whose list of applicants is now numbering north of 8,000, opened its second location this week in Soho. The outpost builds on the brand’s mission to “provide a home base for women on their way” by nearly tripling the square footage of the Flatiron club. At about 10,000 square feet, The Wing Soho replicates everything that is working uptown, while expanding the offerings to suit a growing clientele.
But finding the space in which to do that wasn’t much easier than the first go-around. The search dragged on until Gelman and co-founder Lauren Kassan saw the top floor of 52 Mercer Street. “We were looking for the dream Soho loft, and we found it,” Gelman says. Its two massive skylights, which create airiness in the center rooms of the block-wide space, clinched it.
With the architectural guidance of Alda Ly and the interior design of CDR&Co, the once-raw space has been transformed into an indulgent, yet inviting social club. The brand’s hallmark millennial pink interiors have been complemented with sumptuous jewel tones and Memphis-inspired furniture. A lending library curated by The Strand—a woman-owned business, Gelman points out—has been meticulously arranged according to book jacket color. Every square inch of the new outpost, but particularly this corner, is Instagram bait.
The new Soho location expands on the coworking concept behind The Wing by offering the brand’s first rentable desk space. It’s a commodity that’s already proven to be in high demand: Even before opening day, two small rentable rooms that have lockable doors and the luxury of mail delivery already had a six-month waiting list.
The appeal of the space is not only its eye-candy interiors and designation as a feminist haven. Its monthly membership fee of $215 for a single location is comparable to similar models: WeWork “Hot Desk” rates starts at $220/month, The Yard charges $295/month for open coworking space, and membership to NeueHouse’s communal areas runs $650/month.
But unlike those coworking spaces, membership to The Wing comes with an added level of scrutiny. Its membership, at least at this time, is curated based in part on profession, serving a specific purpose. “Rooms where everyone does the same thing or sees each other at the same work functions don’t inspire a lot of creativity and innovation,” Gelman explains.
But the exclusivity that level of curation breeds is something that Gelman says the group is thinking about very seriously, looking at new membership tiers and new categories of membership. “Part of opening new spaces is trying to be as inclusive as we can and have as many members as possible,” says Gelman. The Wing is poised to open in Dumbo and in Washington D.C. in the winter of 2018, and the team is busy plotting a West Coast expansion in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
“This is our first anniversary,” Gelman says. “We’re just getting started.”
- Inside The Wing, a women-only coworking space and social club in NYC [Curbed]
- The Wing [official]