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Nick Berry (80s pop star) once sang that “every loser wins” how right he was at this year’s inaugural retail awards. I was disapointed to hear that Edgars has won the best male and female clothing store awards as voted by 1000 Gautengers. Guys, guys, guys you need to get out more. There is a whole world of retail delights out there and you choose Edgars!!! My experience of Edgars is of lack lustre staff too busy chatting to help people out, almost non-existent design and boring brands. The name is also so dreadful I think of some little Victorian dude with a dicky-bow. Maybe it’s just Cape Town Edgars that suck then? These guys also voted Menlyn the best shopping centre. Now Menlyn i’ve been to. But I don’t get it. Nothing wrong with the place but it’s the most average of malls in Pretoria. All I can say is i’m very very disapointed in you all and want you to really think about what you’ve done. Final thought on this: Germany actually voted Hitler into power (so that tells you something about the wisdom of the masses).
Considering changing rooms are where purchase decisions are made its amazing how little thought is put into them by some retailers. It’s the one space in the store which is personal and private – where you’re at your most fragile potentially. And yet changing room design often feels like an afterthought. Harsh lighting, curtains that don’t quite shut properly and walls that feel like one push and they’ll fall over are sadly pretty standard.
These are some of the more interesting ones out there (i’ll be collecting some SA ones over the next week or two – be scared Edgars…)
Fat Face (UK outdoor/sports shop):
Dover Street Market:
I don’t know you wait around for a pop-up store for ages and then three come along at once. In a slightly different spin on the whole thing Virgin Mobile have customised a shipping container and turned it into a temporary store (like a spaza store for hipsters). They’re keeping the whole thing pretty under the radar, which I assume is deliberate, so its become almost a bit like an urban legend. I mentioned it to a couple of people in Joburg and most of them had heard of it so it has generated word of mouth buzz amongst the fashion set at least.
(pic blatantly stolen from here)
I got an email from Love Jozi this morning who are selling a limited edition t-shirt at it. Worth going for that reason alone then (you can see where it is below).
For more on the pop-up store thing you can visit:
Robyn’s article on iafrica The Pop-up Store Concept
And for an international take visit Pop-Up Retail on Trendwatching.com
A word of warning I think this trend has a limited shelflife unless you’re going to do something different with it … Maybe something along the lines of Banksys Pet Shop and Charcoal Grill pop-up in New York for example (check the nuggets).
So i’m back from Joburg and the Baileys Trunk Show. An interesting experience that involved setting up and running from scratch a pop-up store in a gallery space tucked away in Craighall. Baileys is a client of Atmosphere (where I work) and the idea behind it was to create a brand building event but one that offered a genuinely interesting and different experience (rather than just handing out free drinks at some bar for example). I still think the pop-up store is pretty new to South Africa, and maybe its a bit difficult to get for some (this being a mall obsessed culture). But the designers took around R30,000 (from about 150 visitors) in total over the day so I think this shows its useful for designers (assuming they have a brand paying for the set-up and publicity that is). Here are some of the pics from the event:
This is Irvan from Carbon De Afreeque talking to the crew from African Couture. Certainly their bags were one of the most popular items at the event. The concept behind their company is that they make bags and other objects (lamps and furniture for example).
The blues bloggers (that’s me in the “shop local” t-shirt) and angie from ifashion (who actually is an editor not a blogger but it sounds good).
All of the designers had spaces made from vintage wardrobes and trunks. The whole thing was beautifully styled by Chrisna de Bruyn and her team to mix the contermporary design and gallery setting with vintage pieces inspired by the original era of trunk shows. If you want Chrisna’s details please email (email@example.com) as she did an amazing job. The pic above is the space made for Maya Prass.
And this was the area used for Abigail Betz who has just moved from Parys to Joburg where she’s opening a boutique. I’m obssesed with the big gilt mirror next time i have R10,000 spare (2018 maybe) i’m so getting one.
