Last year, The Wing made waves as a women's only social club and co-working space debuting at a particularly ripe time in modern feminism - just before the presidential election, when many people, especially progressive New Yorkers, thought for sure Hillary would win.
Despite the blow, or perhaps because of it, the community of femmes seems to be growing stronger than ever. Founded by smart and savvy city cool girls Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan, The Wing, which started off as a Flatiron penthouse, is expanding rapidly, with Brooklyn and D.C. locations slated and a new, just-opened Soho outpost.
At the much-anticipated opening party last week, a line of exceptionally well-heeled women snaked around Mercer Street and, however impatiently, they all waited for a first look inside. Of course, when you tell advertising execs, social media influencers, and notable creatives willing to pay over $200 a month for a spot at the table to, well, wait, things get a little itchy.
In any case, entering the pink-tinted Soho space is surreal. The 10,000-square-foot clubhouse is nearly three times the size of the first location, occupying an entire floor of a former manufacturing warehouse. Everywhere I look, it seems, I recognize another face I follow on Twitter or Instagram, like Glossier's Emily Weiss, musician Lion Babe, Tavi Gevinson, and - woah - is that Chelsea Manning?!
Flower-topped cocktails in hand, heads tilted up in wonder, chic and curious guests roamed the rooms, consistently discovering new nooks and crannies. There are showers, lockers, an all-female art gallery, a row of vanities (stocked with Chanel cosmetics), phone booths, private offices, a countless array of comfy couches. There's a version of the Flatiron staple, an impeccably color-coordinated library, on a much larger scale. There's The Perch, a spacious in-house cafe featuring a seasonal menu of food, wine, and cocktails under a skylight, and conference rooms named after feminist fictional characters (like Blanche from The Golden Girls). Everything is a little gilded, everything is Instagrammable, and everything comes from the minds of women. The team behind the design includes architect Alda Ly, interior designer Chiara de Rege and graphic designers led by Emily Oberman.
At the bash a few days before Halloween, it was only fitting that a social club which frequently calls itself a "coven" would have a special station of herbalists concocting personal potions. But, true to political form, besides a DJ booth and multiple bars, the festivities also included a table where you can register to vote, and one where you can make DIY buttons.
The crowd and atmosphere certainly looked and felt inclusive, at least for those worth networking with. Upon learning that I was not, in fact, the fashion blogger she thought I was, one woman promptly ended our conversation and walked away, presumably to find someone with more followers. Nevertheless, the spirit of sisterhood seems alive and well in Soho - for those successful enough to join the club.
[Photos courtesy The Wing]