Wednesday, November 7

Guerrilla Stores: Ephemeral Shopping Spaces

Comme des Garçons Guerrilla Store in Warsaw


by Orli Sharaby

Over the last few years, pop-up stores have moved from being a novelty to a phenomenon to a retail rite of passage. Now, hardly a week goes by that we don’t hear about some label or other setting up temporary shop in a shipping crate, public park, or even inside another store altogether.

But there’s something different about the Comme des Garcons version, which has never called itself a “pop-up shop” but rather prefers the nom de guerre “guerilla store.” CDG has been operating guerrilla stores since February 2004, setting up their first shop in East Berlin, then next in Barcelona and Singapore. Guerrilla shops have also popped up in Ljubljana, Reykjavik, Athens, and other cities around the world. Each shop stays open for one year only, and advertising is limited to posters and word-of-mouth. The locations for these CDG hit-and-runs are always in gentrified neighborhoods - the new Williamsburgs or Hoxtons of the world’s emerging cities.

The newest Comme des Garcons guerilla store has just opened in Warsaw, in a former fruit and vegetable store in a building from the Stalinist era. This is Warsaw’s third iteration of the shop - the first, which we were fortunate enough to visit 2 years ago, was located under a bridge in an abandoned passageway.

images via HYPEBEAST
via PSFK

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