13 Pop-Up Stores You Need To Check Out This Holiday Season
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Pop-up stores have gained considerable traction as of late, as more under-the-radar brands and celebrities have used them to hawk exclusive goods.
Not only do these temporary shops allow brands to test the waters before opening a more permanent location, but they also provide the immediate gratification and creative experiences Millennials and Gen Z-ers want.
Some of the more creative companies have used it as a marketing machine, having customers pay for goods with “social currency”: Facebook posts, Snapchat and Instagram. Others have partnered with social media stars to spread the word.
It's a retail innovation that definitely needs to be paid attention to, especially in a retail epicenter like NYC. And with the holidays officially underway, here are 11 creative pop-ups you should check out before they disappear like Mel Gibson's acting career.
Open: Until Dec. 31
Location: 501 Lexington Ave
Have you ever thought to yourself, "you know, I could really go for some quality Peruvian goods?" Maybe not, but El Mercado's new pop-up can scratch that itch you didn't know you had, with 100% alpaca-wool men’s sweaters and cedar serving trays with handwoven textiles.
The company, created by NY-based Peruvian designers Michelle Peglau and Andrea Bocchio, is supported by the Trade Commission of Peru in NY.
Aime Leon Dore
Open: Until Dec. 23
Location: 179 Mott St
The pop-up for designer Teddy Santis' apparel and accessories brand had a rocky start after Donald Trump's surprising election victory, but has picked up with its collection of apparel featuring 35mm pictures of nostalgic items (a faded Wilson basketball, a pair of Jordan 1's) from Santis' friend Andrew Jacobs. Customers can also buy Aime Leon Dore-branded footwear, pens, pencils, lighters and exclusive apparel, some from the brand's fall collection.
Open: 11am to 7pm, Mondays through Saturdays, noon to 5pm, Sundays until Dec. 31
Location: 371 Bleecker St
French crystal designer, manufacturer and retailer Baccarat has been defining luxury since it founded in 1764, so the idea that it'd build a rinky-dink 480 SF pop-up seems out of the ordinary, even considering it's in the heart of SoHo. Regardless, the space will have home décor, lighting, accessories and other pieces on display and available for purchase.
Open: Until Jan. 11
Location: 134 Wooster St
Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel's handbag company annually sets up a lavish space during Fashion Week, but now they're trying to bring that glamour to the holidays. The interiors are pink, with color-coded products lining the walls and a center table with postcards, posters and a make-your-own-flower-bouquet station.
Open: 10am to 9pm until Dec. 24
Location: Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St
The online luxury market place's first brick-and-mortar experience, called the "Gift Box," will sit in a 6-foot-by-6-foot space on the second floor of Brookfield Place (pictured) and offer designs from Roland Mouret, Perrin Paris, Temperley London, Rebecca Minkoff and more. It also has dressing rooms and iPads for further online browsing.
Oh, there's also the chance that you can win every item inside for free, if you're into that sort of thing.
Plukka Artoiz Boutique
Open: 10am to 7pm, Mondays through Saturdays through December
Location: 16 East 60th St
The two Asian jewelry stores have partnered to create a Clover Plus-designed space that allows customers to look and try on pieces from various designers, several of whom will be visiting the store for Meet the Designer events.
Open: Dec. 1 to Dec. 15, 11am to 8pm on Mondays through Fridays; 10am to 9pm on Saturdays and Sundays
Location: 79 Green St
The luxury resale site will have men and women's clothing from various luxury brands—Chanel, Hermès, Cartier, Proenza Schouler, Cèline and more—as well as jewelry, fine art, and home furnishings.
And if the term "resale" rubs you the wrong way, TheRealReal has hired gemologists and art curators to guarantee the items are authentic. The store will also have complimentary coffee and tea from hip Lower East Side coffee house Cafe Henrie.
Open: Daily, between 11am and 9pm, until the end of February
Location: 134 Prince St
If you've ever wanted to know what $55k headphones sound like, head over to Sennheiser’s new pop-up. With a simple setup—2,150 SF of consumer products on the left, 540 SF of business tech on the right—you can easily find what you're looking for, such as the aforementioned, ludicrously expensive HE-1s, advertised as "the absolute pinnacle of headphone technology," which can even come with gold accents (because why not).
Trying on the HE-1 requires half-hour appointments that need to be set with staff, who will lead you to a acoustically sealed room at the back of the store called the Sound Temple for the unadulterated listening experience.
Open: 4 to 10pm on Mondays through Fridays, and 6am to noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
Location: 5 East 59th St, the former home of restaurant and café Bottega del Vino
The most popular name on this list, Snapchat opened a pop-up across from the Midtown Apple Store with only an ominous, unblinking, Orwellian eye and the word Spectacles on display.
The space inside is bare, with exposed ceilings and smartphone-shaped screens on the walls, leading customers to a single vending machine where they can pick from three colors of the company's new $130 video-recording sunglasses, which record 10-second videos and wirelessly post them online.
With limited quantities and huge novelty appeal, lines have been around the block, taking one writer more than six hours to acquire a pair. Those who do have tried to hawk the glasses for hundreds, if not thousands, more than they paid.
The Swedish Tobacconist
Open: Tuesdays through Sundays until the end of December
Location: 560 Grand St, Williamsburg
Snus (tobacco placed in the upper lip) isn't exactly a popular gift these days, but the Swedish brand General Snus has been selling $5 cans of mint and wintergreen snus for 150 years and is showing no signs of slowing down. And with its minimalist design and pop art, it definitely fits into Williamsburg's hipster culture. Maybe we'll see people bragging they tried upper-lip tobacco before it was cool.
Location: 501 Lexington Ave
We think the words "make-your-own chocolate shop" should be good enough to visit Voila's pop-up at the Roger Smith Hotel. Featuring the full line of Voila's artisanal chocolate products in more than 20 flavors, you can pick up hand-truffles, hot chocolate, gift baskets and "holiday-themed 3D sculptures." The store's designed for easy-in, easy-out purchases if you only have a few minutes to spare, and employees can take custom orders and book corporate parties.
Open: 11AM to 7PM Mondays through Saturdays, 12PM to 6PM on Sundays, until Jan. 7
Location: Waldorf Astoria, 301 Park Avenue
Also at the Waldorf Astoria will be luxury designer Jimmy Choo. Patrons can purchase the “Unforgettable Experience Package Featuring Jimmy Choo” which includes a two-night stay at the hotel, a bottom of champagne, a full American breakfast in Peacock Alley or Bull & Bear, an advance reservation for La Chine or Sir Harry’s Champagne Bar, a $100 AMEX Gift Card, an private in-store shopping trip for up to 10 people and a private appointment with a Jimmy Choo sales associates to select the color, fabrication and monograming of a bag or shoes. The experience has a hefty price tag ($2,500 plus tax and service charges), but if you’re staying in the Waldorf Astoria, price is clearly not an issue for you.
Open: 11AM to 7PM on Tuesdays through Fridays and 12PM to 4PM on Sundays and Saturdays, through Dec. 24
Location: Waldorf Astoria, 301 Park Avenue
France’s leading porcelain manufacturer has partnered with the Waldorf Astoria to set up a pop-up shop in the hotel’s experience lounge. Several collections, including the Waldorf Astoria’s La Chine set and a Patricia Spencer Design inspired by the restaurant’s wallpaper and ironwork, will be on display. Those who purchase the exclusive La Chine set will get 10% off at afternoon tea at its namesake.