Lingerie retailer Journelle is known for making the “everyday lovely.” With a strong belief that beautiful lingerie shouldn’t be an indulgence but instead an everyday essential, they’ve quickly become New York City’s favorite little luxury. They knew it was time to expand, but wanted to give customers a first-hand look at the brand experience. Instead of amping up their online presence, they took to the road- quite literally. With the help of interior designer Samuel Masters, the Journelle team transformed a 1970 Land Yacht into a fabulous pop-up shop on wheels. Stocked with a beautiful lingerie collection, great customer service, and a champagne bar- it’s a small, mobile space with great style. We talked all things Airstream with Allison Beale, Journelle’s Marketing Director, and asked Samuel Masters for design tips along the way:
First things first. What do you want people to know about Journelle?
Allison Beale: Our tagline is “everyday lovely,” which iterates the strong believe that beautiful lingerie should be an everyday affair. The name Journelle was actually taken from the French word Journellement, meaning daily. We love special occasion pieces – and have plenty of them in store – but our basics are just as lovely as well. We are also 100% focused on an exceptional experience in a beautiful setting.
Well, you’ve certainly succeeded in creating a beautiful setting with this Airstream.
AB: Thanks! Our stores were designed with a residential quality in mind to help customers feel at home when shopping for lingerie, which can often be an awkward, uncomfortable experience. The result is a marrying of comfort and modernity. The same could be said for our newly launched site, which is very image-driven and leads the shopper through an aesthetically valuable browsing and selection process.
We also work tirelessly to provide our guest with a curated offering of gorgeous lingerie from all over the world, from established brands everyone is familiar with to new, emerging indie darlings. This holiday season we’re also debuting our own line of silk pajamas.
Does Journelle have any plans to open stores outside NYC in the near future?
AB: We enjoy a significant amount of brand recognition in New York, and it’s for sure home, but we are excited to step outside of the city…and maybe even the region! We have some very exciting plans on deck for 2014.
Speaking of travel and expansion, let’s talk about the Airstream. Tell us all about it!
AB: We had this idea to ‘hit the road’ to meet new and loyal customers stemmed from our interest in high-touch marketing initiatives as well as Journelle’s expansion plans. What better way to connect with loyal customers (giving them their first in-person, rather intimate brand experience) as well as to meet new ones while test marketing cities for potential new stores? A map was whipped out and a route was plotted that included top ecom markets and favorite cities.
As luck – or serendipity – would have it, we found a 1970 Land Yacht for sale just outside of the city and hired NYC-based designer, Samuel Masters, who also contributed to the design in our new office, to retrofit the silver bullet to resemble our stores, particularly the luxe atmosphere of our dressing rooms complete with a lounging banquette, and built-in champagne bar in our signature neutral palette. The custom shelving is stocked with our just-recieved fashion pieces from Myla, Fleur du Mal, Bordelle and Zinke alongside some of our best selling basics including Natori Feathers, Elle Macpherson Dentelle and Chantelle Rive Gauche. There’s even a tucked away dressing room for fittings and consults.
You spent the summer traveling in it. What’s up next for the silver bullet?
AB: Yep- we spent most of the summer traveling – Chicago, Boston, Hamptons, DC, and a pop-up in our hometown during NYFW. Next up (for next year) could be a swim shop out East…could be that The Grey Lady heads to sxsw. The possibilities are endless, but we do know we’d like to keep rolling.
Let’s talk about the design! Samuel, how did you and the Journelle team come up with the design concept?
Samuel Masters: I had a lot of ideas going into this! I collaborated with Hangar Design, had multiple design concept meetings with them, then we presented are ideas to Journelle. After a few editions we were ready to jump right in and start building. The details happened along the way, like the champagne station, the dressing curtain, and all the fabulous brass accents. I wanted the lingerie display to look like a curio cabinet so the brass bookcase display lights were a must! I also designed the matching sconces to be more like a dressing room. The Journelle team really taught me about the brand and how they wanted their clients to feel when they visited the Airstream.
I imagine there are unique challenges to designing an airstream…
SM: Yes! The curved ceilings, the need for storage, and the fact that it moves and shakes! We had a clear idea of what we wanted to fit in there – a lot! – so it was important to be flexible with our design. When we were building, sometimes we had to subtract an inch here or there just to make everything fit perfectly and still be functional.
Well, you did a phenomenal making it functional and fabulous! Any tips that readers can apply to their own homes using this as inspiration?
SM: Always consider scale. This Airstream had such little space so it was important to me to make it feel open and airy but still fit in as much furnishings as possible. The light color definitely helped- especially since it was a glossy paint, the reflective nature magnified the light. Also, with the banquette- it could have been just a simple seat along the back but making it larger and curve along the side made the space feel huge!
We love the champagne station! Can you tell us a little more about that?
SM: I love the champagne station, too! The shopping experience is so important to Journelle’s clients so I wanted to incorporate that into the design for guests. The Hangar Design team and I conceived this solid brass built-in champagne cooler as a swanky addition to the luxe dressing room feel we wanted to create. I always design spaces that flow well for entertaining and what better way than a built in bar?!
Cheers to that! For a behind the scenes look at the design process, click here!