See How Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton Do Pop-Ups
The luxury fashion brands spoke to shoppers' decreased attention spans with limited-time retail experiences.
Photo: Courtesy of ChanelNEW YORK—Pop-ups waning? More like winning.
Fashion’s biggest, and most influential, global brands continue to use the pop-up concept to lure millennials and Gen Z by offering unexpected retail experiences. Branching out from expected high-fashion districts in major metropolitan areas, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel—reacting to dwindling attention spans and increased desire for a sense of community—all showcased immersive activations that spoke to the longevity of the pop-up.
From July 3 to 28, Gucci partnered with Melet Mercantile, a recognized local Montauk outpost and “insiders” vintage shop, on a three-week “retail destination” in tune with the Long Island town’s laid-back surf culture. The boho-chic pop-up, much in keeping with Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele’s eccentric and zany personal aesthetic, brought an unexpected experience to the East End, coupling Gucci’s high-fashion Towards Summer collection (with a focus on canvas and wicker) with Melet’s bespoke oddities including art prints and vinyl records. The space was completely transformed via the Gucci merchandising team into a shoppable, interactive market-like experience with just enough polish to meld the ornate clothing rails and wall-mounted fish and vintage skateboards with the floral prints from the Pre-Fall 2019 collection (not to mention installing a proper restroom door).
As part of the Montauk residency, Gucci also solely used local businesses such as John’s Drive-In and Morty’s Oyster Stand (the brand also contributed to an array of local organizations).
On nearby Shelter Island, Chanel took a decidedly more resort-luxury approach when it took over André Balaz’s Sunset Beach July 17 to 22 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its J12 fine timepiece. Launching the decidedly posh Chanel J12 Yacht Club (guests were surrounded by all things bearing the CC logo, after all), the pop-up offered the notion of idyllic seaside living at its most picturesque.
Produced by Prodject with decor by Raul Avila Inc., some pretty fabulous, and Instagrammable, scenescapes were had: Guests could unwind on the beach under Chanel umbrellas replete with customized chairs, coolers, floats, and surfboards, or play badminton. There was also a wine garden (with Chanel-branded drink vessels); two J-Class yachts docked in the bay; a game room where Chanel postcards could be sent, and a Sunset Beach Boutique to shop the new J12 watch. To celebrate the launch, Chanel brought in singer Billie Eilish via Riva boat to perform at a private V.I.P. dinner.
Finally, in what was a very busy July retail month, was Louis Vuitton. Following its all-orange pop-up in Chicago in tandem with the Museum of Contemporary Art’s retrospective on Virgil Abloh, the brand’s men’s artistic director recreated his Fall 2019 Paris Fashion Week show concept at the corner of Ludlow and Rivington streets with a neon green pop-up. The 10-day residency on the Lower East Side immersed clients and passersby in the high-octane, high-luxury-meets-streetwear world that Abloh has so perfected.
Every square inch of the venue was awash in neon green, inclusive of furniture and figures. On the street, various props were also spray-painted to match. Naturally, moments of graffiti “vandalism” occurred—but it was all in keeping with the area’s somewhat still gritty vibe. Vuitton hosted a preview day for clients, who were treated to an LV-style takeover for drinks and lunch at Cafe Medi across the street—complete with branded coasters and custom floral arrangements.