Monday, 22 September 2008

Pop-in is the new pop-up

Pop-up retail has been a driving force on the retail landscape (so much so that I've decided to write a book about it!) so it's with excitement that I've discovered the "pop-in" variant. As in a pop-up store that exists for a limited period like its older sibling but is housed within a bigger store - like a department store.

Trust good old Selfridges to champion the latest retail brand love-in from b-Store. During fashion week the edgy menswear store launched its pop-in store on the first floor with a quiet scenester party and a celebration of the boutique's expansion into own-label. Matthew Murphy, buyer and manager of b-Store told me: "Pop-up shops are a good opportunity for relatively niche people to reach a wider audience, and it’s a great way for us to show people internationally - customers and other store owners - what we’re about and how what we do can work in other stores. About 60% of the space will be the latest collection from our own b clothing label, and the rest are limited edition pieces which have been created specifically by five of our designers. The idea is that if we do this again, in the future, we will use five different designers, to keep things different each time."

This crop of designers includes kooky undies from Bernhard Willhelm, Siv Stoldal’s chinos digitally printed with images of denim jeans, plus Hans Christian Madsen’s hand-knitted cardigan-meets-dressing gown creations, or silk denim-look blazers via Soar, not to mention Ute Ploier’s shirts with dinky bomber jacket details.

Meanwhile b-Store Wardrobe held a back-to-back menswear show, during fashion week with fellow bought in label Soar - also on sale at b-Store. Murphy said: "The b-store wardrobe spring collection is inspired by a picnic by Henley on Thames Temple Island. So it's all about being outside in the English country summer and pursuits like boating - so straw hats and gingham checks with easy chambray denim shirts and pleat front trousers."

And Tim Soar designer for Soar said this collection is called 'And the sun shone straight in all directions' identifying his latest rockabilly styled meets cowboy with a range of descriptions such as "puckered mesh herringtone, vented pleated, work play" meaning fans are created by finding the label themselves.

And giving the new pop-in store's seal of approval, Gary Mason, senior menswear buyer for Selfridges said things couldn't be better with regards B-Store's sales: "It's the reason we decided to do the dedicated store in menswear (call it "pop-in" Gary), B-Store has quite a following after only a year - they seem to capture that quirky, neat gentlemanly take on country styling, our guy loves it."

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