Iisli Pops Up on Manhattan’s Bond Street

Contemporary brand develops a portable store.

Iisli, the five-year-old high-end contemporary brand, has come up with a portable pop-up shop.

This story first appeared in the September 22, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The firm’s pop-up that opened Thursday at 25 Bond Street in lower Manhattan, which founders Sisi and Nelson Li are calling “the cube,” is a 1,000-square-foot, white-painted wooden structure that can be broken down and moved to fill any raw retail space.

The cube is outfitted as a self-contained store, with its own lighting system, dressing rooms, cash wrap, shelving and racks. For now, the structure has taken over the 2,500-square-foot storefront on Bond Street, where it will stay until Feb. 1, when it is packed and moved to a new location.

“For us, it’s like the modern way to do retail,” said Sisi Li, who is the designer of the collection. “This way, we can travel with the store and try out different neighborhoods. It’s like we are trying out the relationship before we marry.”

The pure-white walls and floor of the cube are meant to be a simple backdrop for the fall-winter collection on sale at the store ranging from $98 for a T-shirt with subtle crystal logos on each sleeve to $1,000 for a sequin-encrusted sweater coat. The couple decorated the space with pieces from their own home — a metal mesh chair, an antique travel case and a drawing done by their son. While they are not sure where their shop will end up next, Sisi Li said she hopes to open in TriBeCa and then move on to other cities, possibly Miami, Las Vegas, Tokyo or even Berlin.

“We design clothing for women who are on the move, so it seems fitting for our store to be on the move, too,” she said.

Iisli is also sold at department and specialty stores, including Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstorm. The couple predicts they will do $15 million in 2008 sales volume.