The Baileys Trunk Show is an event I’m currently helping to put together. The idea in a nut shell is a pop-up fashion store but to create an atmosphere more like a gallery or art installation. It will take place for one day only at Art Extra in Joburg next month (see below for how to attend spaces are limited so register early if you want to come along). I’ll be doing a few more posts on this as we get closer but for now i’ll also add that visually we’ll be exploring the theme of the original trunk shows (which the pop-up store trend is a modern version of). Join the Baileys Trunk Show facebook group for more info.
This is the press information:
Baileys, the world’s no 1 selling cream liqueur, has collaborated with some of South Africa’s most talented emerging fashion designers to create the Baileys Trunk Show, a temporary exhibition and retail space. The event provides an exclusive opportunity for the public to talk to designers about their work and purchase selected items from their newly launched 2009 summer collections.
The first Baileys Trunk Show will take place on the 11th of October at the Art Extra gallery in Craighall Park where the designers work will be exhibited in a uniquely crafted pop-up store, a new trend in South Africa of highly stylized and temporary retail spaces. A Baileys bar will also provide a suitably stylish accompaniment.
Designers taking part in the inaugural Baileys Trunk Show in Johannesburg include: Maya Prass, Fundudzi, Thula Sindi, Stiaan Louw, Mzansi Designers, and Abigail Betz. They will also be joined by innovative eco-fashion label, Carbon de Afreeque, which utilises recycled materials, such as advertising billboards made from PVC, to create high fashion products such as clutches, totes, laptop holders to wine coolers. They have also extended their offering to eco-furniture pieces from ottomans to a chaise longue all upholstered in PVC billboard material.
All of the designers represent the best in internationally competitive South African fashion design with many of them showing work overseas. Most of the designers will be presenting work fresh from the catwalks of South Africa’s various fashion weeks (held in July and August) and this will be one of the first opportunities for the public to buy their new collections.
Baileys National Brand Manager, Lauren Jones, says, “The Baileys Trunk Show is an innovative new way to connect with our style conscious consumers whilst at the same time championing independent South African fashion. The designers we have collaborated with to create the first event each have a uniquely creative approach to producing design excellence and were chosen to match the style originality and premium quality of the Baileys brand.”
The Baileys Trunk Show is free to attend, however in order to retain an intimate environment space is strictly limited and those wishing to attend should register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (in the event of over subscription those that responded first will be registered as a priority). Further information on the event and designers collections will be sent via email after registration.
Have been meaning to do a post on Tiltt for a while, but the Frock Report beat me to it. They have a great online store where you can get your hands on the likes of Cre8tive Recreation, String Republic and Paez and also distribute to a number of SA’s hipper boutiques. I’m particularly interested in Paez, which is imported from Buenos Aires (maybe its just because i’m planning a trip there in a couple of months). We’re starting to see a few online fashion businesses springing up to cater for the more styleleader end of the market now… interesting.
I popped into Portfolio this morning to talk to Hidaayah (the owner) about some of the young designers she’s bringing along to the Baileys Fashion Weekend. One of the designers participating is Cape based Lara Klawikowski who makes the eye catching futurist bags in the photo above. It’s not just me that spotted them as two snappily dressed young ladies made a b-line for them just after I came in. Lara is still a student (or just graduated?) and recently won the Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award back in May (see below). Keep an eye on this lady.
Ok, i’m in two minds on how to approach writing about Springleap. On one hand I’m really excited that someone has launched a website like this for South Africa. On the other it is basically Threadless for locals – and i’m a bit bored of carbon copies of international web business ideas. Also, and correct me if i’m wrong here, but a R2 royalty doesn’t sound like alot for the designer if the t-shirt costs R183?
The concept is that graphic artists etc submit T-shirt designs and the most popular ones get made and sold. As a business they could be onto a winner as Threadless is ridiculously popular on a global scale.I’m going to put my cynicism aside and come down on the side that this is a good thing as what really matters is the designs are local (and mostly rather good) and the site is slickly put together. They also don’t hide that Threadless was the inspiration (see release below) so that’s kind of fair enough.
