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Discussion in 'Designers and Collections' started by Lena, Jan 26, 2004.
From today's WWD.
Thanks so much for the news, Atelier Can't wait!!!
it seems to be getting better and better
Updated guerrillas in Ljubljana and Stockhom
The Warsaw Guerrilla kicked off today, (with an hour late The shop is located under the Poniatowski bridge, midway between the Stadion, the "Huge" Bazaar of Europe and Blue City, the biggest shopping mall in Poland.
The shop is "naked", no decoration, bags on the floor, perfumes on the window "holes" on the wall. Amazing interior, much looks like Comme Shirt ads a while ago. Lovely staff and I was so excited I couldn't remember all. There are a few pieces from every collection. Amazing flowers print jkts and skirts from the SS04. A "witchy" jkt and transparent blouse with black "potatoes" from the AW04. Brown super thick "shaby" jkt H+, black "laced" sweater with red triming H+. I like the beige Shirt coat with leather-like fabric. There is also a red jkt in the same fabric. Much come back to see it Lot of shirts and tshirts (Ts from 50-100 euros). Also Play line and Homme line, Junya superb tweed trouser in checks for about 400 euros, Junya tomato T for 150 euro.
I also have a quick talk with a Polish woman who works at Comme. She said the Leaves series could possible be discontinued. And the Food IS
kind of "back to tradition"
I also talked to the shop owner. He said he has been trying to do Comme in Poland since 2002!! He has already made an interview with Margiella and want to do Raf here, too. I was very impressed
"Shopping bags" are garbage black nylon bags. Got a CdGShirt+Werk "Inside a Shirt" magazine, free
thanks for the update!
thank you for the report, nqth!
You are welcome I will be back there soon to get some perfumes and make some pictures as well. Will report more
Sweet! Can't wait for the Brooklyn store.
There is an Guerrillazine mag dedicated to the Guerrilas and it said more stores will be open by the end of this year. Brooklyn this time, maybe
Cheers Nqth - hadn't seen your review till now. Sounds good actually. Did you like the HP stuff? I was just talking to a guy who owns a shop in Scotland which sells comme and he was saying that it has almost sold out already! He had bought a bunch of jackets in boiled wook with the nylon thread holding them together in "stripes" - all sold! It really annoys me though cos I know that he overprices it. It's bloomin expensive enough without him taking a further slice off the top. I've decided to boycott that shop! It's even more overpriced than Browns.
By the way - did you see the Junya on aloharag.com?
An article in NY times
The photo is from Barcelona
Anti-Concept Concept Store, The
By AMANDA FORTINI
Published: December 12, 2004
This year, Comme des Garçons, the avant-garde fashion line designed by Rei Kawakubo, opened a series of ''guerrilla stores'' in hip, yet-to-be-gentrified areas in cities around the world, including Berlin, Barcelona, Helsinki, Singapore, Stockholm, Ljubljana and Warsaw. Kawakubo and her husband and business partner, Adrian Joffe, delineated their guerrilla idea with a no-nonsense precision usually reserved for actual combat operations. The shops, which are installed in raw urban spaces -- the Berlin outpost occupies a former bookstore; the Helsinki a 1950's pharmacy -- sell ''seasonless'' merchandise drawn from current and past collections, must remain unsullied by architects and designers and are required to close after a single year.
While the venture might be interpreted as a call to arms against the aggressive commercialism and gaudy architecture of high-concept flagship behemoths like the Rem Koolhaas-designed Prada stores, it has also engendered a delicious absurdity: in their rejection of concept-store pretension, the guerrilla stores have realized its purest expression. A news release issued by Comme des Garçons lays out the ''rules'' behind this anti-concept with the earnestness of F.T. Marinetti's futurist manifesto: ''The location will be chosen according to its atmosphere, historical connection, geographical situation away from established commercial areas or some other interesting feature,'' reads one rule.
The idea may be easy to send up, but guerrilla retailing is also smart business, allowing companies to tap into new markets at low cost (rents are cheap; advertising is nil) and to reduce inventory by recycling old merchandise. Indeed, others have joined Comme des Garçons in employing this marketing tactic. Alife, a Manhattan collective best described as a gallery, store and hipster brain trust, partnered with Levi's this fall to create a line of jeans that sold for one month only, and Vacant, a high-end retailer that bills itself on its Web site as the ''original traveling guerrilla retail concept and exhibition,'' has opened ephemeral store-gallery hybrids in empty spaces across the globe. A spokeswoman for Comme des Garçons notes that the guerrilla project has been wildly successful (''Warsaw met 300 percent of its projected monthly sales in the first week''). The company now plans to open shops in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, S-o Paulo and Istanbul.
I have heard about a new Guerrilla in a container in a parking park
An older article about the Berlin Guerrilla from Frame mag
Comme des Garçons, known for its architectonic fireworks, goes undercover in Berlin. Rei Kawakubo lets a student fill a shabby East German space with second-hand furniture finds.
Berlin's fashion victims have recently become fashion guerrillas. A new addition to the city is Comme des Garçons' Guerrilla Store, which operates according to a strategy of 'search and enjoy'. Far from anything even remotely trendy, the shop is hidden away in an unexceptional part of town that does convey, however, a feeling peculiar to Berlin. At long last the clever sleuth discovers the place - fronted by scaffolding - in a building badly in need of renovation. Apart from a few posters announcing the opening, the store has not been advertised. Only insiders know how to find it; others rely on propaganda passed along by word of mouth.
