W STYLE LAB BRINGS A NEW RETAIL CONCEPT BY SARAH EASLEY

In Retail News, What's New by Christine Galasso

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Amongst all the holiday shopping excitement, Tuesday night brought with it the opening of the W Style Lab, a new pop-up shop in the W hotel’s Times Square outpost. The pop-up features fabulous finds to give, get and covet, curated by fashion consultant and luxury retail pioneer Sarah Easley (former co-founder of luxury boutique Kirna Zabete).

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Easley’s vision was to merchandise brands according to discerning customers’ shopping and sartorial needs. “This fearless and fashion forward woman has a fully stocked bar and throws the best parties. She travels far to get to the best beach with luxury luggage packed with designer swimwear and a dedicated vacation wardrobe. She loves discovering niche action-couture labels, never buys obvious brands or gives predictable gifts. She loves handmade sustainable candles and non-toxic beauty. I used this fearless, fictional character as my muse when choosing each piece for the shop. And as it turns out she exists and is shopping!”

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The results were a mix of brands that style this customer in every area of her life. Jewelry, shoes and handbags are represented by K/LLER, the jibs life, Corroon and MCCLLM respectively. On the fashion front: KULE provides chic womenswear, Love Shack Fancy and Sara Cristina bring vacation clothing and swimwear, Negative Underwear is all about sexy unmentionables and NO KA ‘OI gets on that activewear front. Lifestyle and beauty brands Ellis Brooklyn, Mary Giuliani and Drunk Elephant round out the roster with their candles, giftables and skin care products.

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The concept originally started with the CFDA incubator jewelry brand K/LLER, whose dream was to launch their first pop up shop. W gave them this opportunity and they turned to Easley to bring together the unexpected mix of emerging, well-priced brands that would tempt the K/LLER girl.

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Besides their temporary home, the brands have a lot in common with each other. None of the brands in the shop have their own retail stores (just online stores) and all are female-based businesses. The designers are all so excited to meet their community and are showing up daily in the Lab to tell the story of their brand. Clients love buying the products directly from the creator and the result is a unique and intimate retail experience.

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W Hotels Style Lab will be open to both hotel guests and the general public. The pop-up experience will run for three weeks and features special programming including an intimate What She Said panel featuring style icons Rachel Zoe and Jenna Lyons, designer gatherings and a VIP unveiling ceremony celebrating the 6th anniversary of CFDA {FASHION INCUBATOR} jewelry brand, K/LLER.

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