Monday, August 1, 2011

Pop-up Lab

Pop-up seems to have taken a new turn. Or have come back to its guerilla roots perhaps? At least my short-term memory tells me about all the (big) brands that have taken advantage of pop-up to create some buzz for their brands. See the Nivea pop-up now already running for 5 years in Milan etcetc. Also some elitist brands like Prada (foundation) hijacked pop-up and turned into artist elitist  shops in the middle of nowhere or starchitect designed circulating pavilions. But here's the new Pop-up, a testing lab for young entrepreneurs or maybe just even people that want to test if their hobby and passion holds up for real business. What also characterizes these young entrepreneurs; they generate interest and promote their business using Facebook . It's for free, and much less difficult than creating a real website. In their shops you find a special mix of niche-brands of all sorts, music, fashion, art, interior alike. It's almost as if this is a personal fingerprint of their own taste. They create these ideas and places because they feel that something is missing, what they like is not there, they respond by making it available.

Wood-Wood pop-up store in Voorstraat, Utrecht
The two girls; Klijs and Boon have kick-started their Nordic fashion-shop with a summer trial-sales of the brand WoodWood. The theme of this temporary summer shop is Cardboard, and it's all over. Firstly it makes it look like the shop is there just for a moment, and that's also what it says on the posters and flyers. It gives the shop that temporary, ephemeral character of just-here-right-now, gone-in-a-sec. It also makes it look as if we had just walked into a factory sale, goods have just been delivered, straight out of the boxes, prices must be affordable a bit like a solde-de-presse in Paris. Lastly it's of course a cheap way of making a creative interior design. And praise to the girls here, it is very creative, just take a look at these pictures.

By the way the shop will not end in August as they say it will continue, they will expand the brands they carry; Acne and Henrik Vibskov will be part of the collection. They will be different from the rest of Utrecht fashion retail by having a younger target (by comparison Zolamanola is somewhat older) the brands and collections will reflect a Nordic lifestyle, and there will be an edge of androgyny to it. Or Boyfriendslook. Or Tomboys, as they aim at making the same stuff available for both girls and boys.

open for just one month, the two people who run the initiative took holidays or gave themselves evening-shifts for one month in order to be able to run it. They managed to run 4 different shows during that period, each with an opening on friday night of an artist duo, of course with a grand opening party with music and drinks. The music / DJ offers his mix on Mixtapes @ In Bedford art, music and fashion comes together in a curated match. Besides from the art-duo-exhibition there is also a store that offers furniture, books, t-shirts and edgy fashion. Bedford perfectly illustrates the idea of creative entrepreneurship. It curates the space to a personal idea of what is their extraordinary menu, everything offered is creative, edgy and off the beaten path, but's still pop and comprehensible enough to be just cool, you would instantly want to wear that or house that in your living-room to be cool too.

Cupboards by Jifke Heijster

Hannekes boom
suddenly one day it was there, it looks like it has been constructed in an overnight hurry. Just as you would raise an illegal construction on an abandoned lot. But Hannekes Boom is not in a random place it occupies a corner of the Eastern harbor of Amsterdam where boats have been harboring since 1662.  it might look temporary, but it's there to stay, for at least five years I have been told.
The building and all the interior has been constructed using salvaged material, urban debris. Though some of it looks more like it came from the beach. It's all very slammed together and a patchwork of what almost seems random materials. The bar-chairs are 3 beer-crates held together with a roadstrap, and raw treetrunks seem to be carrying the roof. There are rough edges a plenty here, artistic graffiti illustrations decorating the toilet-doors, and Hannekes praises itself to be the new cultural hotspot. On the website Hannekes talks a lot about the history of the place as well as the authentic food. Last I must say was a bit of a disappointment.

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