Monday, 28 September 2009
Friday, 25 September 2009
Thursday, 24 September 2009
The Dr Martens pop-up shop in trendy Spitalfields epitomises all that’s best about the rage for stores that are here today and may be gone by tomorrow.
“There’s gonna be a nasty accident. You’re gonna get your…” Well if you don’t know the rest, the chances are that you aren’t part of the football-loving generation that viewed Saturday afternoons as the opportunity for a good ruck.
And if this is the case, it’s equally probable that the Dr Martens pop-up shop in trendy Spitalfields will seem like little more than a branded store selling lace-up boots in many different colours.
If you do fall into the latter camp – and even if you don’t – there can be no denying this small store epitomises all that’s best about the rage for stores that are here today and may be gone by tomorrow. Viewed from the outside, the shop looks minimalist and futuristic, with yellow translucent corrugated partitions and bright light provided by incandescent bulbs – which will shortly be a thing of the past – attached to cables descending from the ceiling.
The mid-shop stock is displayed on palettes, positioned on the raw concrete floor, that have been covered with white sheets and shrink-wrapped white plastic is used to cover chairs positioned on the same palettes. The whole thing is eye-catching in a way that a high street fashion retailer can generally only aspire to be and that there is an ephemeral sense to the store adds to its cachet.
There is an argument that this kind of low-cost guerrilla glamour is precisely what the mainstream lacks. But that is to forget that Dr Martens is a pretty mainstream brand and has been for many years. Used correctly (and this store is a great example) pop-up stores are a good way of re-establishing a brand’s retail credentials.
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
Artangel's latest project in London, in which an abandoned public housing unit was immersed in a copper sulphate solution for three weeks, then drained to reveal everything covered in cobalt blue crystals.
Hiorns creates arresting sculpture and installation combining unusual materials. His exploration of chemical processes took spectacular effect inSeizure, in which a derelict flat in South London was filled with liquid copper sulphate, which after a period of time encrusted every surface of the space with blue crystals.
TURNER PRIZE 2009
Roger Hiorns has been nominated for his solo exhibition at Corvi Mora, London and for Seizure, Artangel commission, Harper Road, London.
Monday, 7 September 2009
Campaign headed up an article on Guerilla Marketing in this weeks design week, the issue is out now or view via website.
Guerrilla marketing goes mainstream as global brands muscle into the pop-up store sector under the guise of roughing it for the recession. Anna Bates looks at two of the contenders - and a separate move to get back to retail basics
‘Everyone finds it enjoyable. It’s characterful - the high street starts to feel like a large market,’ says Philip Handford of London group Campaign, which designed Dr Martens’ recently opened pop-up shop.
This high-street ‘market spirit’ has taken off in London. Even young creatives are getting opportunities - Camden Council and Camden Town Unlimited handed over vacant shops to young artists, fashion graduates and creatives this summer, to keep the high street alive.
But it is brands that have really latched on to the idea. The past few months have seen pop-ups from Gap, Fred Perry, Terra Plana, Uniqlo and Nike. The pop-up concept - which started with discount retailers, before inspiring Comme des Garcons and a host of upper crust fashion houses and restaurants - has now reached the high street.
Design and marketing consultancy Fresh has received many requests from brands for this type of retailing. While we might hope to see more independent entrepreneurs and makers temporarily join the high street, the reality is that vacant shops are soon to become ‘teasers’. ‘High street brands are opening pop-up shops near their rivals - like a little irritant,’ says Louis Philo of Fresh. Because renting this space is comparatively cheap, the pop-up shop has now become the ‘equivalent of getting a billboard in a good space’, he says.
Dr Martens is using the pop-up concept to expand - making the most of the cheap rent available right now. The shop is as much about achieving an aesthetic - a new sobriety, using locally sourced materials and resources - to create an experience that mirrors people’s change in attitude to retailing. ‘People don’t want anything ostentatious. They might think “You’re doing all right. We’re not”,’ says Philo.
Dr Martens isn’t the only retailer roughing it for the recession. Starbucks is also going back to basics, using locally sourced materials, in its new coffee house in Seattle. Interestingly, though, its name is missing.
With bigger brands increasingly scooping up the vacant spaces, many younger entrepreneurs will again be priced out of the market. This is a pity, as there’s no shortage of talent wanting to set up shop.
Dr Martens has decided to expand and open its second store in London - it has splashed out, to give the impression that it hasn’t.
It was designed by London design group Campaign, and nearly all of the materials, furnishings and fittings in the pop-up which remained for one month in Old Spitalfields Market are locally sourced from scrap yards, Brick Lane and wholesalers.
‘Dr Martens are worn by warehouse owners,’ says Philip Handford, creative director of Campaign. ‘We wanted to go back to the basics of this industrial footwear. The space is like the warehouse - we used off-the-shelf wall studs to give it this look.’
The entrance is through the stock room. ‘It looks a bit like an abattoir,’ says Louis Philo of branding company Fresh, which got Campaign involved. Space is divided with long strips of PVC, which, by chance, the designers found in the brand’s trademark yellow. Pallet wood is the raw material, used to make the most of the furnishings, and all the furniture is shrink-wrapped and stencilled with branding.
Expanding now is worth the risk for Dr Martens. ‘The company does well in times of recession,’ says Philo. ‘People turn to well-made, utilitarian design.’ And although money was spent, Handford says, ‘The shop cost loads less than we are used to spending on a store.’
please check out Design Week for full article