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Fall 2017's Best Branded Pop-Ups

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2017 is the year of pop-ups and experiential marketing. With two or three pop-ups debuting almost every week in NYC, we’re sure you’ve participated in at least one this year, wherever you are in world. This month we managed to beat the lines and explore the latest-and-greatest immersive experiences from 2017’s most talked about fashion and consumer brands. From Louis Vuitton to Glossier, take a look at what we saw this week.

The “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez” exhibition explored Louis Vuitton’s history and heritage. While traveling through time we discovered not only the history of the Louis Vuitton bag but the global history of luggage as well. A luxurious hothouse of a place, the exhibit was historically rich, enigmatic, and romantic.

“It’s not only what’s inside the exhibit, but the alternate experience on your phone that brings the experience to life,” said Anita Bartolini, Visual Designer at The Charles NYC. Before entering, our team downloaded the Louis Vuitton app that allowed them to engage with augmented interactive spots all over the exhibition. This unique approach made the event more enjoyable because anyone could interact with Louis Vuitton using the most vanguardist technology.

Alexa Sparacio, another Visual Designer at The Charles NYC said, “I find that branded pop-ups turn up the volume on our inner monologue, magnifying the way in which we consume and revel. For millennials, authenticity is our currency. We appreciate those unquantifiable things that are simply immeasurable.”

Each time period, or “chapter” was vibrant. “The chapters that surprised me most were the ones that linked the history of the luggage with the history of travel itself,” said Anita. That’s what you call a completely immersive experience — one that magically recreates each historical moment as you live it. This is why consumers really appreciated the pop-up as it showed Louis Vuitton’s innovative spirit to reinvent their luggage pieces for transportation from past to present.

Once you move towards the future you approach a modern-day fashion show. You get a chance to admire the wonderful garments and timeless bags worn by the celebrities of today. If that’s enough inspiration to tempt your spending habits, the exhibit ends with an amazing shop where you’re able to take some part of the exhibition home.

In this modern age of disenchantment, the freshness and candor of  “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez” helped us to surrender to our senses. Definitely, a job well done.

The Van Cleef & Arpels installation inspired by Noah’s Ark was more than a visual experience, it was completely sensory. The luxury brand partnered with Robert Wilson for concept and design, and for the experience provided, we’d say it was a match made in heaven.

The team first walked into a small, dark room that came to life with the roar of thunder and flashes of lightning. The intensity soon lifted when the room glowed a bright sky blue with sounds of sea waves crashing. Videos of waves were projected onto the room’s walls and the team could now see dozens of cabin-like cases that housed bejeweled animal-pair clips from Van Cleef’s L’Arche de Noé racontée collection.

Walking along the Ark we saw different animals covered in gems, diamonds, and crystals. “It was beautiful to see Van Cleef & Arpels bring craftsmanship to the forefront with a public pop-up instead of a private showing. It definitely increased everyone’s admiration for the brand because of the decadent clips on display,” said Sianna Stewart, Junior Creative at The Charles NYC.

For the 15 minutes the team had, our members came back with an admiration for the partnership between Van Cleef & Arpels and Robert Wilson. Our Design Apprentice Bianca Kim said, “I was really impressed with the decision from a high jewelry brand to do more than the norm by making the act of looking at their jewelry a full-fledged experience rather than just a manner of shopping. It was a really great cross between commerce and entertainment, and elevated their brand and personal story”.

Known for it’s strong online and offline marketing initiatives, Glossier debuted a pop-up showcase in SoHo for its new fragrance Glossier You. At first we wondered why Glossier would dedicate a shop to learning and sampling Glossier’s newest perfume, but if you know anything about Glossier, it’s all about presentation, and let’s just say our team was not disappointed.

Taking inspiration from the bottle’s signature red cap, the pop-up shop was decked in red, inside and out. With lavish velvet curtains and infinity-mirror spaces, it’s no wonder why women were flocking to Lafayette St. early last week. Once inside we were immediately greeted by a soundtrack of soft whispers playing overhead, red overtones and deliciously mirrored illusions, Glossier quickly and seamlessly designed their customers experience. Then they led us into a room for a surprise…

After walking into another infinity mirrored space, this time the size of a one-person fitting room, you pushed a red button that opened up what appeared to be a window within the wall. A red-gloved hand appeared from the window and sprayed your wrist with the perfume once you shook off the initial surprise and extended your arm out. After re-entering the red velvet main room, the attendants quietly approached and explained the concept behind the perfume.

Leaving the Glossier showroom left The Charles team in a daze, almost as if walking out of a daydream. The pop-up did a magical job at enticing us, surprising us and taking us on an adventure. We won’t lie, it found success — one of our team members bought a perfume on the spot, simply because “the experience made me do it.” Glossier, we applaud you. A simple, concise, and well-executed idea — that you, who powered your own scent with their new fragrance, was seductive all on its own.

Love them or hate them, pop-ups are not going away anytime soon. Our experiences above reveal just how interested brands are with promoting product and how far they are willing to take consumer experience to the next level. As the end of the year approaches, we’re expecting dozens of shops to well…pop up, and although we’ll be hesitant of the NYC lines, we’ll set our sights on what’s coming soon.

For more fun event recaps stay up-to-date with Life at The Charles.