ThirdLove’s Concept Store Caters to Women’s Comfort

Nov. 15, 2019
Bra and underwear company ThirdLove recently opened its first brick-and-mortar store in New York. Open through the end of December, the concept store focuses on women’s comfort and uses LEDs to provide flattering light.

The ThirdLove Concept Store in New York was created to give women a shopping experience unlike any other. The pop-up shop—open through Dec. 31—focuses largely on creating a comfortable shopping experience for women through its dressing rooms and fitting process.

Photo: A pair of decorative sconces and a pendant are layered inside dressing rooms to provide soft, flattering lighting onto shoppers’ faces and bodies while they view products in the mirror. Photo courtesy of Caprice Johnson.

Launched in 2014, ThirdLove is one of the fastest growing bra and underwear companies in America. It’s 78 bra sizes (including half sizes) and FitFinder technology have become widely popular among millions of women. This is the company’s first brick-and-mortar store.

ThirdLove partnered with Focus Lighting and Alda-Ly Architects to design the 1,300-square-foot interior, with the goal of reinforcing women’s sense of beauty, comfort and confidence. Lighting was a main focus in the retail space’s design, so Focus Lighting used the Philips Hue bulbs to illuminate all dressing rooms. It’s the first time Hue has been used in a commercial setting.

The Focus Lighting design team included principal Brett Andersen, designer Anna Krutsenko and project manager Lauren Lanzotti. Together, they built a full-scale mockup of one of the store’s dressing rooms in Focus Lighting’s Light Lab to test fixture placement and color, considering women of different heights and skin tones.

Photo: The Focus Lighting design team specified Philips Hue’s color-changing LED fixtures, and programmed three lighting scenes—Unoccupied, Daylight and Twilight—which shoppers can activate using a control station at their mirror. Photo courtesy of Caprice Johnson. 

The women-led teams from Alda-Ly Architects and ThirdLove also frequented the lab to weigh in on key design features such as dressing room sizes, paint colors, and the size and shape of the mirrors.

The finished product includes standout features such as decorative scones, controllable lighting and breast-shaped call lights that change colors when guests press the button for assistance. ThirdLove’s Concept Store is also being utilized as a research tool where both employee and customer feedback are recorded and considered for the design of ThirdLove’s future flagship location.

Learn more about the store’s interior design and how it aims to redefine women’s shopping experiences in the conversation with Brett Andersen below.

Photo: At shoppers’ control is the breast-shaped call light located outside of each room. The light changes color when guests press an interior concierge button for assistance, so they don’t have to shout for help. All 10 call lights were custom-built at the Focus Light Lab using Philips Hue LED strips diffused by a frosted acrylic panel. Photo courtesy of Caprice Johnson. 

interiors+sources: What were the design criteria going into this project? How did Focus Lighting meet the demands?

Brett Andersen: With the introduction of its FitFinder technology, ThirdLove changed the way women shop for bras, putting customers in control and making the experience much more enjoyable. Our goal for this project was to help translate this notion to brick and mortar, creating a space that evokes the comfort of a home and a fitting room experience that empowers the shopper.

Photo: Every aspect of the bra-purchasing process was reexamined—from choosing a style to the functionality of the dressing rooms—to create a new, customized paradigm, according to project partner Alda-Ly Architect’s website. Photo courtesy of Caprice Johnson. 

Two layers of decorative lighting in the fitting rooms—a hanging pendant and a set of sconces next to each mirror—combine to cast the perfect amount of soft glowing light onto customers. More decorative lighting, like floor and table lamps, were used in sitting areas to offer a delicate glow there as well. Lighting largely focuses on the fitting room where shoppers can switch between “Daylight” and “Evening” scenes and can trigger a custom call light when in need of assistance, so they don’t have to shout.

[Related: There’s No Limit With These Custom Lighting Projects]

Our team worked hard to ensure that shoppers’ experience in front of the fitting room mirror is composed to make them and the product look amazing. Each of these elements combine to create a more comfortable, feel-good bra shopping experience.

i+s: Describe the Phillips products chosen for this space and why they were selected.

BA: We used Phillips Hue Color Ambience Bulbs and Lightstrips to illuminate the dressing rooms and create the rooms’ call lights. The Hue was perfect for this project because it allowed the flexibility needed to offer various lighting environments and has a built-in control system that’s easy for customers to use.

Photo courtesy of Caprice Johnson. 

Also, considering the Hue is a readily available, off-the-shelf product, it was an ideal solution for the fast-paced construction of this pop-up store where we had to work quickly and in the most affordable way possible, while still creating a space that looks great.

i+s: Discuss how the lighting plays an important role in the design of the space. How does it enhance the overall interior?

BA: To make people and product in the space look beautiful, it was important for lighting to perfectly render a wide range of skin tones and all of the rich colors of ThirdLove’s high-quality products. Offering a “Daylight” and “Evening” scene in each fitting room gives customers the ability to see the product in two distinct environments.

Photo courtesy of Caprice Johnson. 

We worked extensively in our Light Lab to determine the exact quality of light needed to accomplish each of these goals. Also, with the Hue call lights and controls at each individual fitting room, shoppers can request assistance in a much more private, comfortable way, elevating the entire experience.

i+s: Why is the interior design of this retail space so critical to the user's experience?

BA: ThirdLove has established a brand reputation that empowers women and inspires confidence, and it was important that the design of their first brick-and-mortar store reflected this in every way.

From the color of light on the product displays and gently glowing decorative lamps at the sitting areas, to the appearance of the wallpaper in the fitting room’s “Evening” scene, each element works in concert to make shoppers feel beautiful and as comfortable as they would at home.

(Photo: Beyond the white linen privacy curtains, a circular mirror highlights the torso only, while a foldout mirror can be swung open to reveal how a bra is looking and fitting on a guest’s back. Photo courtesy of Caprice Johnson.)

i+s: Any fun facts or additional info you want our readers to know?

BA: The store’s design was almost exclusively created by women. It was truly a collaboration with the talented team at Alda-Ly Architects, designing and building the space in less than three months. Throughout the process, they were able to visit our office, using the full-scale fitting room model our team built to test and fine tune various elements of the design.

Read next: Lutron’s Commercial Experience Center Displays Lighting as a Building Amenity

About the Author

Adrian Schley | Associate Editor

Adrian Schley is an Associate Editor for i+s, where she has been covering the commercial interior design industry since 2018. Her work can also be found in BUILDINGS and Meetings Today. 

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