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.
Find the shop: