Small, secretive and splendidly exclusive, Pop-Up Stores arrive and exit in a discreet whirlwind, leaving only the memory of itself to the people that were in the know and tracked it down. But as TellusFashion knows too well, times are a’changing – Boxpark is the name and shopping is the game.
Boxpark is the brain child of Roger Wade, founder of clothing brand Boxfresh, and is priding itself on being the first ever ‘Pop-Up mall’ – “a retail revolution”. Being strategically placed in kooky Shoreditch, the mall will be using the underground youth culture audience that the Boxfresh brand attracts, as inspiration. It will be a retail showcase for small and underground brands and has made it its mission to challenge the uniformity of the UK High Street and give a potential retail lifeline to cash strapped fashion labels. Something that all of us can empathise with.
“Not some run-of-the-mall shopping centre. It’s a living, fertile community packed with talent, innovation and attitude that puts creativity and fashion back where they belong: on the street” is the welcoming statement in the venture’s brochure. Boxpark aims to blend into the space it will be occupying, avoiding being intrusive or invasive. Wherever it pops up it will bring creativity and breathe new life into the area, an additional but welcome outcome for all involved.
But why Shoreditch? Once home to the textile industry, Shoreditch was at the heart of the creative industry and today still breeds radical ideas. Plus, it is undeniably cool, as standard. For the ambience Boxpark wants to create and due to its aim as an innovative and creative venture in shopping centre and experience, it is exactly where it needs to be for its debut.
Despite being self branded as a Pop-Up venture, Boxpark plans to be open for at least five years. It will, however, retain the stripped down profile of original Guerrilla stores – using shipping containers, or ‘boxes’, as sale spaces for an estimated 50 fashion, art and lifestyle brands. Sticking to the ‘here one minute, gone the next’ theme, each brand will only be able to occupy a space for a year, making everything more exclusive.
But please, do not just presume this will be another fad shopping centre (cough, Westfields, cough); “Boxpark isn’t just where you shop. It’s an inspiring and enjoyable place to drop in and hang out. What a real brand experience should be all about,” is a comment that encapsulates everything the mall wants to be about. This of course will attract the cool crowd, knowledgeable in fashion, that is non-confromist and has edge, but at the same time drawing in a new audience due to the brand turn-over that will occur. Not only is it catering to the obvious audience, but introducing these brands to people in a space that challenges the norm.
Due to open in August of this year, TellusFashion can predict that this will be groundbreaking – you couldn’t box this stuff up.