The Wing, an American coworking space and members club, is launching a new site in a five-storey Edwardian building in Fitzrovia this summer. The club was started in New York City in October 2016 by co-founders Lauren Kassan and Audrey Gelman (who once worked as a press aide for Hillary Clinton).
It currently has 6,000 members ("winglets") and a waiting list of 35,000 people in eight clubs spread across NYC, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. The latest funding round was led by Sequoia, a venture capital firm, with further investment from Airbnb and WeWork.
This will be the first club outside of the USA, and founding London members include activist Gina Martin, beauty entrepreneur Sharmadean Reid, cook Skye Gyngell and Otegha Uwagba, author of modern career guide Little Black Book. Gelman says of the concept: “We really feel the most powerful way to advance women is to gather them together”. She has previously said The Wing is inspired by the political women’s clubs of the ’20s and ’30s: “They played a huge role in the suffrage movements and giving back to their communities and mobilising around social issues”.
The launch of The Wing will provide Londoners with a workspace that brings together a diverse network of women who will be able to collaborate and learn from each other.
The Fitzrovia site will cover 12,000 square feet and include a restaurant, private meeting rooms, phone booths, a tea parlour, a beauty room, a quiet room and multiple terraces. A portrait room will pay homage to women in British history.
The Wing is different from providers like WeWork because it focuses primarily on fostering female entrepreneurship. People, mainly women, are enticed mainly by the networking opportunities the space provides.
Amanda Lim from the Knight Frank office space team says: “The launch of The Wing will provide Londoners with a workspace that brings together a diverse network of women who will be able to collaborate and learn from each other. We’re very excited to work with a brand built around women’s empowerment.”