Success Stories

Popping Up Together Is Key For This Independent London-based Designer

Written by Arielle Crane

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A collaboration of independent British designers is on high-display at this pop-up concept store, Collective +, by designers Stacy Chan and Fariba Soltani. The store, located on Sloan Square on the King’s Road, is creatively organized and focused on “brand adjacencies”’ where different brands are mixed together to highlight each other. A win-win situation for both the customers who can engage with these different brands in the same store, and for the brands and designers who benefit from the discovery aspect this concept allows.

An independent designer herself, Stacy Chan thought this type of pop-up curation would resonate with young, burgeoning brands looking to break through the market. Here she shares her tips to designing this space and explains why customers are digging the concept, too!

Collective+ © 2018 Storefront

  • The proof is in the concept.

“Collective + is the idea of a group of designers sharing our own stories and how we run our businesses,” says Stacy Chan, who started her own luxury handbag line Stacy Chan London, in 2013. Chan created Collective + with Soltani because they wanted control over the store design and the brands they would be featured alongside. “I wanted to own the concept of how we could represent all our brands in a better light,” Chan adds.

The result is a pop-up space that stands out because it features a mix of everything; it’s very boutique looking, with bags featured next to items like scarves and shoes, all with similar color palettes to attract the shopper’s eye. She takes pride in this design aesthetic that fits all these brands and pieces together in a tasteful way.

Her favorite part? “When a customer comes in and buys from multiple brands in the store, it is really rewarding…”

Collective+ © 2018 Storefront

  • Why popping up with other designers is key.

Instead of opening up an exclusive pop-up store with just her brand, Chan instead chose to pop-up on the expensive Kings Road and split the costly rent with the other designers. This way, she could be in the area she wanted to be in while still being financially responsible.

“We also learn a lot from the other brands,” Chan adds, stating that she loves the camaraderie of being amongst other designers in this shared space so they can give each other tips and even share key contacts.

What she loves: I’m always happy to work with young new designers… We all need to help each other out!”

Collective+ © 2018 Storefront

  • Why pop-up duration matters.

Chan believes that 6-8 weeks is the sweet spot to rent a space and make an impact, especially when considering the build-out phase. “We build our own furniture and wanted it to have a special feel and look,” plus a week rental isn’t worth it when considering the initial work you put into it. For young brands and designers, they also benefit from more time in a space so that new consumers can stop in, think about it, and then come back to purchase. “People don’t always decide right on the spot…sometimes they need more time to think about you!” Chan notes.

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About the author

Arielle Crane

Arielle is the Communications Manager at Storefront. Beyond offering up insights on the future of retail and pop-up shops, she also loves to write, travel and watch documentaries. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.