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The Five Best Pop-Up Shops Of The Year

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With only a few days left in 2010, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, a year when every empty storefront held a pop-up shop and every sidewalk a sample sale line. Folks, it's the annual (four years running!) Racked Recap. All this week and into the next, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia with the Five Best Pop-Up Shops of the Year

Pop-up shops! Collect them all! Have you been to the Top Five Pop-Up Shops of 2010? Boy was this a great year for temporary retail spaces, and they ranged from mainstream and big brand ventures to smaller, more curated scenes.

Join us as we reminisce over the best, the brightest, the most ephemeral; they captured our hearts during their short existences.

5. Shiseido: Free. That’s all we need to say. Shiseido’s pop-up shop impressed us, possibly because nothing was for sale. They did offer free facial massages, free samples of beauty products and seven-day regimens, and discounts on merchandise across the way at Bloomie’s. The pop-up lasted for a seven-day span during mid-November (go on the first day, try out the new cream; return to the pop-up on the last day wearing an entirely different outfit and a try on a fresh face). The shop was all about the experience, which included viewing and testing the products before purchasing them elsewhere. We like the idea of try-and-buy and hope to see more free great offers like it from other brands.

4. Zimmermann: Thanks to Opening Ceremony international influence, Zimmermann hit the big city just in time for us to take trips to the beach in style. Bringing ‘Down Under’ to the down under of New York City—Soho—Zimmerman popped from April to July, offering a thrashing wave pool of swimwear designs. It was reported that a somewhere-in-Manhattan store would open after the pop-up closed, but the pop-up didn't turn permanent as planned. That said, we enjoyed the times we had with our Aussie friend and won't forget our in-person glimpse of the Australian company's approach to sexy and sturdy swimwear, apparel, jewelry, shoes, bags, and even kidswear.

3. Airwalk: One of the coolest pop-up shops in 2010 didn’t even exist (tangibly, that is). Airwalk’s invisible pop-up store brought us back a decade with the return of the JIM shoe. Shoppers in New York City and California were sent on a scavenger hunt for the chance to order one of the 300 pairs of the updated kicks via iPhone. You just had to head to Washington Square Park or Venice Beach in California to use your phone as your shopping device. Once you were at the designated area, your phone application magically helped you take photos and enter your information to buy the sneakers. Airwalk has since offered the shoes on their website, but we like the idea of a little excitement and adventure in our e-shopping.

2. Decadestwo.1: The Decadestwo pop-up came twice this year, but the one we would like to devote our attention to was in October. Called Decadetwo.1, it offered twice the amount of shoes. For doubling the discounts and inventing a cutesy name, we give them a plus one in our books. How can we not give them props for having an abundance of fancy schmancy shoes and designer duds for a steal. There was a Prada table—everything but the table was for sale. On it: A classy Prada pigskin suitcase filled with show-stopping shoes. Apparel worth noting included a lilac Viktor & Rolf short jacket for $390, which Racked’s pop-up reporter, Fawnia Soo Hoo called, ‘lovely’. It ended with a bang on a fine Sunday afternoon in mid-October—all shoes were reportedly selling for less than $150. We definitely hope to that see again next year.

1. Liberty of London for Target: Target has done us well in the past few years, bringing designer fashion collaborations at agreeably affordable prices. In March, when the mass-retailer teamed with Liberty of London and launched a Bryant Park-adjacent pop-up, only two of the three planned days were all Liberty fans needed to buy out all the merchandise and close the shop. This was before the goods even reached Target stores! The event lead to the most pop-up talk on Racked this year; and when we and many of our readers sat from our high-in-the-sky views of the sale, we really just wanted to be in the crowd, grabbing all the merch we could. The long lines were intimidating on the first day, but by the second day, they evaporated, as did all the menswear. It was short-lived, and shorter than planned but we took solace in a in-store release of the line.
· All Racked 2010 Recaps [Racked]
· Racked Recap 2009: The Top Five Pop-Up Shops [Racked]

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