As any loyal Reformation shopper knows, the brand’s New York boutiques can get a bit chaotic. If you plan on heading to their Soho or Lower East Side locations any time other than 1:00 pm on a Tuesday, prepare to navigate around swarms of women grabbing for silk crop tops, velvet frocks and flowing slip dresses.
It’s a whole different experience, however, at the brand’s newest shop, at 39 Bond Street. It’s the sustainable label’s first tech-enabled store in New York, a concept they first dabbled with on the West Coast, starting with San Francisco in February and followed by two Los Angeles locations, both of which opened in June. The label also opened a tech-enabled shop in Dallas, Texas, in September.
We got a sneak peek at the new Noho location, which officially opened just last week. The 3,500-square-foot space is Reformation‘s largest store yet in the United States.
The store is maintained like a showroom, so every item on the floor is actually a sample. The real shopping is done via touch screens on the walls; the experience is similar to perusing Reformation’s website, though this software only shows items the store has in stock. Customers simply type their name into the screen to create a dressing room and add items they want to try on by scrolling and clicking, as they would on a website. For those who prefer browsing from Reformation’s carefully curated racks, not to worry—if you spot something you want, just grab one of the sales associates; they all have an app on their phones in order to scan the barcode.
As you meander around and scroll through the displays, Reformation’s team works behind-the-scenes to pull your selected pieces from the stockroom and discreetly place them in your dressing room’s two-way wardrobe. After checking in at a desk, you’ll be directed into your designated room, and find all your pieces neatly hung in the “magic wardrobe,” which can only be opened one way at a time—to prevent any potentially embarrassing mishaps while in a state of undress. A mysterious voice (ok, it’s actually Reformation founder Yael Aflalo) cheekily informs you to close your wardrobe and lets you know when the items are safely hung inside.
Each of the 12 dressing rooms comes equipped with a smaller version of the touch-screen display, so you can continue to shop other sizes and styles while trying on. And there’s also customizable lighting in the dressing room, with three different options (Cool, Golden and Sexy Time), plus a charger and aux cord for your phone.
The actual purchasing process is just as seamless as the rest of the experience, as you can technically check out anywhere in the store, using the card reader each sales associate has on their phone.
If the whole tech thing is, for some strange reason, just not for you, there’s no need to panic—while additional tech-enabled Reformation stores may pop up elsewhere in New York in the future, the Soho and Lower East Side locations will remain as is.