LONDON — Fashion boutique Machine-A, which has a cult following among London’s fashion community, is launching a pop-up store at Shanghai’s Labelhood, a key supporter of Chinese fashion designers, from Oct. 1 to February 2021, WWD has learned.
Stavros Karelis, founder of the Soho-based multibrand concept store, said the collaboration grew from an organic relationship that developed over time.
“I have been a huge admirer of Labelhood for a very long time. The two stores have a very similar approach when it comes to fashion and especially supporting emerging talent,” he said. “Shanghai has always been a dream for Machine-A to do a project. I always felt that with the right partner we can do this, and it will be very natural as our audience is primarily Chinese.”
Karelis said Chinese shoppers represent 75 percent of his Soho boutique’s business. “I always thought we should do something in Shanghai as an appreciation and out of gratefulness to our international audience, especially with what’s happening in the world and travel restrictions. Labelhood is partnering with us and we can still physically present Machine-A to all our friends we cannot see in London in the near future,” he added.
Some 21 best-selling brands at Machine-A will be sold at Labelhood, which shares an affluent, fashion-loving and young demographic with the London-based store. The mix includes high-end directional brands such as Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Maison Margiela, Comme des Garçons, Y/ Project, JW Anderson, Lemaire and Paco Rabanne, as well as emerging designer labels Craig Green, Alyx, Peter Do, Richard Quinn, Sweet Lime Juice, Innerraum, Paula Canovas del Vas, Kiko Kostadinov, A-Cold-Wall, Delada, Martine Rose, Namacheko and Ottolinger.
“We couldn’t tell our Machine-A story without these brands that have become such an integral part of our existence, and is the best reflection and representation of the store in London,” Karelis added.
Labelhood has evolved beyond a fashion retailer specializing in Chinese fashion labels with shops in Shanghai, Nanjing and Guangzhou over the years. It is also a community for creatives and fashion lovers, and an emerging designer support platform that organizes fashion presentations for aspiring designers during Shanghai Fashion Week.
Tasha Liu, founder of Labelhood, said the collaboration with Machine-A will bring a more diverse offering and brand experience to customers.
“Our business has been growing healthily since April, both online and off-line as the pandemic subsided. We hope that we can help Machine-A, which shares similar values in supporting young talents with us, to get through this difficult time and achieve cross-market rapid growth for emerging brands in the future,” Liu added.
If the pop-up goes well, Karelis said he is open to hosting a pop-up for Labelhood in London next year.
“Both Machine-A and Labelhood represent something even further than retail and that is a cultural experience, hence doing a pop-up of Labelhood in London will be an absolute pleasure, creating and establishing an international community where designers, brands, ideas, concepts, exchange of cultures and customers are taking place, always supporting the same values and experiencing fashion in its true form,” he added.