"The mission was to create a destination where women can build relationships, hatch plans and, you know, run the world," says 29-year-old Audrey Gelman, Lena Dunham's bestie and the inspiration behind Girls' character Marnie Michaels. That destination is now The Wing, a women-only social club—with members including Dunham and rapper Remy Ma, per Forbes—which opened in October in Manhattan. Tired of not having a home base during a busy workday and being hit on by men at other social clubs, per Harper's Bazaar, Gelman teamed up with Lauren Kassan to turn a penthouse loft into a place where women could browse feminist literature, shower, eat, pump breast milk, or have their hair and makeup spruced up, reports the Times.
Though once-popular women's clubs fell out of vogue in the 1970s, "I think there is this new generation of women who are more interested than ever in having a community, having connections and in supporting each other"—particularly after Donald Trump's election win, says Gelman. "I'm frightened that we've elected a dictator so now this place really does feel like somewhere where women can escape some of the chaos and violence that's going on in society right now." Not all women, though. There are 200 members aged 21 to 78, carefully chosen from various industries, with 2,000 more on a waiting list, and each pays $1,950 in annual fees. "We're hoping to offer tiered membership in the future," says Gelman, who is already looking to open a second location. (Read more New York City stories.)