Over the years, we heard your requests for a place to come try on our clothes. You’ve told us through Customer Service, social media, blog comments, and at the handful of in-person events we’ve had so far.
So I think you’ll be as excited as I am about the news that we’ll soon be opening a NYC studio x showroom. It is a momentous occasion for Bluffworks to have a brick & mortar home of its own, where you can come visit us.
We officially started moving in this week, and I wanted to share some of our initial approach with you now, with more details to come soon.
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Before we dive into any project, we define our goals and requirements. That way, we know what to look for and what to prioritize when we have to make (sometimes tough) decisions.
So when we sat down to figure out what a physical presence meant for Bluffworks, this is what we said we needed to build:
Bluffworks comes to life — our brand, embodied. A physical place for the Bluffworks community of customers, employees, friends, and fellow travelers — for all of us who believe in adventure, and that life is better when your clothes empower your journey.
Our team is a mix of local NYC and remote workers, and we needed to create an office space for our local team that would better support our individual and collaborative needs. And we wanted to mix it with community space, open to visitors and customers.
In our community space, we hope to facilitate:
- Direct connections — to listen, learn, and exchange ideas in person.
- Share sneak peaks of our future designs and product innovation — so our business decisions are informed with real-time feedback.
- Personalized, high-touch, one-on-one experiences, curated by a studio manager — providing individual customers with product guidance, wardrobe and styling advice, travel tips (especially in NYC), and more.
It was important to find a location in New York City, first and foremost because that’s where most of the team and I are based.
NYC is one of our top customer locations, both as a place you live and visit — which we confirmed in our Annual Survey earlier this year.
Of course, there’s also a long history of fashion here that we’re proud to be part of. And we wanted a logical, easy place for people to find us.
Our location is conveniently located near Union Square, just south of 14th Street on Fifth Avenue — making it readily accessible by public transportation.
We wanted a space that we could divide between private staff offices and an open customer showroom, partly to optimize a single physical location and, more importantly, so that we could foster a collaborative dynamic.
Having only a wall or two between us means our Product team can show visitors some of our R&D as it progresses. Plus, your wants & needs will be even more top of mind thanks to the frequent interaction and visibility of customer shopping experience.
So we needed a certain square footage, and we wanted a bright, light space. Light is important for humans, but also for being able to see products and fabric colors well. Luckily, we found a space that was big and had windows for natural light.
This is our first real home, and we wanted it to embody the same qualities as every other aspect of our brand:
Our team needed quiet meeting spaces but also a collaborative space for discussion and product development. The public area needed to showcase our products and support customers trying on clothing — with samples from both our men's and women's collections.
But even with those core values and functionalities, we also wanted the ability to easily change the space to adapt to our needs — whether that’s rearranging for a team workshop or collaborating with another brand for a special event.
For the aesthetic, we took our NYT Travel Show booth as a starting point, and continued our approach of designing an authentic, high quality space that is pleasant to be in.