Pop up store is a successful format in fashion retail, which is predicted to strengthen, flourish and new forms in the medium term. The emergence of the pop up store concept in the fashion industry is credited to the Japanese luxury apparel, footwear and accessories brand Comme Des Garçons (CDG), founded in 1969 by Rei Kawakubo. In 2004, the first CDG pop-up store opened in an abandoned building in Berlin. For the third year in a row in Russia, the brand has been regularly opening pop-ups in the Moscow department store Tsvetnoy, created and designed by Anna Balandina and her agency VM Guru. We talk about the unique CDG format with Larisa Kolmykova, a brand representative in Russia, a buyer of the Moscow Air concept store, a distributor of Comme des Garçons, Walter Van Beirendonck, Kidill, Charles Jeffery Loverboy, Undercover brands.
Larisa, you regularly open pop-up stores with collections of Comme Des Garçons and your other brands, why are you doing this?
In Russia, this is done primarily with a promotional purpose - to promote a brand, a specific capsule collection, a bright collaboration, something exclusive.
Comme Des Garçons is a luxury brand that stands apart from all other luxury brands, we can say that it is an underground fashion trendsetter, because what Japanese designers create is not suitable for everyone ...
It is an avant-garde brand, and it shapes new fashion trends. Therefore, everything that is done for presentation and sales should attract the attention of customers with something very interesting.
The Comme Des Garçons store should be lively, shocking. The company uses not only a pop up store-shopping concept, but also other exclusive formats.
Rei Kawakubo, the founder of the brand, has the world-famous concept store Dover Street Market, which sells both her own collections of Comme Des Garçons and other brands, clothes and shoes from designers from all over the world and completely new names. The first DSM opened in London in 2004, and today there are seven stores in different countries - these are large multi-brands, where the most relevant, trendy, most exclusive collections are presented, which are personally selected by Rei Kawakubo and her team.
What business tasks are being solved using the pop-up?
In addition to the fact that collections in the pop up store, which we open for a certain event, usually for 2-3 weeks, are sold instantly, naturally, we get an increased interest in the brand, as well as the effect of deferred demand - that is, purchases are made a little later. after the closing of the pop up. This format is essential for creating a wow effect and increasing sales in the future.
Are you announcing the opening of each pop up store on social media?
Yes, of course, we and our retail partners. Today, everyone needs to do this, even such well-known and outstanding brands as Comme Des Garçons.
What is the future of the pop up store?
This is a very interesting story for the presentation of the brand and its collections. This format will certainly have a future and, moreover, its popularity will only grow. Seasons, trends change, and all this must be presented to the buyer in some non-trivial way. The boring story with several rails and two dummies is no longer interesting to anyone. I am interested in creativity, originality in the creation of new trade formats and presentation of collections of clothes and shoes, a new vision, a new interpretation of a particular style, a direction that conveys mood, emotions, but within the framework of the brand concept.
SR asked Anna Balandina to talk about how pop-ups are created for Moscow Air, how many projects have already been implemented and what are your plans?
We have been working with the Moscow Air concept store since the opening, since August 2018, we have been making VM for the opening of the space. It is a great pride to have such a client in the portfolio, because truly unique brands are collected here. All Comme Des Garçons lines are represented in Air, so most of the collaborations and novelties created by designers under this brand can be found at the guys in Tsvetnoy.
Rei Kawakuba is my guru. The space of her London concept store Daver Street Market is an inexhaustible source of ideas and trend-setter both in shop windows and in the direction of pop-ups. I always wanted to be creative with them, and thoughts, as you know, are material.
Before starting to work with the CDG collections, I carefully studied the presentation style of the Comme Des Garçons brand and the sophisticated collections of Rei Kawakubo. The basis of all our VM concepts for Moscow Air is minimalistic, eccentric merchandising, and the same organization of the retail space with constantly changing collection zones.
Rei Kawakubo's store concept is a living, “breathing and sizzling” space, which is what we also strive for. In fact, the bulk of the merchandising work is done on site, the VM concept is created on the fly.
The key idea of the pop-up, the brand / brands that will be presented in it, the art object or art concept are agreed in advance. But the element of spontaneity is always present, and it sometimes becomes decisive in the presentation. Our team has been creating pop-up stores for Moscow Air for three years, usually for calendar events, in order to stir up buyers' interest in certain collections and encourage people to buy.
I personally work with collections and space and get great pleasure from work, art objects for three pop-ups were created for us by a young, brutal designer Daria Danilova (a typical representative of Z with her non-standard vision and lack of boundaries in creativity). She works with industrial materials, and she has a crazy art installation of neon pipes, hoses and harnesses, with which we presented the Comme Des Garçons Noir Kei Ninomiya collection of sheer tulle and silk evening dresses.
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