Pop Up Shops are retail shops that operate on a temporary basis. They seem to “Pop Up” out of nowhere and disappear just as suddenly when the optimal selling season is over. This also creates a “limited time only” appeal to what is being sold. The concept of a Pop Up Shop is not unknown in America, but we rarely see it in action. We mostly encounter Pop Up Stores when it comes to Halloween costume shops. But in Harajuku, the Pop Up Shop concept is thriving. Everyone from the well-established fashion designer to the fresh fashion design student has a piece of this action.
Musashino Fashion School is one of the most prestigious Fashion schools in Japan. Every year they rent a space in Harajuku and allow their fashion students to sell their clothing in a real store setting. The name of Musashino’s shop every year is “Incubate” and it usually only stays open for a month or two every summer.
“The idea behind the Incubate popup shop is to allow Musashino Fashion College students to get real-life experience in setting up a store, dealing with customers, getting feedback from shoppers, etc. For fashion students, we can hardly imagine a better way to get your feet wet than running a real shop in Harajuku – one of the coolest fashion neighborhoods on the planet.”
And “Unlike most other retail shops, there are designers (students) with a wide variety different aesthetics. You might see a Fairy Kei skirt next to a Gothic Lolita dress hanging on a rack with a Gyaru-o t-shirt. These are students, after all, and each has his or her own style.
What the Incubate designers have in common is they are all part of the next generation of Japanese fashion. So if you want to know what’s next before everyone else, check out the Incubate popup shop before it closes!”
~ Stacey S.
Nicola Formichetti is a Japanse/Italian fashion designer has recently been called “most influential creative forces working in fashion today.” He is also a current and prominent member of the Haus of Gaga and is one of Lady Gaga’s personal Fashion Directors and stylists for many of her music videos as well as her sold-out The Monster Ball Tour.
In addition to Lady Gaga, Formichetti has worked closely with popular Harajuku models Hirari Ikeda and Juria Nakagawa.
In addition to being a stylist to the stars he has been working with his brother Andre to create the brand Nicopanda. Nicopanda had recently graced the streets of Harajuku in the spring of 2011 as a “Popup Shop”, and stayed in Harajuku until the summer of 2012. (See my next post about Popup Shops for more info)
The store features unique street fashion clothes and accessories for the youth culture of Harajuku, most of which feature a mohawked panda, which is the Nicopanda logo. But the store most notably featured a dress made up of Hello Kitty and Nicopanda plush dolls.
“Besides the items for sale, the NICOPANDA popup shop also features a ‘Future Fashion’ art exhibition with original paintings by Nicola Formichetti along with a series of stylized photographs.”
Nicola is currently in the middle of his next big project, and I personally cannot wait so see what he comes up with.
~ Stacey S.
Hair in Japan is big business, and a great deal of money goes into promoting hair care products.
I never saw anything quite like this in person, but apparently it was effective marketing.