The race to open private social clubs in Los Angeles is heating up. London-born, women-only club The AllBright, which plans to open its first Stateside location on Melrose Place in June with founding members Meg Whitman, Olivia Wilde and “Crazy Rich Asians” screenwriter Adele Lim, has announced its beauty partners: British facialist Georgia Louise (in the news recently for the Hollywood EGF facial, beloved by Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock, who referred to it as the “penis facial”) and Reese Witherspoon’s hairstylist Lona Vigi.
The club space designed by L.A.-based Brigette Romanek will offer beauty services on the ground floor, coworking and dining on the second floor, a screening room and rooftop lounge. It joins several other private clubs recently opened in the L.A. market, including New York export Spring Place Beverly Hills; Jeff Klein’s San Vicente Bungalows, helmed by star maitre d’ Dimitri Dimitrov, Neuehouse and The Wing, and coming soon the H Club (with backing from the late investor Paul Allen), Soho Warehouse in downtown L.A. and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Arts Club.
The AllBright is designed to be a one-stop-shop for working women (with men allowed in as guests for meetings and socializing), says cofounder Debbie Wosskow, a tech entrepreneur who partnered with former Hearst U.K. chief executive officer Anna Jones to open the first club in London in March 2018, attracting Naomie Harris, Ruth Wilson, Mary Katrantzou and others as members. (The club is named for former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s quote, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”)
Why L.A.? “The thing that’s worked well for us in the U.K. has been the entertainment community,” says Wosskow over coffee in L.A. She noted early supporters of the club include the Time’s Up crew, such as actresses Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon.
“We’re creating physical spaces where women can connect that are celebratory of women where the art on walls is by female artists and wine behind the bar is made by females,” she says, adding that the club will also offer courses through its AllBright Academy with content geared toward entrepreneurs, career professionals, freelancers and mothers returning to work; build a digital community for networking, and launch a magazine in March to showcase female talent. At the physical space, there will be daily programming, including fashion trunk shows and pop-ups — as well as an opportunity to get a facial or haircut, all in close proximity to Melrose Place luxury boutiques Balmain, Chloé and Monique Lhuillier.
“Part of our schtick is it’s OK to be interested in beauty and fashion. We are celebratory of women who want to come in and get a blowout and take a meeting because our member is really freakin’ busy,” says Wosskow, who has aspirations to open AllBright clubs in other big cities in the U.S. as well.
When asked what sets The AllBright apart from the buzzy, Millennial-pink Wing, which attracted the attention of the New York Human Rights Commission for alleged gender discrimination in its clubs, she says, “We’re more aspirational than activist. Our belief is you don’t get anywhere unless you have enlightened men on the bus. Our tone of voice, our reason for existing and our focus being so career led…makes us quite a different beast.”
AllBright membership applications (annual fees are $2,050, or $1,050 for under 30) are open, with an initial membership target of 2,000.