Drink green juice while you shop for green clothing! Reformation is a New York-based, environmentally sustainable fashion company that already has two pretty dope locations (one in the Lower East Side and the other on Melrose in L.A.), but tonight marks the opening of their newest, most thrilling space yet. It's steps away from Jil Sander, Opening Ceremony, and our favorite sandwich spot, The Smile To Go—so the new Howard Street store completes what was already a solid NYC block. It being so close to the NYLON office, we're pretty amped about it. So amped, in fact, that we barged in on the team while they were prepping for the opening party. Creative director Yaya Aflalo walked us through the new space and schooled us on what it's like to be a green fashion company. Did you know that fashion is the second most polluting industry? Yael and her team do, which is why they're changing the way fashion happens and as you'll see in the last slide, they look really good while doing it.
What was the most fun part about creating the new space?
We had a really good team and this time it was a lot less pressure for everybody. It was a collaboration with a lot of talented, creative people. Todd Mallis is our designer and contractor. I trust him with everything.
What's the intended vibe of the new space?
We want it to look and feel like an eco-goldmine—light and airy, but sexy and Reformation at the same time. The SoHo store will feature designer energy saving lighting and will be comprised mostly of birch wood, which is considered the most sustainable hardwood on the market. We're so excited for everyone to see it.
Will the new store be more of a hangout than the other locations?
This will be our hangout because our office is a block away. I always walk by here on the weekends. I imagine I'll be in here all the time. If by hangout you mean me and you—then yes!
What else about the space is new and cool?
The look of the store we're calling environmental minimalism. Sarah Staudinger is our curated buyer. We carry really great curated pieces that she's been selecting. It's one-of-a-kind vintage that we tailor to make it perfect. We are the first company to have The Bosco in our store, which is like a photo booth of the future. To be sustainable, it doesn't print out any of the photos, but there's an iPad interface. You can text it to yourself, send it to Instagram or Facebook it. It's a great gift that gets sent to you. I think it's a great way to incorporate social media inside the store.
What will be different about this store?
This store is our official Flagship location, it will be the be all end all of what Reformation represents, both fashion and lifestyle-wise.
How in the world did you get The Juice Press in the store?
I wake up everyday—everyday I do it, without fail—and I walk Moose to The Juice Press. I feel like there's no great juice in south SoHo. Having juice here is completely selfish, but it fits in with the whole lifestyle of our brand. Since our holistic approach to our brand is the intersection of design and sustainability, fresh cold pressed juices that are made locally fit right in.
What else is happening in Reformation news? Are there any upcoming projects you can talk about?
Absolutely! So much is happening for us at Reformation. We just relaunched our new blog using the Tumblr platform as a way of sharing more information about Reformation, who we are, what we love, and what we stand for as a brand. Check it out! We are constantly evolving our E-commerce site and working towards a process of getting brand new products up on the site weekly, the same way we do in our stores. We've also just completed an Environmental Impact Report to compare Reformation against other brands in the fashion industry, and to better understand sustainable business practices. The results are astonishing! Fashion is the second most polluting industry, second only to oil! I'm happy to say Reformation has fared well. We've done good.
What are you most pleased about regarding the evolution of your brand?
I'm the most pleased with the fact that we've been able to offer a sustainable solution to "fast fashion". Our consumers can shop new, high-quality products weekly and feel good about their purchases, as opposed to shopping other brands and fast fashion labels that contribute to the heavy environmental pollution that the fashion industry creates.
How do you think social media has helped your brand?
Social media is an amazing tool for brands, particularly ones like Ref that have such a cult-like following. From inception we've been a brand that has grown through of word of mouth. Social Media has only magnified the impact, so it's worked wonders for our brand. Instagram and Tumblr are our favorites!
Not only do we have a new hangout, but the Reformation team has us rethinking our not-always-so-environmentally-conscious decisions in the name of good fashion. Shop with us at the new location on 23 Howard Street.
The team: Elana Rosenblatt, Brand Manager, Yael Aflalo, creative director and founder, Brianna Lance, head designer, and Pia Arrobio, west coast head of sales.