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Lululemon's first US concept lab opens its doors today at 50 Bond Street in Noho, right across from A.P.C. and just a stone's throw from the many new shops on The Bowery. "It's a destination shopping neighborhood, but it still has a classic New York feel," Marcus Le Blanc, the New York lab's managing designer, told Racked yesterday as we snuck a peek at the new space. "The cobblestones and architecture definitely feel like true New York, and that felt right for our aesthetic."
That aesthetic includes no clear divide separating the design workspace from the actual shopping area, so if you feel like striking up a conversation with one of New York lab designers, you're more than welcome to — and in fact, they'd probably welcome it. All of the concepts for the lab's collections pertain to the New York City lifestyle, so what you're wearing or discussing could inspire the next round of apparel to hit the racks.
"Because this is the New York lab, we're really inspired by the city in general. The movement of the city, the people, the attitudes, the weather, modes of transportation — everything that's involved with being a New Yorker. We're trying to address that lifestyle through the clothing," Marcus explained.
But that's not even the coolest part: On top of the collections being all about New York, they're also pretty much exclusive to New Yorkers, because you have to be here to get your hands on them. They won't be available at any of the Lululemon stores here or elsewhere (including the Flatiron flagship), and you can't shop them online, either. So if you want to shop any of the capsule collections, Bond Street's the only place to do it.
If shoppers happen to have amazing feedback on a specific piece, there's always the opportunity for it to be adopted into the Lululemon main line. So if there's something that you fall in love with (our guess is there will be) and want to see it all the time, definitely speak up — your wish might actually be granted.