Nordstrom is expanding its Space store-within-stores program for emerging designers to four locations in Los Angeles, Nashville and Toronto — cities “known for their amazing fashion, and the people there have such a strong sense of individual style,” Olivia Kim, the retailer's vice president of creative projects, said Tuesday.
Kim launched Space last year and the boutiques run at Nordstrom’s stores in San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, Vancouver and online at nordstrom.com/SPACE.
The Space boutique areas are set apart with interior design elements like pink mannequins, mixed materials and art objects to accent the area, including neon pink mirrors from Ettore Sottsass, bright pink woven rubber benches by Kwangho Lee, graphic printed end tables by Michele De Lucchi, colorful vintage benches by Verner Panton, rainbow resin polychrome shelving from Gaetano Pesce, and other one-of-a-kind pieces from Kim's favorite artists, sourced from Johnson Trading Gallery in New York City.
Many of Olivia Kim’s projects include pop-up boutiques featuring merchandise by high-end brands with more of an edge than Nordstrom's typical fare, specially curated and offered for a limited time. These “pop in” events tend to garner “hurry up and go” attention from fashion magazines and blogs.
The pop-ups fit with what Nordstrom co-president Blake Nordstrom says are essential aspects of the retailer's overall strategy to beat back the doldrums department stores find themselves in these days.
“Our merchandise strategy remains focused on providing our customers with newness,” Nordstrom said in a statement earlier this year. “Our efforts to grow relevant brands that have limited distribution play an important role in creating excitement and attracting new customers.”
The Space concept enables Nordstrom to highlight emerging fashions in a permanent in-store setting, keeping the chain top of mind for people interested in new designers or styles not easily found elsewhere.
"We want to make a statement with our stores in these markets and identify them as destinations for fashion, style, art and culture,” Kim said in a statement. “Our customers are really curious and educated about fashion, and part of our goal with Space is to create a platform to introduce our customers to this side of designer fashion — this place where the directional collections or up-and-comers have a place to live and grow."