I checked out three brand new retail pop-ups yesterday, literally as they were opening their doors for the first time. My nose for the new did not disappoint. Two of them will be open thru the end of the year. One is open only thru the weekend.
Let’s start with the biggest WOW.
Beams Concept Store 007 at Nordstrom (and at Fred Segal LA)
Until about a week ago I had never even heard of Beams. And now, as of yesterday, I’m crazy about everything this buzzy Japanese brand is doing. And even though they’re only carrying the men’s collection, I expect women will buy it in droves. It was hard to restrain myself from buying at least 5 items. It’s a genderless brand.
- Beams’ decision to collaborate with iconic but a bit over-the-hill American brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren and New Balance is a brilliant move. From what I saw, Beams has the juice to reinvigorate those brands. Seeing Ralph in this context made it look relevant for the first time in decades.
- Beams’ art-influenced tees and hoodies with their funny wordsmithing feels very fresh, e.g., the F-LAGSTUF-F line invites us to “Enjoy Japanese Subculture” that they specify is “Not for children under 19 years.” But for “Ages 20 and up.”
- The staff at the concept store is outstanding. Stylish, friendly, and knowledgeable. Special shout out to Kayla and the rest of the fab crew who helped me out.
- Customers, likewise, totally awesome and fashion-forward!
- And finally, the pop-up itself is very cool. And it’s location is perfect, right as you enter the Men’s Store near the Milk Bar. It immediately establishes the vibe for the whole store.