Two UK department stores have recently launched pop-ups that seek to push beyond promoting products or even the brands behind the spaces. Instead, they’re making grander social statements – reframing the purpose of transient brand spaces in the process.
- Selfridges Rallies Around Religious Inclusivity: Selfridges has collaborated with US filmmaker and artist Miranda July and London arts organisation Artangel on an interfaith charity pop-up that comments on the need for inclusivity, integration and borderless support. It unites four faith-based London charity shops: Islamic Relief, Norwood Jewish Charity Shop, London Buddhist Centre Charity Shop, and Spitalfields Crypt Trust Charity Shop (a Christian organisation).
The space resembles a standard charity shop, with plain white walls and jumble-sale-style merchandising. The store sells a mismatch of high street and designer clothes – all retailing at charity-shop prices. Committed to authenticity, the sales associates also come from the four original charity shops. It runs until October 22.
- Harvey Nichols Celebrates ‘Hybrid’ Japan: Harvey Nichols has partnered with Japanese fashion brand Beams on a pop-up at its London flagship, conceived to give Londoners a flavour of Japan’s famously hybridised (ancient-meets-ultra contemporary) culture. Called Tokyojin and based on a “current and real-life perspective on Japan”, it offers a six-week series of live music events and Japanese art workshops. There’s also a Japanese-inspired café serving food and whisky cocktails, plus a handful of Beams-curated Japanese fashion labels in addition to its in-house brands. It runs until October 17.
For more on such concepts, see Retail’s Activist Brands, Next-Level Department Store Strategies and Pop-Ups Evolve: Cultural Collisions.