In major cities throughout the United States, Australia, the UK and Canada, “pop-up” stores continue to thrive. While the concept originated in the 90s, it has grown exponentially in the last five years as a form of shopping.
A pop-up shop is a store that is open for a short period of time in a temporary venue: they can be housed inside of an already existing storefront, inside an unused space, a kiosk or even in a motorized vehicle.
Generally, pop-ups are used in the fashion world to launch promising new designers to unconventional markets, which makes them unique and cool, something that speaks to the hearts of fashion lover. They have also proven to be suitable to start virtually any type of business, including gourmet restaurants. “Pop-ups allow entrepreneurs to spearhead the growth of their brands by generating buzz through innovative, fun programming that attracts a wider audience that may not normally be drawn towards the brand,” Natalie Meruelo, Founder of NOBE67, a unique, Miami-based pop-up that merges fashion and art, tells www.azureazure.com.
Pop-up shops are also used by retailers selling seasonal items and by thriving brands to promote their brand. Renowned firms like Louis Vuitton, Top-Shop, Kate Spade and, most recently, Kanye West have embraced the retail trend with their own temporary shops.
In US cities like New York, Los Angeles and Miami, pop-up shops continue to excel. In Miami, the pop-up NoBe67 sets itself apart with a fresh take on the concept by immersing consumers into the world of art.
In April of 2016, NoBe67 set up shop at the White Dot gallery, a 3500 square foot space in Wynwood, an art rich neighborhood in Miami replete with art spaces and impressive graffiti murals, into a shopping playground for fashionistas. Founder Natalie Meruelo and Managing Partner Sofia Rovirosa sold fashion-forward garments of designers including Charles Phillip Shanghai, Manebi and Jimmy Lion in a gallery setting, replete with art installations and sculptures.
NOBE 67, in its current incarnation, was launched in 2013, but it’s beginnings are deeply rooted to Miami’s growing art-world. The name originates from a non-profit Art Fair for emerging Latin American artists founded by Belinda Meruelo, Natalie’s grandmother. “My grandmother created the first Art Fair in North Miami Beach in 2009 during Art Basel when it was centered around South Beach. She wanted to bring Art Basel further north. The following year, her hotel became the home of the NADA Art Fair. I then adopted the name in 2013 by spinning it as ‘NOBE67 Prêt-à-Porter,’ Art Basel’s first fashion fair,” Natalie says. “Since then, I kept the name NOBE67 and have centered it around the concept that art is fashion and fashion is art.“
NOBE67 is such an ingenious approach (after all, the worlds of art and fashion coexist in near-perfect harmony) that it’s easy to imagine it being replicated in any cosmopolitan city. “Not only are we working with fashion brands, which is what I love the most, we have so much room to grow and expand. NOBE67 is not meant to be just a one-time pop up, we see it as a concept we’d like to expand into different markets around the US to continue to grow talented artists and designers,” said Sofia.
While pop-up shops are quite literally, “here today and gone tomorrow”, that adage doesn’t hold true to this method of retail.
Although pop-up shops are, by definition, temporary, traveling shops without fixed-spaces, in practice, large firms and new designers have made them an exclusive, intimate and fun way to reach consumers. ■