Dylan Lauren’s Candy Bar: Merging The Sweet Life of Candy, Art and Fashion

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Dylan Lauren, daughter of fashion designer, Ralph Lauren, has established a group of upscale candy boutiques which are located around the world. The flagship store is located on 1011 Third Avenue and 60th Street. The tri level confectionary of Willy Wonka goods has made candy a designer label. Upon entering, one takes in the colored candy splattered wallpaper, bins of gummy bears, red hots and licorice, stacks of chocolate bars and holiday themed sweets. There is non edible merchandise such as; key chains, jewelry and cell phone cases. Pajamas, pillows, beach towels and shirts are designed with the likes of; Reeses, M&M and sweet rainbow graphics. There is a wall portrait of Dylan, made with Jelly Belly jelly beans done by celebrity artist, Pete Rocha. He has done limited editions with jelly beans, one of Ronald Reagan, the president’s favorite jelly beans. Background music plays pop songs such as; Def Leppard’s: “Pour Some Sugar on Me”. A huge “chocolate” bunny rabbit, her favorite animal, graces the dotted floor. As a child, she owned two pet bunnies; Chocolate and Vanilla. A sky high multi colored Willy Wonka lollipop tree arises from the floor. The dramatic lucite staircase with candy lodged inside the steps, takes you to the 3rd level. It is almost as if one is immersed in the game of Candy Land. When you arrive at the top, the main section has cup cake shaped seating, circle table tops filled with candy and button candy decor, you are ready for a snack. There is a bar which serves alcoholic candy cocktails. The drink menu has a mixtures of vodka, tequila and rum, swirled with rock candy, peanut butter or a cotton candy flavor. You can grab a pizza, soda, a Dylan labeled bottled water or get a scoop of ice cream. Dylan Lauren focuses on candy and accessories for children and adults. She brings candy for diabetics, offering celebrity favorites from Madonna and Cher, nostalgic candy, adult candy and seasonal/holiday selections. Select chocolate flavored matzah for Passover or a Christmas basket filled with Dylan’s chocolate candy bars and pieces shaped as holiday trees and Santa. If you need a gift for a recent graduate, the store can ship you a dark or light chocolate cap and gown or flavored popcorn tin. Valentine’s Day, Halloween and Easter (Dylan’s favorite springtime holiday with rabbits and pastel colors) are dates on the calendar.

Dylan Lauren is inspired by color, her favorite hue, turquoise. This chic bubbly brunette wears colorful dresses tied with a striped belt, a black velvet Ralph evening dress or slim jeans with boots. Dylan comments that her father’s colorful t shirts and sweaters seem good enough to eat. She is inspired by Ralph Lauren color palettes and uses similar tones with Dylan’s Candy Bar branding. Color is a key element which Dylan brings to candy, packaging and decor, it creates the store’s image and feel. Lauren graduated from Duke University and then took a turn to candy and design. She attended conventions focusing on visual design, business and gift packaging to prepare for the store opening. Candy has been in her blood since she saw Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory at her 5th birthday party. Previous to opening her 2001 namesake candy, she worked with FAO Schwarz Toys and brought FAO Schweetz Candy to their counter. Ralph Lauren designed her fairy tale wedding dress for the 2011 wedding to financier, Paul Arrouet. They have fraternal twins; Kinglsy Rainbow and Cooper Blue. Fashion and pop culture is incorporated into her candy and store decor. Her logo is a linear series of a color blocked gift box, martini glass, ice-cream cone and lollipop. The logo will catch your eye when you look at a Dylan’s Candy Bar shopping bag, website or product sticker labels. Dylan Lauren wrote a coffee table book titled; Dylan’s Candy Bar:”Unwrap Your Sweet Life”, providing a pictorial look at merchandise, lifestyle and offering recipes. Dylan’s is an experiential store with features such as; a fudge counter, cotton candy spinner, a computer screen photo booth with a brand theme and it is the site for frequent parties, ie. a sweet sixteen. An important cause is her loyalty to dogs, Lauren has a non- profit foundation named: Dylan’s Candy BarN Foundation. The mission, to help animal welfare organizations which reach out to dogs in need. Every store varies slightly, one gets a glimpse of a beachy Hampton’s Candy Bar, a cosmopolitan aura at Hudson Yards in NY, a Chicago branch with the Windy City moniker and images on merchandise and an airport terminal in Charlotte, NC. The stores branch onto a more exotic journey: Dylan’s in Kuwait, The Bahama’s and Honolulu. She currently has a total of 22 stores and plans to open more domestic and international stores in the coming years. Dylan has partnered with movie companies, characters from “Mean Girls and “The Minions”, are emblazoned on merchandise and are dessert themes. Le Sports Sac bags have a signature Dylan’s pattern. Lauren is influenced by artists; such as: Claes Oldenburg and Jeff Koons. Dylan’s Candy reflects art and fashion in museum style.

Candy during COVID. Dylan Lauren has presented a package of a more nutritional candy and the company offers a selection of nuts. Eating healthy during stressful times and a pandemic, calls for a nutritious diet despite the store’s sweeter nature. The Dylan’s Candy Bar website dedicated itself to International Nurse’s day on May 12th. Earlier in the week, DCB had an Instagram promotion with Dana’s Bakery to recognize COVID frontline workers You could go to the Dylan’s Candy Bar and Dana’s Bakery IG pages to nominate the admirable efforts of a familiar frontline worker. The randomly selected winner receives a candy and cookie package from both stores, Dylan’s has a Dana’s Bakery Macaron Bar in her flagship store. The simple rules; like both pages, tag the nominee and explain why you would choose them as a sweet spot in combating COVID 19. The winner receives a large Dylan’s package filled with candy, chocolate, candy tackle box, popcorn and a selection of mookies (cookies with a macaron inside) from Dana’s Bakery. This should reenergize and cheer on the frontline workers during COVID. Dylan’s supported COVID efforts on #GivingTuesday as well. Following Dylan Lauren is a maze of tastefully color coordinated surprises and the company will continue to promote the confectionary brand in these COVID times. Stay home and click on The Dylan’s Candy Bar website to see the next sale or purchase a yummy treat while binging on Netflix movies or preparing a brief from your sofa. There are over 7,000 types of candy from around the world and the slogan: Color Your World with matching color coordinated candies sums up the world’s largest confectionary emporium. A new partnership with Starbucks and Whole Foods will bring a vegan and less colorful candy to the bins, but the recent cheerful flower collection should be a Dylan’s favorite. The garden bloom flower collection is springlike, pastel colored and filled with graphic flower images, made with vanilla, chocolate and hard candy ingredients. The selections; a package of 4 vintage pixel flower pops, groovy 60’s style flowers pops, good on top of ice cream sundaes or yogurt. A single chocolate red rose, a chocolate sunflower, marshmallow flower pop, purple and yellow iris pops, tulip creations, a white chocolate daisy as well as candy flowers in a paintbox container are stunning designs. The garden bloom candy reusable paintbox or wrapped flower candies make romantic/seasonal gifts and are a pick me up in COVID times. The packaging provides a safe way to send your friends, family or socially distanced lover, a cheerful and edible bloom, reminiscent of springtime. Dylan’s, garden bloom line, offers non- edibles such as; a flowery designed file book, reporter notebook, pencil case, rose petal lip gloss and packaged jasmine flower soap. Dylan’s is aware that these are not easy times and can accommodate for shipping and discounts on accessories such as; a candy pacifier baby shower gift or for Father’s Day: sour gummies from Jaws in a paintbox which will be sent to the door.

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