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.