The Guerrilla Store is the brainchild of Comme des Garçons' standard bearer, Rei Kawakubo, who developed the idea after visiting Berlin last summer with partner Adrian Joffe. Born of her enthusiastic reaction to the sense of change that still holds Berlin in thrall, and to innumerable spots throughout the city suspended in an indefinite stage of transition, the idea led to a literal translation of this atmosphere into a retail concept. That was in January of this year. A brief six weeks later, the shop opened. And regardless of turnover, the Guerrilla Store will close its doors after a period of precisely one year. In short order the new retail concept will be launched in another ten cities, from Barcelona, where a Guerrilla Store opened in late March, to places as diverse as Ljubljana, Brooklyn and Warsaw.
To strike at this speed, the firm needed real guerrilla design. Thus the commission for the Berlin shop went not to a top-flight architecture firm but to a local architecture student, Christian Weinecke. Comme des Garçons also chose designers for the other stores on the basis of an ability to read the city in question and to recognize the ordinary, everyday stories it has to tell.
Weinecke had carte blanche in designing the first Guerrilla Store, which was a key component of the experimental concept. For this project Kawakubo wanted shops that would enter into a dialogue with their surroundings - she was more interested in a space that would reflect the local atmosphere than in an ultra-hip design concept.
Location played a crucial role in her thinking. 'We looked for a street with absolutely no connection to a specific scene,' says Weinecke. They selected an area between Berlin's fashionable Mitte district and Wedding, a traditional working-class neighbourhood. Typical of Berlin, the chosen street boasts relics from both the old Berlin and the GDR-era city. They opted for the vacant Buchhandlung am Brecht-Haus, once an East German book shop. Across the front of the unrenovated building is a camouflage of scaffolding. The house next door, a piece of Berlin history, is the building in which Bertolt Brecht lived and worked.
Weinecke and associates simply left the space as they found it: plain granite floor, plaster ceiling, and rough, untreated walls with traces of paint that offer a sample sheet of fashion throughout recent decades. Nine impeccable pieces of pale gold-green furniture are the only newcomers to the space. A flawless coat of high-gloss paint unites these objets trouvés, all second-hand finds whose former lives include functions like sideboard, occasional table and even bieresel ('beer donkey'), the nickname of a type of Berlin café table. On its own, none of these pieces is special, but together they spin a tale about life in the city of Berlin. 'A hotchpotch of interior pieces like these is fascinating,' says Weinecke. 'I went out one afternoon and bought the lot for a grand total of 250 euros.'
Non-design gives the space a natural, unpretentious air. 'The store seems very homogeneous, and the colour of the furniture goes well with the faded tints of the walls,' comments a discerning shopper who's visiting the Guerrilla Store for the first time. 'But best of all,' she says, 'is that unlike so many glossy boutiques, this is a place you dare to walk into.'
Additional interior interventions - if that term can be applied here - are also based on the low-budget principle: cardboard boxes serve as displays, galvanized water pipes double as clothes rails, and an old lift for transporting books is now a bar. Applied to one chair is a 'fabric' recognized by every Berliner: the plastic seating material found in the local metro. Weinecke has applied several layers of the tape used for repairing this upholstery to the seat of the chair.
The only thing here that cannot be labelled 'low budget' is the clothing. Walking out of the shop with a pricey fashion statement wrapped in the same black plastic sheeting used for rubbish bags seems, in this context, almost cynical. But customers couldn't care less: they come, and they buy. After hearing about the shop from friends or finding it on the internet, they descend on the Guerrilla Store from all parts of the city, dying to get their hands on something previously unavailable in Berlin. Neighbourhood residents who discover the new fashion Nirvana while searching for the book shop, however, are less likely to become card-carrying fans of Comme des Garçons' booming enterprise.
Change and surprise are central themes. Furniture is rearranged every few days, and apparel arrives and leaves on a weekly basis - in with the new and out with a selection of unsold items. Thanks to the rotation process, the stock is fully renewed every six weeks. On sale are accessories and clothing - a mix of the new collection and models from past seasons - from all nine Comme des Garçons labels, including those formerly sold only in Japan. Getting in step with the city means testing a new scent by the Japanese fashion brand. Perfumes with names like Tar, Garage and Dryclean complete each streetwear outfit.
Extra surprises throughout the year will bear the signatures of 'guest designers'. Weinecke, who wants to see the shop 'influenced by various energies', says that each guest will make a special contribution to the space. The first was Dat Vuong, who runs a popular Vietnamese restaurant in the area. He 'installed' green plants, lotus leaves and, for good luck, a paper fish that dangles from the ceiling. 'The fish stands for change and insubstantiality - it's hard to grasp,' says Vuong. 'The fish reflects not only the retail concept but also the atmosphere in Berlin.' Another guest designer will be the 'sixes man', a genuine Berlin guerrilla (and artist), who for years has been surreptitiously painting the number 6 on walls across the city. Although his identity is unknown, his symbols have gradually become part of the cityscape.
Clearly, then, guerrilla tactics are not new to Berlin. Back in the '90s, clubs were springing up in condemned housing whose ownership, after the fall of the GDR, was in question. Granted only a short life, such clubs made use of existing structures. Not one of them was chic, designed or even out to make a profit. One wonders where the same approach will lead when used by established brands, since even the best guerrilla tactic can count on being exposed, sooner or later, as a marketing tool, at which point it becomes obsolete. Surely by that time, however, the urban warriors will be hatching another, even more brilliant idea.
the brooklyn store still has not come to be...
Thnaks for the gerat pcis&article nqth
You are welcome, Spacemiu