The Wing, a members-only, women-focused working space has opened in Hollywood on Thursday, in a partnership with Time’s Up.
The 11,000-square-foot space, which includes a Little Wing childcare center, pumping room, a full-service cafe promoting food from women chefs and women-owned catering services and/or restaurants will provide a meeting place for Time’s Up and a space for other women and non-binary individuals in Los Angeles to work and forge relationships with each other.
Founding WeHo members include entertainers Mindy Kaling, Jessica Alba, Katy Perry, Shonda Rhimes, Maya Rudolph, Lucy Liu, Amandla Stenberg, Busy Philipps, Laverne Cox, Lucy Hale, Marisa Tomei, Sharon Stone, Susan Kelechi Watson, Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho, Roxane Gay, Gabourey Sidibe, Hari Nef, Gia Coppola and Liz Goldwyn; Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy; Hollywood stylists Karla Welch (who styles Tracee Ellis Ross) and Jamie Mizrahi (who styles Perry); and 42 West publicist Leslee Dart and ID PR’s Kelly Bush Novak.
WeHo’s outdoor space will take advantage of LA’s world-famous climate. Inside, the temperature is set to 72 degrees, based on the matabolic rates of women. Even the custom-made furniture is female centric, designed on the average 5’4” height of women.
The Ladies Library features about 2,000 women-centric books in partnership with Strand Bookstore and Skylight Books, and The Wing's in-house art curator, Lolita Cros, highlights artworks by woman-identifying, Californian artists like Lauren Greenfield. The artwork is available for purchase.
The Wing, founded by Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan is also open in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., with locations in the works for London, Toronto, Boston and Seattle. Already 8,000 members strong, The Wing came to L.A. based on demand: "We've heard a lot [about] the need for community and central spaces where people could build relationships, because of the layout of the city and how spread out it is," co-founder Audrey Gelman tells The Hollywood Reporter.
"Having such an incredible group of founding members is really exciting for us, because we get to work with them to help collaborate and I think there's obviously such an impressive group of women ... in the entertainment industry but also in social justice and politics," Gelman said.
Hollywood women are at the forefront in sponsoring the Time’s Up movement and major changes in the film industry. They are very articulate about their determination to band together, demanding significant improvements for women involved in film, social media, marketing, the legal field and other professions and services associated with Hollywood.
Net-a-Porter’s Porter Edit has done a superb job of giving voice to Hollywood women in their weekly interviews. Now they can meet at The Wing join forces on film and related cr4eative projects. They can even book the Dorothy Dandridge sound-proof conference room for private screenings or screen tests.
"Rather than wait to be tapped and get the opportunity to work on projects — whether it's casting or budget, decisions are [often] made by men — so many women are creating their own projects and getting to make those decisions themselves," Gelman says. "This is a space where they can find support and a network and a community who they can collaborate with."
Hollywood influences populate WeHo like glass-door phone booths named after female characters: Princess Leia of ‘Star Wars’, C.J. Cregg of ‘The West Wing’, Lydia Deetz of ‘Beetlejuice’, Moesha and Dora The Explorer. Work nooks, separated by mustard velvet curtains, include framed posters with references to Dracula, Cleopatra and the Bride of Frankenstein.
In March 2019, The Wing announced a stock gift to Time’s Up to help it pursue its mission of ensuring continued access to "safe, fair and dignified work for women of all kinds."
“Both Time's Up and The Wing believe that all women, across all industries and backgrounds, deserve safety, fairness and dignity as they work and as we all shift the paradigm of workplace culture," said Wing’s Audrey Gelman said in a statement. “The Wing is thrilled that this partnership will help support the groups’ organizing work, and we are proud to be making a charitable gift of stock to help support the long-term growth of this important organization.”
In December 2018, The Wing raised $75 million from investors that include Kerry Washington and Time's Up leaders Katie McGrath, Valerie Jarrett and Robbie Kaplan.
Because Time’s Up has largely been volunteer-run and more of an umbrella group that links industries, it’s had no home base for its meetings and organizing. The Wing will now provide home for the people who work on Time’s Up initiatives like the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, dedicated to providing legal support for farm workers, restaurant workers, domestic workers and other blue-collar women suffering sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in everyday work environments.
The Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, is housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center. The organization also launched in 2019 Time's Up Healthcare to create a community for women in the male-dominated industry.
In response to compliants about The Wing’s steep membership fees of between $185 and $215 a month for one location or $250 a month for all access, The Wing started a scholarship program in 2018 that offers free membership to "a pool of self-identifying women and non-binary individuals whose work supports the advancement of marginalized women and girls.”
The Little Wing’s daycare services have a maximum time limit of two hours and are designed to offer support to women attending meetings at the club. As cofounder and COO Lauren Kassan explained, “we want to help contribute to a world where there is no perceived motherhood penalty.”
The Wing opened a Little Wing on a separate floor at its Manhattan Soho location in Deecember. “As a mom of a 9-month old, I know firsthand that one of the greatest barriers to working as a parent is lack of flexible work schedules and access to child-care. That’s why I’m particularly proud that The Wing will be introducing babysitting and children’s programing,” Kassan added.
A women-run and -staffed cafe includes dishes and influences from about 30 chefs, bakers, winemakers and brewers; the menu includes eight L.A.-exclusive items by Nancy Silverton (Pizzeria Mozza), Melissa Perello (Octavia and M. Georgina), Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson (Kismet) and Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins (El Jardin).
"Kitchens are places that are rife with sexual harassment and are very male-dominated, but what we've built at The Wing is something that's very different than that," Gelman adds.
In addition to Time’s Up, The Wing has raised funding from WeWork, Sequoia Capital and Airbnb writes Forbes.