NEW YORK — Vera Wang has been thinking about interiors a lot lately. In addition to buying a modernist house in Beverly Hills, she is opening a bridal salon in Chicago soon, and planning future such additions in San Francisco and Miami. Those projects, as well as the sleek interiors of existing stores on Mercer Street and Melrose Avenue, have informed her new, 40,000-square-foot company headquarters at 15 East 26th Street.
The two-story space, which the Vera Wang Group relocated to earlier this month, features a stark interior of poured slate concrete and glass walls. It brings together bridal and ready-to-wear design, sales and production, creative services, retail operations, licensing, and extensive sample rooms under one roof. The bridal salon on Madison Avenue also relocated to the new digs.
The company’s previous space at 225 West 39th Street featured 25,000 square feet spread over five floors.
“This leaves us with a new way of operating, where the space was designed to reflect how we actually operate the business,” Wang said. “That, and having lots of light and air, was our main goal.”
Wang started searching for a new space a few years ago but stepped up the search when Mario Grauso joined the firm as president in 2009. “It was not because we wanted to be out of the Garment Center,” Wang said. “We looked within the Garment Center as well, but when we found this, we felt very lucky. It was still adjacent to the Garment Center and we felt it was the best compromise we could have.”
Wang worked with architects Bradley Zizmor and Dag Folger of a+i to develop the interior concept. Visitors get a sense of the space as soon as they enter it and find a Robert Indiana “Love” sculpture and a glass wall that shimmers with the projection of the designer’s spring 2012 runway show. “I played with surfaces and the use of glass more,” Wang said. “It’s like the next generation modern for us.”
Grauso added that features such as the glass will also become design elements in future stores. “A lot of finishes you see here will be put into future retail spaces,” he said.
The showroom is also set up for bridal and pre-collection runway shows, and Wang will officially unveil it to the public on Sunday, when she stages her bridal show there.
Wang is pleased to be able to house all divisions under one roof and on just two floors connected through a staircase. “We have certain goals we’re after to accomplish within the next few years,” she added. “It’s not a flaunting kind of space. It’s more about the cleanliness and the care that we want to bring to our work. I think this environment encourages and nurtures it — not only for Mario and me, but also for our staff.”
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