Women-Only Club the Wing Shuts Down, Leaving Event Partners and Furniture Lovers in the Lurch

Female focused co-working company the Wing, once wildly successful, has abruptly announced the closure of its six remaining locations.

The Wing’s Washington, D.C. location in 2018. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

After six years of triumphs, internal disputes and criticisms, the women-only co-working space the Wing has shut its doors.

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Members received emails Aug. 30 declaring the six remaining locations would be closed effective immediately. They’re now left wondering about the future of the Wing’s upcoming events—and its highly coveted female-focused furniture.

The Wing first opened in Manhattan in 2016 as a workspace for women started by Audrey Gelman and Lauran Kassan. Quickly gaining traction with a focus on female empowerment and aesthetically pleasing decor, the Wing was heavily funded by WeWork and began opening clubs across the U.S. At its peak, the company had 11 locations.

WeWork’s collapse, however, reduced the company’s valuation to $200 million from $365 million. And the feminist workplace suffered further losses after facing a gender discrimination lawsuit and allegations of labor discrimination against employees of color. After nearly filing bankruptcy in 2021, majority stake of the Wing was purchased by flexible workspace company IWG PLC.

“People increasingly want flexibility over where and how they work, and we have seen a shift in demand to flexible workspaces nearer to employees’ homes,” said Mark Dixon, CEO of IWG, in a statement regarding the Wing’s closure. He said members were not using the company’s six locations following the Covid pandemic, but added they will be given access to over 1,000 IWG centers across the U.S. while various Wing employees will be offered roles within the parent company.

Events canceled with no warning

Members with upcoming events and partnerships with the Wing, however, have been left hanging. Sound healing expert Mecca Perry had planned a Sep. 22 solstice soundbath event with the Wing’s Chicago location. “We were talking about this up until 6 p.m. yesterday,” said Perry, who only found out today (Aug. 31) through news articles that the Wing was closing.

Perry has previously held an event with the company and said the Wing had discussed planning more in the future. In light of her event being listed as cancelled on the club’s website, she’s now attempting to move the soundbath to her studio or a local park.

Bea Arthur, a New York-based therapist and former Wing member (and not the late actress), was also shocked to hear of the company’s downfall. “I’m surprised it was so sudden,” she said. Arthur joined the club in 2017, and even piloted a mental health service with the Wing, later holding ‘Therapist Thursdays’ at the Soho location.

“It used to be teeming with people, but they struggled to get occupancy back,” said Arthur, who believes the company’s unwillingness to address discrimination allegations led to an increasingly sterile environment in the workspace, especially compared to the Wing’s early years. “At the beginning, they nailed the vibe,” she said.

The Wing was a world designed for women, said Arthur, littered with baskets of quilts and Chanel products. Desks and couches were sized specially for women, and the workspaces included rocking chairs, lactation rooms and pictures of famous females throughout history. The Wing’s furniture remains coveted, to the extent that responses to its closure on social media have been permeated with questions of where the co-working space’s furnishings will end up.

However, like so many other aspects surrounding the Wing’s closure, this remains unanswered. “At this point, we can’t comment on the furniture of these specific locations,” said Liz Perman, a spokesperson for IWG .

Women-Only Club the Wing Shuts Down, Leaving Event Partners and Furniture Lovers in the Lurch