Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
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 Worst Pop-Up Shops of the Year
Did you fall for the hype of some less-than-stellar pop-up shops this year? Yea, it's okay; we did too. This year was pretty positive on the pop-up front, so we don't have many bombs to report. But let's have a moment of silence for the ones that weren't as wonderful as we might have wished. Now, The Three Worst Pop-Up Shops of 2010:
3. Style.com: Ten designers created a t-shirt design to celebrate Style.com’s 10th birthday in mid-September. However when we arrived on the scene, they just weren’t ready for us yet. After the 30-minute delay the shop opened its doors, but we couldn't tell which shirt was designed by which designer. Each shirt featured the designers' interpretation of the roman numeral X (for 10)—but a few of the signs connecting shirt to designer were missing. We liked a few of the exclusive, $45 designs (Rodarte's rendition of X marks the spot and Lanvin's whimsical cartoons), but the pop-up itself wasn’t as big a hit we assumed it would be. 400 shirts by each designer were made available but lines never got very long and shirts remained abundant. Maybe because they only accepted cash?
2. Toys “R” Us: The kids in Greenpoint, Brooklyn may have been ecstatic when this mega-toy retailer popped up for a moment in early August, but after the chain cleaned out, the space owners were left with a left-behind mess. Tiles were reported missing and the walls were destroyed. According to our tipster, "What's weird is that they left the place a bit of a mess and Toys "R" Us doesn't seem to care". Plus, the shop had a negative effect on the toy retailers in the neighborhood. We don't envision a return to Greenpoint for the toy retailer; but if they did, you may hear nearby retailers chanting, 'Toys "R" Sucks'.
1. House of Waris Tea Room: In a series of mostly-awesome collaborative architect and designer pop-ups this past fall, House of Waris left us wanting more. The Building Fashion contest bought us beautiful Spurr and Richard Chai shops; but the House of Waris iteration was all drab, saggy canvas, and a sad sort of water feature. The merchandise—almost none of it was Waris—was a bit pricey and pretty disparate. With that being said, we liked an adorable set of Cynthia Rowley tools.