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Kathy Kuo Home, Southampton, N.Y.

PORTFOLIO: The furniture brand revamped an old shoe store to create an authentic shopping experience

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BEGINNING WITH A loyal online following, New York-based, digitally native Kathy Kuo Home soon recognized its desire to move into the physical realm. Founded by its namesake Kathy Kuo, the furniture brand partnered with The Lionesque Group (New York) – an MG2 (Seattle) design studio – in order to create its first flagship, making its official debut in Southampton, N.Y. Set at 4000 square feet, the showroom is bursting with home goods, including furniture, decor and lighting.

Courtesy of MG2, Seattle

Choosing The Hamptons to plant its first brick-and-mortar location was an attempt to meet its target demographic where they live. In The Hamptons, a typical customer is reportedly between 25-55 years old; the store also caters to everyday shoppers, interior designers or just those simply looking for inspiration. Lifestyle and furniture vignettes are set up to resemble IRL home design options, allowing guests to immediately envision the pieces in their own residences. The journey through the space can be self-guided or assisted, and a resource center for Kathy Kuo Home designers is onsite so they can work one-on-one with clients.

Courtesy of MG2, Seattle

“We took over a pretty old shoe store location, so there was a bit of gutting that was necessary … and there was a pretty fast turnaround time in order to achieve that,” says Melissa Gonzalez, Principal, MG2, and Founder, Lionesque Group. Starting with transforming the exterior, designers aimed to create a space that felt like a narrative throughout and represented what Kathy’s Hamptons home might look like.

ABOVE: Furniture and home goods are displayed as if in a real home setting throughout the airy and bright interior of the 4000-square-foot space.

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“It really felt like a level of storytelling from the outside in. We used core aspects of our business – retail strategy, customer experience and store build-out management – to bring Kathy’s ideas to life,” Gonzalez says.

Despite Kathy Kuo Home and the design team facing slowdowns to the initial building process due to supply chain issues – which have been especially impacted by Covid – the flagship officially opened at 30 Jobs Lane last summer.

Kathy Kuo Home Opens First Flagship in the Hamptons

“The brand is named after the founder, and I think that’s another continuous opportunity to make something feel more authentic,” explains Gonzalez. “The interior design of the store really transcended an environment that felt like what Kathy’s home could be, and I think there is a level of authenticity that people feel as soon as they walk in.” — Hayley Garr

PHOTO GALLERY (8 IMAGES)
Courtesy Kathy Kuo Home

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Hayley Garr is a journalism student at the University of Cincinnati and VMSD's summer 2022 editorial intern. She lives and works in Cincinnati.

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