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Updated: 10 Nov 2014

Bene Rialto Backs Encounter Culture

Bene Rialto, New York

Mixing business with pleasure, Bene Rialto – a new multi-brand marketplace in Manhattan, New York – is aiming to be an essential stop for fashion industry insiders and casual shoppers alike by offering a mix of new and exclusive brands, accessible price points, plus a space dedicated to art, bloggers, workshops and events.

The hybrid retail destination is spread across a five-storey building, the first two of which are given over to 40 brands – largely young, emerging fashion designers working in the US. Brands can lease out spaces for three to 18 months. For most, this is the only place in New York where their product is available, making it both a showroom for other retailers and press, and a springboard for gaining exposure with mainstream consumers.

The upper floors broaden the store's draw with the incorporation of an art gallery, events space and a lounge big enough for around 15 independent bloggers, who work in the space on an invite-only basis.

Aesthetically, Bene Rialto pushes a classic industrial-chic look – marrying exposed brickwork with an urban graffiti mural and New York-inspired artwork. A three-storey chandelier, crafted by Atlanta-based artist Kathleen Plate out of recycled metal and glass circles sourced from sliced wine bottles, hangs in a central staircase.

For more on how brands are promoting the idea of encounter culture with mixed retail-work-social spaces, see Hybrid Retailing from our Future of the Store Industry Trend, Retailer-Restaurants, Commuter Commerce in our Roaming Retail Industry Trend, and Urban Outfitters' Local Hybrid Store.