Prabal Gurung, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund runner-up, and Billy Reid, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner. Photo:

It's a new Ann Taylor -- and she has new digs to show for it.

The brand, which relaunched just over a year ago, is now rolling out redesigned stores, with the revamped brand and customer in mind.

"We worked with architect S. Russell Groves to reexamine the store experience," a spokesman told StyleList. "There's a romantic row of mannequins when you walk in the store on a runway showing our fashion point-of-view." In addition, "there are special demarked areas for petites, dresses, suits, cashmere and accessories. You get a sense of discovery when you shop in this store," the spokesman added. "It's a better, more fun place to shop."

There are currently new concept stores in Atlanta, Miami and Seattle, and the newest one is at 149 Fifth Ave. at 21st Street in New York's Flatiron District. This location and the brand's sponsorship of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Design Challenge was celebrated Thursday evening with a cocktail party.

For the Design Challenge, the competition's 10 finalists were asked to design relevant wear-to-work outfits for today's modern woman, in turn setting the next major career style trend. The finalists, Joseph Altuzarra, Billy Reid, Christian Cota, Eddie Borgo, Gregory Parkinson, Oliver Helden and Paul Marlow of Loden Dager, Moss Lipow, Pamela Love, Prabal Gurung and Robert Geller, submitted looks that incorporated trench coats, Ann Taylor's signature leopard print and much more. Many of these looks were on display at the party.

"We wanted to elevate the fashion credibility of the brand and support young talent" with the sponsorship, the spokesman said. The submitted outfits were so impressive that "now we're working on an auction to be held in January to help raise money for the fund."