Co-working operator The Wing goes out of business

West Hollywood facility to shutter as firm faces “global economic challenges”

The Wing's Fatima Koning and the Wing West Hollywood, 8550 Santa Monica Blvd (The Org, The Wing, Getty)
The Wing's Fatima Koning and the Wing West Hollywood, 8550 Santa Monica Blvd (The Org, The Wing, Getty)

The Wing, a co-working and networking space geared toward women in West Hollywood and beyond, has crashed.

The New York-based firm closed its 11,000-square-foot West Hollywood facility at 8550 Santa Monica Boulevard as part of a national shutdown, the Commercial Observer reported.

The Wing shuttered offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Chicago, blaming the pandemic and “global economic challenges,” according to an email to its members.

“The operating environment since reopening our six current locations of The Wing 14 months ago has continued to prove extremely challenging,” said the email, first reported by Insider.

“With the backdrop of the Covid pandemic and increasing global economic challenges,” it said, “we have been unable to recover and grow the level of active membership and event activity necessary to run a financially sustainable operation.”

A website for Wing West Hollywood, which opened in 2018, said it was still “accepting new members.”

The decision to close comes more than a year after The Wing reopened its outposts after shutting down during the pandemic. It also marks the final chapter for the troubled eight-year-old firm.

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The Wing nearly went bankrupt in 2020, faced allegations of mistreating people of color and was hit with a gender discrimination lawsuit, forcing co-founder Audrey Gelman to resign.

The Wing was founded in 2016 by Gelman and Lauren Kassan with more than $100 million from Sequoia Capital, WeWork and Airbnb. At its peak, it had 11 locations across two countries.

Members were often drawn to its Instagram-perfect interior design, which featured velvet and leather couches, trendy wallpaper and a plethora of monstera plants, according to Insider.

It struggled when WeWork sold its stake in 2019. In response to the pandemic, The Wing closed locations nationwide and fired half its staff and most of its hourly workers. The company whittled down its footprint to three locations in New York City, plus Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.

Its employees also complained of low pay, long hours and mistreatment of people of color, according to the New York Times. It also faced a $12 billion discrimination lawsuit challenging its women-only admittance policy, leading it to drop the practice, according to Insider.

— Dana Bartholomew

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