Gone are the days of the cookie-cutter cubicle and the generic, coffee-stained carpet. With the rise of online start-ups and an increasingly aesthetically minded workforce (thanks, Instagram!), companies are investing in design that broadcasts their brand and draws in the best talent.
Finding inspiration and executing slick design hasn’t always been so simple, however—a fact that frustrated Gilt Groupe founder Kevin Ryan throughout his years as a serial entrepreneur and inspired him to found Kontor, a new platform for commercial design and workspace interiors, along with eBay alum Mia Lewin.
“It’s really hard to find inspiration and find the right firms to work with,” says Lewin, Kontor’s chief executive officer. “When you’re doing product choices, it tends to be very analog—visiting a lot of different showrooms, etcetera. With the growth of Pinterest and Houzz, [Ryan] basically was wondering if there was a better way to bring the whole network into one digital umbrella, and he reached out to me.”
Now live and boasting the largest database of office design from all over the world, the site is a treasure trove for architecture pros and voyeuristic design fans alike.
When deciding which companies to include, “we were very self-consciously trying to select offices that were very different from one another,” says William Hanley, Kontor’s vice president of strategic partnerships and editorial director. “The one thing that runs through all of them is the sense that the space not only represents the design that the brand produces, but also creates a space for the people who actually work on said design.” Fashion brands that made the cut include Kate Spade New York, whose bright and peppy office is as instantly recognizable as its quirky accessories, and SSENSE, the Montreal-based e-commerce mecca whose minimal, black-and-white aesthetic has been translated into a modern space filled with marble and glass.
Click through the slideshow to take a peek behind the scenes of some of our favorite fashion companies, and learn what sets their offices apart from the pack—aside from super stylish employees, that is.