Luxury Brands Take to Pop-up Shop Concept in a Big Way

The retail sector was hit the hardest during the economic downturn and has learnt quite a few lessons in its struggle for survival during the dramatic dip on consumer spending. Pop-up shops have emerged as an effective tool to create a buzz around a brand. These shops can be erected at interesting and unexpected locations attract a lot of consumer attention and disappear quietly before the hype dies down. Since they are not permanent structures it is possible to experiment and restrict the investment to a relatively lower level. The Pop-up shop concept is very popular in the fashion world but has slowly made its way to the main stream retail now and is being used effectively for even everyday use brands.

With the concept becoming very popular we have come across various Pop-up shops this year. It sure adds a sense of excitement to the shopping experience. We bring to you here ten of the most interesting and exciting pop-up shops of 2011.

1)Gucci : Gucci’s pop-up store in Covent Garden was considered a major event in the fashion circles. With its focus on trainers and sneakers it attracted loads of sports related celebrities. The launch party for the pop-up shop was a big event in itself with the crème de la crème of London and also elsewhere in Europe marking their presence for the occasion. It just goes to prove that fashion has a remarkable pull and you can attract the elite crowd anywhere and everywhere if what you are serving is high fashion.

2) Chanel : Chanel teamed up with fellow luxury brand Colette to experiment with the new trend and created a pop-up boutique in Paris. The temporary boutique came up for the first ten days of March and coincided with the Paris Fashion Week. The pop-up boutique built on the site of a former garage showcased key pieces from the luxury brand’s spring/summer collection. A graffiti artist was on hand to customize Chanel bags on the customers’ request.  Some creations by young designers selected by Colette were also on display. The boutique also featured a Chanel nail bar and Chez Bogato cupcake stand.

3) Louis Vuitton : During the International Film Festival at Cannes, Louis Vuitton launched a pop-up shop next to its flagship store at the Croisette. The pop-up shop was littered with motifs of cinema and the seaside as homage to both. The shop was designed to reinforce Louis Vuitton’s link with the world of cinema and creation. Marc Jacobs, their artistic director had designed and put together a collection of prêt-àporter, leather goods and accessories for a complete shopping experience. The launch of the pop-up shop called for a cocktail party by the pool which attracted big names attending the film festival.

4) Faberge : The concept of pop-up shops has really caught on. The Russian luxury brand Fabergé didn’t want to be left behind and climbed the popular bandwagon with a pop-up shop at the Palace Hotel in Gastaad, Switzerland. Fabergé is known for bejeweled eggs it created for the Czars of Russia. They will be selling its famous glittering eggs from its pop-up boutique within the Palace Hotel. They created a new collection Les Fabuleuses Collections which was up for grabs at the pop-up shop. These were diamond encrusted designs created especially for the shoppers who visited the pop-up shop at the Palace Hotel

5) Tommy Hilfiger : Tommy Hilfiger took the pop-up shop concept to another level altogether by building a 800 square foot “traveling beach cottage”. The temporary boutique featured navy window shutters, a pink front door, aged shingles and copper gutters. It opened in New York in April for week and then moved on to two other cities in the US and plans to travel the world including Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, Stockholm, Madrid, Belgium, and Tokyo. Called the Tommy Hilfiger’s Prep World tour, the pop-up shop showcased Hilfiger’s limited edition preppy range, which included colored chinos, anchor print dresses and boat shoes.

6) Naomi Campbell : The supermodel used the pop-up shop concept for her charity work. She opened a pop-up boutique in April to sell clothes from her Fashion for Relief charity. During the week that the temporary store operated in London, it sold outfits from the supermodel’s charity shows, including a Vivienne Westwood Gold Label dress, which Campbell wore on the catwalk. Many celebrities, designers and luxury brands donated clothes that were sold in the store. There was a Christopher Kane gown worn by Amanda Holden, a Tom Ford suit donated by David Walliams and a red dress which Kim Cattrall wore for her role as Samantha in Sex and the City. The profits from the pop-up shop went to The Prince’s Trust charity.

7) Hermes : Hermes is a conservative brand and not given to experimenting. People expected it to give the pop-up shop concept a go by. But they have moved on with the times and did leverage the concept to spread awareness in London. They erected a pop-up shop for a week each in Shoreditch and West End in November December last year. Called Hermes J’aime mon carré (I love my scarf), it showcased the famous Hermes scarves. The pop-up shop came complete with an expert who demonstrated all the fabulous ways to wear your Hermes scarf!

8) Prada : the Milan based luxury label has stretched the temporary pop-up shop concept to create a boutique in Paris that will remain there for five months. They have invested more than an average pop-up shop in this boutique. The exterior has been designed by Roberto Baciocchi. The rich interior of the store combines Prada’s rich history with its love for innovation. The store is showcasing a selection of women’s ready-to-wear, bags, accessories and footwear. The boutique is located at 92, Place Beauvau.

9) Harry and David : Harry & David is famous for its fruits and gift-giving tradition around the holidays. During holiday season last year the company opened “pop-up orchards” in neighborhoods around the country. The holiday collections featured exclusive wines, artisanal cheeses, baked goods and of course, fresh fruit. Their Steve Heyer who holds the title of Chief Happiness Officer was extremely happy with the platform to engage with the customers, share the brand’s rich heritage and showcase their farm to table expertise.

10) Kate spade : US fashion label Kate Spade’s first foray into the UK market was a pop-up shop in London, last October and they did it in style. They took over an entire Covent Garden townhouse and conceived the entire project in-house, to ensure that the concept remains entirely true to the brand. The layout was such that it felt like having a scrabble around the apartment of a particularly chic friend. The pop-up foray into UK did help the brand dispel the British notion that Kate Spade is a handbag label. They couldn’t bring all their lines to London but showcased much more than their bags.

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