What i’ll be interested in seeing is if it develops along its own creative path or just stays content to shadow Threadless.
This is their press release:
Design meets online
Launched on 20 February 2008, Springleap is SA’s newest addition to groundbreaking Internet companies taking the online community by storm. Loosely categorized as a social media come online retail outlet, Springleap invites visitors to the site to submit their T-shirt designs and win if their design is voted for by the burgeoning Springleap community.
Proudly Mzansi, Springleap aims to uplift and empower South Africans from the ground up. “We offer artists, designers and people with something to say the opportunity to be publicly showcased. Call us a gallery without walls if you like, but what better way to get known than to have your designs emblazoned on a t-shirt?” says Eran Eyal.
Once you’ve joined the Springleap community, you can create your own profile; upload, vote and list your favourite designs; comment and respond to what others are saying about the latest entries or celebrity duals and update your status – similar to Twitter and Facebook.
Each month a winner is chosen based on the highest average community rated score for a design. The winner, plus 19 runners up, will see his/her design printed on high quality slim cut t-shirts that can be ordered via Springleap.com or bought at one of Springleap’s exclusive partners eSquared in Durban and Cape Town or at Big Blue in Rosebank, Irene and Kalkbay for the first 30 days. Thereafter the t-shirts will be available via local resellers who, once approved, will be able to log into Springleap.com and order the desired number of t-shirts they require based on the demand from their target market.
Says Eric Edelstein: “For us empowering designers is fundamental to Springleap’s ongoing success. For each t-shirt we print the winning designer will receive a R2 royalty and the runners-up a R1 royalty. This also applies to all reprints of t-shirts which, depending on fan demand, could earn designers some unexpected yet deserved income. Having your art showcased in a public domain and getting paid for it to boot, is what is so exciting about this venture.”
With some sought after prizes and unavoidable fame up for grabs, Springleap really is going all out to showcase its winners. With each Springleap t-shirt you buy you receive a postcard featuring the design plus the designer’s bio, a bookmark showcasing all the other designs of the month – in case you decide to buy another T-shirt for your collection – and your t-shirt, featuring the designer’s name on the back. And if you’re truly a fan, you will most likely want to order a limited edition poster featuring your favourite winning design.
T-shirts will cost R183 inc. VAT and courier costs. Anyone can submit a design or join the community and best of all, it’s free!
Mungo & Jemima is a new(ish) boutique on Long Street, Cape Town championing local designers such as Coppelia, Good Clothing, Brut Sauvage, Miyabi, Holiday, Superella, Two, and Paige Smith. They also have Jewellery by Skermunkil, Blackbird, Tanya Wheeler and Peter Eastman and accessories by Missibaba and Twostars. I caught up with Marian, one of the two partners behind the store:
Sass: What inspired Mungo & Jemima?
M&J: The idea was for us to open a store that could be a showcase for our own clothing labels, Coppelia and Good Clothing, and other carefully selected South African designers. We wanted to create a space not previously offered on Long street: somewhere open and spacious where each designer has scope to be fully appreciated.
Sass: What were you doing before it existed?
M&J: Kirsty Bannerman had previously opened MeMeMe, a clothing boutique in Long Street and has been designing her label, Coppelia for 8 years. Marian Park-Ross had been designing Good Clothing for 6 months while phasing out her stills photographic production career.
Sass: What kind of customer is the store aimed at?
M&J: The modern South African woman who is looking for an alternative to the mass produced looks of the season; a discerning shopper.
Sass: What are you looking for in the designers you work with?
M&J: Quality and the small details that make something special.
Sass: If you had to pick an essential item to get for winter in Cape Town what would it be?
M&J: One of our warm winter coats and TwoStars leather boots.
If you’re in Cape Town the store is having a launch party/night shopping evening this Thursday (26th June). Find out more at their Facebook page.