In a twist on the traditional trade show, Liberty Fairs is opening a retail store in Los Angeles to showcase a rotating roster of its brands directly to consumers. Located at 8366 1/2 West 3rd Street in West Hollywood, the 800-square-foot space will be available to Liberty Fairs clients as an added value.
This story first appeared in the May 28, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The store, dubbed Concept 8366 1/2, officially opens June 1 in a partnership with e-tailer shopwittmore.com. The trendy site will offer a range of its indie men’s brands in the brick-and-mortar space through June 30, at which point a new partner will move in.
“The space will change per the partnerships to make the experience act as a consumer discovery canvas. We are open to showcasing anyone within our marketplace in any format they choose,” said Sam Ben-Avraham, founder of Liberty Fairs, a new trade show that launches in July in New York and in August in Las Vegas.
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The initiative comes as trade show operators increasingly add retail components and consumer-facing branding opportunities to their core business-to-business model. Last season, the Project show installed a retail Warby Parker stand at its New York edition, and in July it will feature a retail concept with The Tie Bar, Wild Soul and Word Stationery, among other brands. The competing Capsule show has for several seasons offered a cash-and-carry vintage fair within its space. At the MAGIC umbrella of shows, which includes Project, a digital extension at shopthefloor.com includes access to brands by the general public.
Ben-Avraham declined to detail the business arrangements for his new retail concept but said the ethos of the space is to support Liberty Fair brands with as little overhead as possible. The plan is for 30-day residencies per iteration, with weekend events plugged in during changeover periods. Nearby shops in the neighborhood include Alexis Bittar, Douglas Fir, Civilianaire and Magnolia Bakery.
Among the several dozen brands sold on Wittmore are Ian Velardi, Mark McNairy, Timo Weiland, Hook + Albert, Gloverall and Etiquette Clothiers. “The shop will showcase my curated retail experience, and we’re lining up some killer events and in-store promotions that will have us celebrating all month long,” said Wittmore founder Paul Witt.