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The Ten Best Pop-Up Shops of 2012

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With only a few days left in the year, it's time to reminisce on 2012 with the annual (six years running!) Racked Recap. This time, we've added a new component: As you may have noticed, we've been consulting fashion industry experts on things like the best and worst trends of the year. Now, let's take a look back through our own archives as we list the Best Pop-Up Shops.

Though fleeting, the pop-up shops of 2012 left a lingering impression, whether they were filled with handmade gifts from Etsy, impeccable high-end vintage, or NSFW knit mannequins. This year, ten of the best came from brands like Warby Parker, Sephora, Decades and Louis Vuitton; see them all after the jump.

10. The NFL Pop-Up: For football fans and those who enjoy being around them, the NFL pop-up near Bryant Park was a sports haven, complete with player jerseys, athletic gear, and some weird paraphernalia, like a toaster that would brand your bread with your favorite team's logo.

9. 2(X)IST: This pop-up gets a spot on our list for one very deserving reason: It sprung up a few weeks after Hurricane Sandy and donated 100% of the proceeds of all body-hugging briefs and tees to relief efforts.

8. Horses Cut Shop: The Horses Cut Shop inside of Treasure & Bond was the place this year to get legit graphic tees from local businesses throughout the U.S. So, instead of buying some phony Urban Outfitters tee for a pretend hot dog stand in Tennessee, you could buy a tee from an actual hot dog stand in Tennessee, with a portion of sales going toward those businesses.

7. #Nyancatcity: Yes, the #Nyancity pop-up on Bowery this year was completely dedicated to the Nyan Cat meme. Inside, there were stickers, hoodies, and other Nyan Cat-branded items which, for some reason, included shot glasses.

6. The Etsy Holiday Shop: For the holidays, Etsy set up a a pop-up in Soho and enlisted a string of curators to stock it. Martha Stewart and Tavi were among them, along with NPR contributor Starlee Kine and Advanced Style maven Ilona Smithkin.

5. Warby Parker: One of Warby Parker's pop-ups this year was class trip-themed, and it took place on an actual school bus. But instead of seats filled with sweaty kids and dried up chewing gum, it was furnished to display the company's eyewear and sunglass lines. Plus, there were contests for a happy hour, an actual ride on the bus, and free glasses for a year.

4. Yayoi Kusama x Louis Vuitton: The only thing that gave the Yayoi Kusama x Louis Vuitton collaboration a run for its money this year was the pop-up shop that housed it, which was decorated with some of Kusama's signature motifs, like extra large tentacles and plenty of dots.

3. Benetton: The Art of Knit: Years from now, those who shopped at Benetton's Art of Knit pop-up might not remember what they bought, but they will definitely remember the Lana Sutra mannequins: yarn-covered creatures positioned in explicitly sexual positions smack dab in the middle of the store. Naturally, it didn't take long for the parental outrage to surface in an Instagram comment thread.

2. Sephora's Tangerine Pop-Up: When Pantone announced that tangerine was the the official color of the year, Sephora ran with it and opened up a temporary Meatpacking store dedicated solely to the hue. The Sephora + Pantone Universe pop-up was filled with lipsticks and glosses, nail polishes, and even orange-flecked false eyelashes.

1. Decades and Rent the Runway: In April, the LA-based consignment shop Decades teamed up with Rent the Runway for the ultimate secondhand experience. Labels included all of the high-end heavy hitters, like Balenciaga, Pucci, Chanel, Prada, and even Schiaparelli-inspired pieces in honor of the Met Ball.

· All Year in Racked 2012 Recaps [Racked NY]


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