anna wintour save christoper lee pop store.jpg

The recession isn't all doom and gloom, Pop Store is a new venture which promises to fill empty spaces in shopping centres around the country and bring us new and exciting brands in the process.

It's a concept dreamt up by Brian MacShane, an Antipodean who has previously worked for Esprit and Mambo. We spoke to him yesterday about his project:

So how did your idea come about?
The Pop Store is by-product of the current economic climate, a lot of retailers are closing stores and we saw an opportunity to use those empty spaces in a creative way. Doing Pop Store gives us the chance to be a bit more creative in a retail space, i.e. we can do more than a store on a five year lease.

The pop up store is not a new concept, Comme Des Garçons have been doing it for years, but it's always been in the cool areas, certain parts of Paris and the Lower East Side. What we want to do is bring our brands to parts of the UK that never get that kind of attention. Its a challenge for us in respect to making it blossom for such a short period of time, but we're confident that the brands will draw in crowds.

How did you select the brands?
A lot of it was through international trade shows so we know what's going brandwise, and the internet has opened things up a lot in that respect. We're not looking to keep a stable of brands, we're just interested in providing a platform for labels that are up and coming. We've got Le Specs, a cult Aussie sunglasses label, WIldfox Couture, and LA-based label and Kulte, a French surf label. We're also proud to have Christopher Lee on board, our concept fitted with what he was trying to do and he's given us exclusive distribution of his t-shirts (pictured above).

What is your background in the industry?
My background is in the corporate side of fashion, I came to the UK with Mambo who are known for being adventurous with their spaces. It gave me a natural segue to embrace the transient nature of shops, for example all our fixtures are made by a shipping crate company. The industrial fittings are incongruent to other stores but that's appeal of it, we're trying to make something that really sticks out.

For more info, and to find out when they are coming to a shopping centre near you, visit: www.pop-store.com