After working on the eye-popping spaces of women-centered co-working space The Wing (think earth tones, rounded edges, and soft pinks with pops of bold salmon and lots of terrazzo, conceived by designer Chiara de Rege), Hilary Koyfman has been tapped by digitally native brands to create in-person experiences. Koyfman’s recent clients in this space include telemedicine and healthcare company Parsley Health, influencer turned ready-to-wear label Something Navy, and maternity-wear brand Hatch.
The phenomenon of online-only brands opening brick-and-mortars is not new. According to research cited by Forbes in 2019, companies ranging from Tesla to Casper, Warby Parker, and Away had opened more than 1,700 storefronts, with hundreds more planned by 2023. Asked her opinion of the reason for this phenomenon, Koyfman responds astutely, “In an age where brand identity is so important, a physical space solidifies the specificity of the brand.”
In some instances, Koyfman was charged with creating a physical space for a brand that was already firmly in place: “Parsley Health was looking to expand beyond telehealth and telemedicine,” she says, of the project completed with Alda Ly Architecture. “The challenge was to take the online point of view that already existed and create a physical space out of it.”
The result? A doctor’s office that is nothing like the sterile exam rooms and lackluster lobbies we’ve all become accustomed to. Instead, patients can expect sun-filled waiting areas with comfortable curved furniture, rounded reception desks, and a calming neutral palette. “The whole project was fun and interesting,” Koyfman says. “We reimagined the doctor’s office and the typically technical, staid elements that are almost textbook or endemic to that experience.”
The translation from digital to brick-and-mortar has allowed for meaningful imagination and invention. In the fitting rooms at Something Navy’s boutique in Manhattan, Koyfman created a clothing rack with separate sections labeled “Yes,” “No,” and “Maybe” to help the shopper make decisions. While the rack was born from a desire to create a fun shopping experience, the idea is here to stay—all future locations will likely adopt the feature.
For Parsley Health, Koyfman was given the opportunity to reimagine the standard examination table—typically something ordered straight from a medical supply company. With no real requirements besides a standard height, Koyfman took inspiration from a rounded, white metal, Nordic vanity table that had been floating around in her mind and on her mood boards. The result—a streamlined exam table with warm, wooden dowel legs—again will carry over to any future locations. Helping digitally native brands form their physical brand identities may just be something of a dream job for certain design thinkers: the chance to not only think big but also to franchise your ideas.