Japan’s highstreet collides with London – The Collectionaires Pop-Up Shop at Saint Katharine’s Dock


On Friday night we stopped by Collectionaires very first Pop-Up Shop currently taking place in Unit G of Ivory House at St. Katharine’s Dock in E1W 1AT. Collectionaires is the brainchild of Skye Xu and Kevin House and launched in April this year. It sells exclusive, very high quality designer clothing from Japanese designers and brands – quality is paramount and the clothes really are beautiful, unique pieces.


Luckily, we were able to pull Kevin aside for a few moments and ask him about the Collectionaires story. A few months back Skye and her friend were talking about launching a new clothing brand bringing Japanese designer goods into the UK market. Skye has a degree in marketing and e-commerce which she has been putting to good use with a range of clients and previously worked at the Financial Times ‘How to Spend It’ Magazine, but dreamed of launching her own business. Kevin has an Information Technology background – specifically energy utilisation – and has been interested in new business models for a while. When he heard what they were planning he was inspired to join in.


Collectionaires has set up as a business using high street retail as a supplementary part of their retail strategy – with a focus primarily on online sales. They will host 4 or 5 pop-up shops a year, showcasing their products and reaching new audiences. Kevin shared a little about their experiences of sourcing the brands in their collection.

In Japan the brands are well known – they are stocked in the equivalent of Selfridges but aren’t yet on UK high streets. Collectionaires want to support a shift in UK perceptions of Japanese fashion brands. They focus exclusively on bringing Japanese designers into the UK market. They understand the import regulations and requirements – and are building an audience for these beautiful products. I love the idea that a start-up retailer is using a pop-up shop to bridge the gap between high end brands in different markets.


They have started with 6 brands for a 7 week Pop-Up at St Katherine’s Dock and have launched their online website http://www.collectionaires.com/

We highly recommend getting yourself down to the pop-up shop to check out the clothes for real – and picking yourself up some little Christmas pressies online or in-store.



Twitter @collectionaires

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How curation is changing the way commercial property works

At We Are Pop Up HQ we’ve been talking a lot about curation recently. Our most popular spaces – the ones opening their doors consistently to the brilliant projects listed on We Are Pop Up – are proving there is a new model for short-term use of space. It’s making a killing. At the heart of most of these projects are entrepreneurs – stand out individuals with real vision.

Often inspired by financial requirements, some inspirational space managers are starting to intensify their use of space and shift their focus from selling space to selling time in space. This is bringing a new set of capabilities into commercial property and has made room for a new role: that of programmer – or curator. We love the idea that the answer to many commercial property problems lie in the creative, flexible and collaborative.

These forward-thinking space curators are proving that space can be re-conceived as a platform in itself. Suddenly, spaces are able to host multiple projects simultaneously, transition quickly and constantly re-invent themselves. The history of a shop is now shaping so quickly that even the most agile data companies have no factual data on what occurs month-to-month. This is a brand new concern, thanks to the pace and innovative power of today’s businesses. Pop-up is breaking things.

As a result our community of projects can access bigger and better spaces, in bigger and better locations. Previously inaccessible units, spaces that were too large or too expensive, are finally becoming porous.

This month we support the launch of Camden Town Unlimited’s new space: Collective 159 on Camden High Street. 3,000 square feet which intends to host dozens of projects per month, simultaneously. We are helping place tenants in a new, massive and sharable retail space on Shoreditch High Street. The economics and capabilities of short-term commercial space are changing quickly, writing entirely unique stories for uses of space. We are watching it all happen, and looking forward to capturing as many of these stories as we can.

– Clara Maguire

At We Are Pop Up, Clara helps commercial space managers connect with a community of unique brands and businesses.