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We've asked Emily Titelman and Meredith Blank to tell us exactly what it's like to transform a onetime Bowery bar into Dagny & Barstow, their forthcoming high-end women's store. Welcome to Opening Diary, an account of their adventures in retail.
This is what the Kitty Box currently looks like.
Welcome back, readers! Today we will regale you with the long, sordid tale of the Kitty Box. By far the most entertaining element of 264 Bowery, the Kitty Box is what Lenny Kravitz and Denzel Washington called their VIP room back in the days when the building housed their nightclub Kos. They built it as a free-standing room in the back of the building, then covered it in purple shag carpeting.
Since it's a separate, private nook at the rear of our store, we were perplexed as to how to utilize the space properly. We toyed with a few different ideas such as using it as an art gallery or a boutique-within-a-boutique to house our designer collections and our private label, Cruciverbalist, but we finally decided it would be most prudently used as dressing rooms and a store office.
Whether you think about them frequently or not, dressing rooms play an important role in your shopping experience. The size, look, feel, and even cleanliness can impact how you feel trying on clothes, and ultimately will impact whether or not you make a purchase. The Wall Street Journal recently ran a piece about how retailers are making over their dressing rooms into more luxurious and inviting spaces in order to increase sales.
We didn't feel it was suitable to have a room formerly known at the Kitty Box contain boring dressing rooms. Dagny & Barstow is all about the in-store experience, and rather than having your typical dressing rooms with plain walls, a hook, and a chair, we've come up with what we think is a way to make trying on clothes more fun: Themed dressing rooms!
But we want to make sure our customers will actually want to try on clothes in them, which is where you come in. Our ideas for the dressing rooms are outlined in the slideshow below. Love them? Hate them? Have a better theme idea? Take the poll and leave us your comments! Then come visit us when we open in late August to see what our Kitty Box has in store for you.—Emily Titelman and Meredith Blank
- Moby Dick: Nautical decor, emo sea captain paintings, and leviathan touches like this whale hook rack. Wes Anderson, eat your heart out. [Photo]
- Apres Ski: Think of all of the kitschy antiques you always wanted to furnish your fictional dream Andirondack house. Step inside our vintage ski chalet for a little Alpine action and find vintage snowshoes, skis, poles, and posters. Like
- Sherlock Holmes: Try on your selection in a comfortable collegial hideaway, with a large inviting leather armchair and trompe l'eoil bookshelves. Pipe and deerstalker not included. [
- Vegas: Why try on clothes in a boring white box when you could see firsthand how your potential party dress will look in the City of Sin's finest resorts and casinos? We're thinking green felt carpeting, slot machine levers to hang your discard pil
· How Community Board Politics Won Dagny & Barstow Its Space [Racked NY]
· How Launching a Boutique Is Like Ten Things I Hate About You [Racked NY]
· Ten Gross Things About Turning Lenny Kravitz's Bar into a Boutique [Racked NY]