New York Fashion Week: Pop-Up Retail Moments

Labor Day is a day that marks the end of summer in Manhattan and the start of New York Fashion Week (NYFW). The Big Apple was filled with celebrities, retailers, models, and designers pouring into the Big Apple for a week full of events, runway shows, parties, and pop-ups.

NYC’s YSL Beauty Hotel opened

Few fashion names are as well-known as Yves Saint Laurent. Even though Fashion Week is over, we are not here to discuss the legendary designer’s clothing line.

YSL Beauty held an immersive and eye-catching pop-up in a SoHo house – an experience that would have been suited for rock stars. It was similar to the Paris pop-up that was launched in January. The pop-up was dimly lit, glamorous and had an exclusive feel. Although the event was open to all, tickets were required for entry. Guests entered via velvet rope and were accompanied by models in white wigs and an imposing bouncer.

The concierge at the hotel gave us a pamphlet with tips and instructions for taking lots of photos for social sharing. She also pointed us up to the top tier of experiences.

In order to promote their Rouge Pur Couture Slim Matte Lipsticks, hosts led guests down a red path over water to get to the runway. The hosts also captured the walk on video for an Instagram post. The air was sprayed with the new Black Opium fragrance, and a photographer snapped guests rocking out on an “opium bed” in a hotel.

The best part of the experience was the rooftop shop and terrace on the top floor. Here, guests could try the latest products via augmented reality and see which color would look great with our pouts. We could also get our orders engraved for free. You can find out more at

This pop-up experience was unforgettable. Although it was not entirely new, it was a repeat of YSL’s Paris event. The immersive experience was thrilling and reminded us that pop-ups can travel well – with lots of press.

Rebecca Minkoff spoke out for women

Pop-ups do not always need to be located in new or unusual spaces. Rebecca Minkoff is a good example. Her feminist line “I Am Many” was launched during Fashion Week in an event at her permanent space on Greene Street, SoHo.

Although technically not a pop up, the launch event was immersive and temporary retail experience that incorporated key characteristics of pop-ups.

The store was modern, bright and clean with branded bags on shelves and tables. Models encouraged customers to take photos with the products and share them on social media. One wall was covered with positive, encouraging mantras that centered on the theme “I Am Many”, which emphasized women’s multidimensionality and dynamic nature. They are not limited by any one characteristic.

Videos played on loop allowed a variety of powerful women to talk about their beliefs and who they were. The entire collection was launched on the designer’s homepage on the same day as this event.

This idea elevates pop-up for charity to new heights. Rebecca has donated all proceeds to women’s charities.

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Denim Day was launched

Denim products are legendary. They even have their own festival at September’s end. TENCEL a textile company that is eco-friendly, hosted a mini Denim Days intro at New York Waterways as a prelude.

It was well-located. People traveling between New Jersey, Weehawken and NYC could easily stop by at this convenient location. This pop-up was inspired by the new theme of Fashion Week expanding beyond Manhattan. NYFW explores broader territory, from across the Hudson in New Jersey and over the East River at Brooklyn.

Everything was made from or about denim. Jimmy Choo shoes, Paulita Carlotta jackets, as well as a variety of bags, pillows and headphones that match the denim, are all on display.

I was pumped up by the pop-up for Denim Days. The pop-up didn’t let you know that the event was near. The festival was not announced. This was a missed opportunity to maximize the potential of this pop-up.

Arche celebrates 50 years

Arche, a retailer known for their vibrant shoes, celebrated 50 years of business. The French company hosted a pop-up shop, ARCHE68, to celebrate this milestone just in time for NYFW.

Their pop-up was used by the brand to launch a new collection of white shoes, their first ever color-less collection. The store’s downtown location on Greene Street featured colorful signs that contrasted the light inventory, which was overwhelming. The product was not colored, but the store was adorned with colorful signs. This was a way to reflect the bold spirit of 1968, when the brand was founded.

The attendant explained that the pop-up was meant to be a tribute the French Revolution. The connection seemed a bit tenuous at first glance, but the attendant made it clearer by explaining verbally. This effort could have been helped by clearer signage. Information cards for guests could have clearly explained the purpose of the installation.

The pop-up offered some great services, regardless of whether it was French revolutionary. Two types of shoes were available for guests to design, and they could personalize the look by using different color swatches on a computer.

The pop-up was solid overall and served as a platform to introduce the brand’s new products.

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Clear Eyes saw connections

Accessories, makeup, clothing, and now eye drops. Clear Eyes launched a campaign called “My Shining Moment” to tie in to NYFW’s timeliness. The pop-up was called “My Shining Moment” and featured a range of eye drops. also partnered with The Nolcha Shows to host a runway show for emerging designers. In a separate partnership, Dress for Success paid for some lucky women to attend NYFW.

Clear Eyes’ immersive, interactive pop-up experience was available to the public. The brand hosted Bridges Aderhold, a renowned photographer who displayed his stunning work and took photos of guests’ eyes in a chic space near Madison Square Park. A wall of Post-it Notes was available for guests to share their “shining moments” and there were plenty of opportunities to instantly post your “eye portrait” on social networks.

Although there was no direct connection to Fashion Week in the pop up, the campaign was beautiful and eye-catching and helped to draw people into town for the shows. It also gave them an unforgettable and thoughtful experience. Isn’t this the ultimate goal of pop ups?