We were approached by friends David and Vanessa Cardaci, of The Whole Enchilada and Rhythm & Vine, to help name and concept their newest venue in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. With multiple levels, indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces, and a peacock on site, this project was guaranteed to be fun.
Though we were working with a South Florida location, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Mexico City, and other cities that are casually cool, lifestyle focused communities kept coming to mind, with a hint of West Village NYC tossed into the creative mix. For inspiration, I read and re-watched The Lover, listened to some vinyl Stan Getz, and lit my favorite tobacco scented candle (Ernesto by Cire Trudon) while sipping a little more mezcal than I care to admit.
I wanted the concept to embrace something hauntingly nostalgic. Something familiar, sensory, visually appealing, relaxing, in a feminine environment with masculine undertones. I wanted the scent of cuban cigars, lemon verbena, and jasmine to fill the air, reminding patrons of a place they may have read about, somewhere they think they know, but have probably never been. I wanted something reminiscent of NY's Indochine, Old Havana, Parisian bistros after midnight, and a lush coastal greenhouse growing the freshest, greenest ingredients that invigorate the air with fragrance, crispness, and life. You don't think "club" when you walk through the door, you think tropics, nature, greenery, fresh ingredients, subtle white floral - something tropical, enticing, relaxing, and elevated."
After working on the naming and concept development, Huntley Lake also signed on to create the logo for The WILDER, which opened in Fall 2017.