Cadillac’s new digs in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood are more than global headquarters for the former Detroit-based automaker. The trendy Hudson Street address is also the site for Cadillac House, a brand experience located on the ground floor of the building designed to connect with younger consumers through fashion, art and culture without the hard-sell tactics of the traditional showroom. Innovative partnerships with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), art and culture magazine Visionaire and New York City-based Joe Coffee are part of a plan to use the space for fashion shows, art installations, salon conversations and parties, along with dynamic displays of its latest cars.
“We are on the verge of an absolute product explosion, and a lot of that product is going to be targeted at a new generation, and so we are taking advantage of this period leading into that where we can build relevance and resonance with that new audience,” says Nathan Tan, associate director-partnership and experience at Cadillac. “And we think that the best way to do that is to engage in the natural interest areas that they have in the cultural spheres of fashion, design, entrepreneurship and travel.”
Already a fixture in the neighborhood, the space is open to the public weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and slightly less on weekends. “If you wandered in at any point in the afternoon, you’d see people having coffee, people just relaxing, taking meetings, working from the space. They may even be out-of-towners wanting to rest in the air conditioning,” Tan says.
An on-site art gallery, also open to the public, offers art installations by forward thinkers such as Geoffrey Lillemon, who created a 360-mirrored experience with digital art projections. A rotating fashion pop-up retail lab store offers young designers a place to display their concepts.
And then there are the cars, one displayed on the veranda near the front, and three more along an interior runway that is flanked by a series of digital columns that ends at a huge video wall and offers 72 screens running content about the cars or for use by an event partner. Attendees are welcome to walk around the cars with a brand ambassador, and can spend as much time, or as little, with them as they want.
“It’s an informal, relaxed experience, and a very high-touch one,” Tan says. “A bit of a chose-your-own-adventure place.” Agency: Gensler, San Francisco.