Fashion feast for the sassy

Gillian McAinsh

POP-UP retailing has hit Nelson Mandela Bay with nearly a dozen creative designers showcasing their ranges at a fashion market on the move this weekend.

The drivers of the concept are Este van der Merwe and Marjorie Erasmus who wanted to share their own label, Hoiden, and its works of wearable art.

On Saturday, Bay designers such as Silver Spoon, Mei Mei, ThaboMakhetha and Khaos- alternative will share a rail at the back of the Brioche bakery and coffee shop in Walmer.

Headwear by designer Kary M, shoes by LeQin and Shoe Fetish as well as items by Empress, Earthquake and Lipstick n Lovebats will be on sale. But what, exactly, is a pop-up?

“We get that question a lot! A pop-up is when you don’t have money for your own boutique but you’d like to get your range out. You pop up anywhere you like and sell the clothing,” Van der Merwe said.

This past weekend Hoiden opened at Brioche and erected makeshift changing rooms with fabric cubicles and set up clothing rails. It was the fourth event they have hosted since July.

High winds put a premature end to the fashion feast on Friday afternoon, hence a postponement to Saturday September 8.

“We’ve been doing this one day a month. On that day we make more money than we do in a month,” said Van der Merwe.

“The designers are pretty excited about it, and they were onboard from the start.”

The first pop-up only featured Hoiden garments.

“We just wanted to get the winter range out so that we could get our summer stock in.”

It went so well that the two did not have enough stock to fill their pop-up and decided to expand to include other local talent.

Fashionistas in other centres have already heard of its success with Thalia Bruinders, a representative of Johannesburg-based Lalalux, flying down garments by international designers Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Pucci.

“Thalia contacted me because she saw it on the internet and it was such a shame when the wind destroyed her plans!” Van der Merwe said.

Pop-up retailing is a major marketing trend in other centres and SA Fashion Week held several in Johannesburg last week.

“It’s a stylish and creative way to sell. You don’t get a lot of people selling their goods so it is different to a market,” she said.

Erasmus and Van der Merwe have more fashion plans up their elegant sleeves.

Costume jewellery retailer Sass Diva has teamed up with national teen magazine Seventeen for a competition in the October edition, and has chosen Hoiden to go with its range.

“It’s going well, and we have a few more surprises!”

ýThe Hoiden pop-up will be at Brioche, 181 Main Road, Walmer, this Saturday from 9am to 5pm.

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