In a bid to close the ‘catwalk-to-commerce’ gap (the lag between the show and the product becoming available in store), Prada hosted a weeklong pre-order installation earlier this month at its SoHo flagship in New York.
Dubbed PradaVision, the space gave customers the chance to buy items from the A/W 16/17 collection months before they are distributed globally. Dominating the centre of the double-height store, both men’s and women’s pieces were showcased on a small army of mannequins, creating an exhibition-like environment.
Consumers could pre-order items directly from the mannequins, but only in person – deliberately giving staff the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to personal service, and building excitement for the full autumn release. All pieces are delivered four to six weeks after ordering, while the least popular items will be dropped from full production (see Beta Brandscapes for more on experimental, rapid-reaction retail).
Boosting the connection to the show itself, the display – designed in collaboration with NY studio 2x4 – was surrounded by 50 monitors showing catwalk footage. Additionally, illustrations by Berlin-based artist Christophe Chemin, who designed the prints used in the collection, lined the walls.
Similarly conscious of creating a cohesive visual link between show and store space, in April 2016, Chanel created a concept pop-up shop in Singapore rooted in its S/S 16 airline-themed collection. The store focused on accessories, which were displayed on conveyor belts and mannequins dressed as flight attendants.
See also A/W 16/17 Catwalk Communications: Digital Innovations and Catwalk to Closet, part of our Anywhere Retailing Industry Trend.