New York fashion designer, ak Mojet, is introducing her line of “Infinitude” Shrugs, sharmbaa, with a May Pop-Up Shop coming to RSPOP+ at the Roger Smith Hotel.
As part of the interactional experience, customers are invited to meet the designer and experiment with the four styles currently available. The Inifinitude Shrugs are made from high-end fabrics designed to move with the body for an elegant, feminine look.
With opening day approaching, we wanted to introduce the brand with a quick Q&A with the designer, ak Mojet:
LG: What is the inspiration behind the brand?
AK: Fulfilling the need for an item that plays cleverly together to fit a life in motion with luxurious lightweight warmth, femininity and functionality. The inspired idea known as sharmbaa Infinitude Shrugs came to me one hazy, hot and humid New York City summer day while sitting in a frigid movie theater to escape the heat. I was in a modern day dilemma: freezing cold air-conditioning inside and hot, unbearable weather outside. As I draped a bulky cardigan sweater and a scarf around my shoulders to ward off the chill of air-conditioning, I absentmindedly played with the two fabrics while watching the movie “Inception”. Draping, folding and wrapping the fabrics in style after style after style, a shrug within a scarf within a cardigan, unfolded. By using the sleeves as drape and cowl and the scarf as a cape and double layer of warmth, I created several versatile looks that defied easy labels. An elegant solution for lightweight warmth on the go was created that day and the niche market known as Infinitude Shrugs has arrived for spring 2014. Luxury, warmth, femininity and functionality can now play cleverly together to fit your life.
LG: What does Sharmbaa mean to you?
AK: The brand name sharmbaa is the sum of shoulders + arms + back + and more!, which actively invites wearers of the garment to participate in the creation of their own looks and styles. Wearers are invited to fashion their fashion in limitless ways, bound only by one’s own imagination.
LG: Describe your target customer:
AK: The upwardly mobile creative professional woman, the affluent artist/creative professional woman, the savvy woman traveler.
LG: Why did you choose a pop-up?
AK: This is my first pop-up shop and the premiere of the sharmbaa Infinitude Shrugs. The number one benefit of a pop-up is the ability to create my brand’s experiential environment exactly the way I want it to be introduced into the world. Setting the tone and feel of my brand is important, as I want to share the creative vision that is sharmbaa. I’m looking forward to interacting with sharmbaa’s customers, to hear their comments about the sharmbaa brand and to invite customers and buyers into the sharmbaa community.
LG: What do you like about the concept?
AK: sharmbaa is all about experiential versatility and pop-ups (I project) are too! I love the freedom and flexibility pop-ups create by enabling me to set up shop in various locations in NYC and throughout the United States. After I asses how my first pop-up goes, I’m hoping to continue down this path and plan to do a tour of the NYC Pop-ups. After that, I’d like to expand by traveling across the USA in various locations with pop-ups.
LG: What are you hoping to learn about your brand and customers throughout the pop-up?
AK: What feeling is evoked when they step into the sharmbaaShoppe? Will they want to participate in learning about this new niche market of Infinitude Shrugs? Will they be willing to purchase one or two styles of sharmbaa Infinitude Shrugs? Does my branding work? How can I convey what my item is quickly & efficiently? I’d like to create an environment that inspires creativity, conversation and community. Market research about my brand.
LG: What will you have in-store that is new and fresh for the spring and what trends are you excited to see?
AK: The sharmbaa Infinitude Shrugs will be available as sized custom orders in Crêpe De Chine and chiffon silks. The customer can come in, select their colours, leave a 50% deposit and we will make their sharmbaa I.S. right here in NYC’s garment district, within a week. Also, a select edition of Crêpe De Chine and wool knit as well as Crêpe De Chine and cotton knit will be available, on a first come basis. I love the Pantone colour of the year, Radiant Orchid. I’m creating some lovely Infinitude Shrugs in collaboration with LA knitting mills, allowing sharmbaa brand to have a collection of “Made in NYC with fabrics made in LA”
LG: Anything else you would like our readers to know about sharmbaa?
AK: The combination of elegant design, sophisticated fabrics, and ethereal drape takes the rigorous practicality of sharmbaa-designed clothing to a high-end luxurious and elegant feeling, ensuring that confident beauty is an ever-present quality of each day. sharmbaa is a fashion brand founded in 2013 by me, ak Mojet. I am a fashion designer and long-time creative video editor. I draw on my experience from the digital arts and film world in designing innovative, elegant garments and support a one-world view which holds sustainability and ethics as core tenets to its business and creative practice. sharmbaa is created in corroboration with environmentally friendly textile companies and factories that treat employees ethically.
The Quick 411 on the Pop-Up Shop:
Who: sharmbaa Pop-Up Shop
Store Dates: May 1- 31st, 2014
Where: RSPOP+ at 501 Lexington Avenue, NYC
Trains: 4,5,6,7 to Grand Central or the E,M,6 to 51st Street
Store Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-2pm, 4pm-8pm; Saturday & Sunday 12pm-6pm
VIP Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 7th from 6-8pm. RSVP here.
Follow #sharmbaaIS and #PopUpShop for more updates!
This week we spoke with journalist Courtney Subramanian of Fortune.com about the growing trends of pop-up retail, “a strategy that may not be so temporary at all. “
A few key highlights:
"Online there are a lot of great platforms like Gilt or Amazon or Shopify…But we found in the offline world it’s really complicated to grow your business." - Erik Eliason, CEO of TheStorefront
"Inefficiency with the retail market rental process,coupled with an abundance of supply over demand in the real estate market, has created a sweet spot for short-term renting and independent businesses or artists looking to experiment with temporary storefronts." - Alexander Chernev, a marketing professor at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management
"It’s all about the experiential element and tying it into the physical space," says Melissa Gonzalez, founder of the Lion’esque Group, a brand and pop-up specialty firm. “It allows retailers to really hone in on a message or a specific product.”
