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A New By-appointment Shopping Experience Comes to Brooklyn’s Dumbo

L’Ensemble features Proenza Schouler, Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto, Maison Cleo, Kallmeyer and Gigi Hadid’s Guest in Residence.

A New By-appointment Shopping Experience Comes to Brooklyn’s Dumbo

L’Ensemble in Dumbo is offering a by-appointment retail experience.

L’Ensemble, a by-appointment luxury retailer, is coming to Dumbo in Brooklyn.

Founder and owner Dawn Nguyen said she chose Dumbo for the company’s 2,276-square-foot store because it’s close to so many important neighborhoods in Brooklyn and accessible to the city. The official opening of the store, which is located at 55 Washington Street, Suite 461, is Thursday.

The concept of a “buy appointment” store came from her experience of being a buyer, she said. “I loved the experience of making an appointment with a brand, getting offered a wonderful treat and a beverage, and being taken through the collection with someone who knew it inside out. And I just felt why does it stop here with the buyer experience? I felt it really should extend into the retail experience. Every collection and every brand has a story,” said Nguyen.

Nguyen cut her teeth at La Garçonne as a store manager and got into buying when she was there.

Nguyen’s business partner is Agata Hewett, whose retail background includes roles at Maison Kitsune, Want Les Essentiels and James Perse. She later became retail director of Want Retail and a merchant at Aritzia. “Our backgrounds are very focused on customer experience and curating that experience,” Hewett said.

The store will focus on styling advice and wardrobe building by way of their by-appointment structure, although walk-ins are welcome with a text.

Among the brands L’Ensemble will be featuring are Proenza Schouler, Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto, Mfpen, Kallmeyer, B Sides, Judy Turner, Guest in Residence, Veronica de Piante, Savette, Guidi and Sunflower.

Products range from $24 for Babaco socks to $4,500 for Gabriela Artigas’s tennis bracelet. Proenza Schouler’s runway pieces, Veronica de Piante, Y’s by Yohji Yamamoto and Tove represent the higher end of the pricing, while B Sides, Mfpen, Maison Cleo and St. Agni cater to more entry-level price points.

Asked how they hope to get the word out about the new store, Nguyen said, “We have a client base. We strongly believe it will be through word-of-mouth. We strongly believe in the experience that we’re offering to our clients.”

According to Nguyen, the founders are not targeting a specific demographic. “The experience that we’re offering is everyone and anyone can find something they love at our store,” she said. She said customers will make an appointment, will be greeted by their consultants and have a chat, and will be offered a treat and beverage. “We’ll just cater the entire experience to what you want it to be,” she said.

A New By-appointment Shopping Experience Comes to Brooklyn’s Dumbo

L’Ensemble will offer by-appointment style advice and wardrobe building.

In general, she said the Dumbo customers are young professionals who work in art, education, etc. “I think it’s going to be women in their 30s to 60s,” she said. She said they will cater to women’s daytime, weekend and evening needs. She said evening and occasion are a very important category, and that her hope is customers find pieces that aren’t easy to find. “We only have about 30 brands. We want to keep it very tight and very curated,” she said.

The store will staff three people and will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday through Saturday. Appointments are hourly, but clients can stay longer than one hour. “We encourage people who just want to take in and browse,” said Nguyen.

The decor features a lot of vintage furniture and a sculptural piece “to make it a serene and inviting space,” she said.

Nguyen said the store will buy all the sizes, but not 20 units of one style. “It’s kind of unique and special. It’s a great space for anyone to come in and hang out and have a wonderful time,” said Nguyen.