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INTERMIX Retail Lab connects customers with the runway

CompanyTighe Flatley, Gap Inc. bloggerComment

It used to be, if you wanted to know the identity of the most up-and-coming designer in the fashion industry, you needed access to a New York Fashion Week presentation or a whispered heads-up from a powerful person in the know.

That whisper still exists — for now — in the form of a shop. INTERMIX recently opened the doors to its first concept shop in the Meatpacking District of New York City.

Photo by Amanda James

The store, dubbed a "creative lab," will serve as a retail testing ground for the luxury brand. The space will rotate themes, so that a visit to the space during New York Fashion Week, say, may be a completely different experience for the customer come Holiday.

Throughout, the INTERMIX team will be watching closely, getting an understanding of what the customer is loving, what she is passing over, and which stories in store truly resonate — and lead to sales.

The first theme — highlighted in the store now — is the "Next Big Things," focusing on emerging and disruptive designers. (The in-the-know whisper from our friends at INTERMIX.)

"We are going to be communicating more about each of the designers, their inspirations and their stories because most people who will be shopping in that neighborhood may never have heard of them yet," INTERMIX President Jyothi Rao recently told Fashionista. "The entire environment is designed to be taken apart literally overnight, so we can make that into almost a gallery, salon kind of space within an hour."

While, of course, sales and consumer data will be valuable from the space, the INTERMIX team also recognizes that a key measure of success for the project is, quite simply, excitement.

"We are giving a platform to the next generation of fashion designers who we believe in," said Gennie Yi, from the INTERMIX buying team. "And even if a few hundred more women in New York City now know about the beautiful handmade shoes from Malone Souliers, we've done something exceptional."