See the full article here
In our past posts we have addressed the importance of honing in on the goal of your pop-up shop and focusing your production choices on elements that further those goals with branded design direction.
Taking over a space can feel daunting, whether it’s 300 square feet or 3,000. Having worked with brands to create over 65 retail spaces, here is peek into our recommended DIY App tool kit for tackling some of the technical and creative aspects for building out a pop-up shop.
On the technical side, the first key step is to make a blueprint of your store’s floor plan (interior and window display) and utilizing that to begin sketching a custom layout plan for your retail space. For this, we recommend adding Magic Plan to your DIY app tool kit. This app allows you to measure rooms and electronically draws your floor plan just by taking pictures. You can export the floor plan in PDF, JPG and DXF format or publish an interactive floor plan on the web. Once you have this plan you can more effectively think through your ideal layout for customer flow (a grid, a loop or perhaps free flow).
Play with the space with a larger scale print out and mount it to a cork board. Use thumbnail pins (or tape) to create a mini store model and experiment with placement for your store’s hero focal point, display units or racks, teaser areas and check-out counter.
As you plan out placement, you will also want to be sure to keep in mind elements that tell your brand story. One of the most cost effective ways to begin with branding a space is with paint. Clean white walls are great for retail, however a great way to elevate the branded feel is to add an accent wall. Next in your tool kit, you will want to add ColorSnap.
This savvy app allows you to snap an image you are inspired by (perhaps your latest lifestyle shoot) and will then create a color palette for you based on that image. Once you’ve found a color, you can easily adjust by hue, lightness and saturation. You can get even more ideas with the instant coordinating-color recommendations.
Selecting a palette is just the beginning to telling your story. Whether it’s a seasonal spotlight, a lifestyle message or a behind the scenes look into your design process, be sure to pre-plan an impactful window design and “speed bump” areas throughout your retail store. For this we recommend adding Pinterest to your App Tool Kit. Begin early with creating secret DIY boards for your window and interior displays, and don’t be shy to lean on nature for inspiration for counters, racks and shelving.
Lastly, you will want to be equipped to evenly mount your shelves, photos and signage, so next we recommend the I-Handy Level App
All you need to do is hold your device upright, place the bottom edge of the device on the flat surface and Calibrate. You will look like a true pro in no time!
Store design will always require a well thought out approach and being prepared with a DIY App tool kit is a solid way to start planning your storytelling process.
As we welcome in the warm weather, we are excited to announce our summer Hamptons partnership with the Prince of Scots, a store-in-store concept of modern luxury and curated emerging fashion and lifestyle brands.
To give a deeper insight into the summer hotspot we had a quick Q&A with the Prince of Scots owners, Tim Danser and David Campana:
LG: What marquee brands are currently planned to be sold at POS this summer?
POS: Prince of Scots will be featuring unique American and European Brands. A great selection of Gifts for Him, Her, Home or even you. The curated collection will Include Pull-In From France, McAlson from Belgium, Corgi from England, World Peace Tartan from Scotland, Etro Home from Italy, Gail Toma from Southampton, and a world class home collection designed by Prince of Scots, MYB Textiles, and Kassatex. Prince of Scots will be featured in the Traditional Home Designer Showhouse with our Modern Luxury Lifestyle.
LG: Why are you excited to partner with the Lionesque Group?
POS: Lionesque, like Prince of Scots, is a point of difference in the brand experience. Our goal is to make the emotional connection with our customers and brands where we engage the lifestyle, not just a product.
LG: Can you describe the customer that shops POS, and what they look for?
POS: Prince of Scots is a stand out in the crowd which is hard to do in the Hamptons. Everything we offer has a story. We are not a cookie cutter concept. Our customers shop for something different, something new, and something which makes shopping fun again. Many have called Prince of Scots one of the most beautiful stores in the Hamptons and customers shop for beauty. Beauty is not just the aesthetic but also how it makes you fell inside.
Last summer the POS Garden parties were a unique Hamptons experience. Of note, Hamptons Magazine said “Prince of Scots raised the bar” this summer. From product to social engagement on the brand experience, we are changing the face of luxury in the Hamptons.
For more information on how to book your summer in the Hamptons contact us at email@example.com.
Our guest blogging series on the Shopify Blog with our founder, Melissa Gonzalez continues.
In the last blog we dove into retail design, with tips on how to create an immersive customer experience that really tells your brand’s story from the outside in. Now, in our latest post, we are looking at how to create a marketing strategy to build buzz around your pop-up.
Here are a few key highlights from the article:
Hone Your PR Strategy: "Now, when it comes to targeting traditional media, the key point to keep in mind is knowing what your customer reads, and targeting editors that cover the right beat"
Get Going with Influencer Marketing: “Get started by creating a list of the key target influencers and bloggers you want to see at you pop-up and reach out to them by highlighting different incentiver for them to get involved”
Build Buzz with Social Media: "Social media can feel daunting for a first time pop-up, but just like how you made an editorial calendar for press deadlines, make an editorial calendar for your social strategy with all the social platforms you plan on being active on."
Take to the Streets with Guerilla Marketing: "Create postcards with a clear call to action and coupon code for visiting and place them at nearby outlets with a similar clientele to you target market"
For the Full Story Click Here.