How Far Can a Condé Nast Employee Walk in Heels?

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

As Condé Nast prepares to move down to One World Trade Center, businesses are flocking to relocate within optimal walking distance from the publishing house. What is optimal walking distance? you may wonder. Well, if Condé Nast employees cannot walk there in heels, they will not walk there at all.

A story in today's Times "Style" section recounts the following exchange with Nadine Abramcyk, co-owner of the nail salon Tenoverten:

Ms. Abramcyk was initially delighted when she heard about the move. She had a salon in TriBeCa, about a 15-minute walk from 1 World Trade Center. But then she thought about it some more and realized something: That’s not walkable in heels.

“The truth is, we’re too far,” she said, adding that Condé Nast represents a significant portion of her business. “They’re not going to leave to go out for a manicure in TriBeCa,” she said. “You really need to be eight or 10 blocks farther south.”

John Barrett — the so-called "house salon of Condé Nast" — is putting an even finer point on that calculation:

The salon, which has space at Bergdorf Goodman, has a fully executed letter of intent to open up “about 50 paces from the elevators of Condé Nast,” said Jim Hedges, the chief executive of John Barrett Holdings. (The precise number of steps is really important to him; he cited it several times in an interview.)

Meanwhile, stores like Hermès, Diane von Furstenberg, J.Crew, Burberry, Theory, Salvatore Ferragamo, Saks, MAC, and Equinox are also jockeying to be closer to the mothership.

Accommodating Condé needs might be a challenge, but it appears to be worth it. Drybar founder Alli Webb said her company was also finalizing plans for a move close to One World Trade Center. "Those girls love blowouts probably more than anybody,” she told the Times, and cited a client database with "more than 400 unique email addresses."