The reopening of the CDG Guerrilla Store after 12 years has brought what inspiration to the fashion industry?

2022-10-24 06:01

After a lapse of 12 years, COMME des GARÇONS’ mysterious store “Guerrilla Store” reopened in Omotesando, Tokyo for a limited time, from May 16th to 31st.

According to online news, this Guerrilla Store has 4 floors, the first floor is the cash register and the PLAY series; the second floor is the cooperation T-shirt, BLACK series, HOMME PLUS series and our exclusive products; the third floor is the brand Archive display and perfume series; 4. The floor is a complete Archive exhibition hall.

Although some Japanese netizens ridiculed that Rei Kawakubo came to clear inventory again, Guerrilla Store, as the originator of POP UP pop-up stores, its business model has a profound impact on the development of the entire fashion and trend field.

Guerrilla Store, the first pop-up store in the fashion industry

In 2004 GAP, UNIQLO and other fast fashion brands began to rise, the fashion industry downturn, Adrian Joffe COMME des GARÇONS president proposes ' Guerrilla Store concept' of. As the name suggests, it is to sell goods in a'guerrilla' way. The location and appearance of the store are very random, and it follows five major rules:

1. The business period of any location shall not exceed one year;

2. The conceptual design of the interior should basically follow the existing space;

3. The location should be selected according to the atmosphere, characteristics and historical background of the city, and it should be far away from the commercial district;

4. The selection covers various old and new models of COMME des GARÇONS, clothing and accessories, limited products in cooperation with other units, etc.;

5. The local partner is responsible for the lease of the venue, and COMME des GARÇONS provides support in sales and returns.

Until the end of the project in 2009, Guerrilla Store has traveled to most cities in Europe, starting from Berlin, to Cologne, London, Warsaw, Milan, Basel, Paris, etc., including Singapore, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and other cities.

The concept of Guerrilla Store was absolutely groundbreaking at the time , and it was also'anti-fashion'. Most of its sites were abandoned warehouses, factories, and civilian buildings in the suburbs, or simply modified small bars and fruit shops. Arrange some second-hand furniture, these locations are hard to find even on the map;

And Guerrilla Store does not make any publicity. It just pastes some guide advertisements (brown moss) and on-site flyers on the streets near the store. However, I did not expect that this low-key mode of operation will actually have a significant effect. Consumers spread word of mouth, just like a treasure hunt. The hidden Guerrilla Store was also discovered, and its freshness has greatly promoted community consumption.

It is generally believed that Guerrilla Store, like the early COMME des GARÇONS, presents an ancient Japanese aesthetic "Wabi-Sabi", also known as "Incomplete Beauty". It is simple and quiet, humble and natural. It is an aesthetic that fades away from prosperity and pursues its origin. consciousness.

However, from a commercial point of view, Guerrilla Store's repackaging of inventory, the creation of a sense of mystery, and ultra-low-cost operation are the key factors for the project to continue to more than 20 cities. —— Rei Kawakubo also admitted frankly in the interview that the decoration budget of Guerrilla Store is even lower than the price of a Gucci or Prada bag.

Under the influence of Guerrilla Store

The multiple guerrilla modes of COMME des GARÇONS

Guerrilla Store's simple formula has achieved great success. During its operation, Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe were also exploring more types of " guerrilla" methods .

In 2006, COMME des GARÇONS opened the first PLAY BOX in Aoyama, Japan. It is a small device covering more than a dozen square meters with a polka dot pattern. It only sells affordable PLAY series products.

PLAY BOX usually only lasts for about one month. The main scope of activities is in major business districts in Japan, and occasionally in the business districts of major Asian cities such as Seoul, Bangkok, Manila, and Hong Kong. In areas with medium economic income, PLAY BOX’s The test strategy is obviously quite reasonable.

In 2008, COMME des GARÇONS opened two new " pocket shops" in Paris - COMME des GARÇONS POCKET, which is basically an upgraded version of PLAY BOX, with a small footprint, mainly selling PLAY series, basic for men and women Styles, and cheap products such as wallets and perfumes.

COMME des GARÇONS POCKET has upgraded the affordable products of COMME des GARÇONS. It is a more flexible project. It has independent stores and limited time or permanent sales points. Today, there are still more than 30 stores worldwide. , Covering Tokyo, Paris, New York and other cities, but most of them are located in Dover Street Market and other large stores in the form of'shop-in-shop'.

Affected by the financial crisis in 2008, the global fashion retail industry was in trouble. COMME des GARÇONS was no exception. Sales in Japan alone fell by 4%. Adrian Joffe said: “We must work hard to maintain it during the economic recession. Sit and wait to die." —— In 2009, the brand-new "guerrilla brand" BLACK COMME des GARÇONS came into being.

BLACK COMME des GARÇONS reproduced the hot-selling products of the main line of COMME des GARÇONS with black as the main color. The price is about half of the main line. The products are updated every 6 weeks or so, which is full of cost performance.

Since BLACK COMME des GARÇONS was initially set as a guerrilla brand with a time limit of 18 months, its expansion rate is extremely fast. Starting from Japan, it has swept New York, Paris, London, Seoul, and Seoul in just over a year. Hong Kong and other cities.

It continues the guerrilla mode of COMME des GARÇONS POCKET. It has independent stores and also has time-limited sales outlets in Dover Street Market, Barney's, Colette and other large fashion boutiques.

BLACK COMME des GARÇONS is positioned as a mid-to-high-end brand, and it adopts an ultra-short-term guerrilla approach, so a lot of money needs to be invested in the decoration and lease of the store.

At that time, Adrian Joffe said in an interview that the initial sales of BLACK COMME des GARÇONS in Japan had greatly exceeded expectations, and the cost-effective and time-limited strategy was the key to the success of the project.

Back to today, BLACK COMME des GARÇONS has not disappeared. Instead, apparel products are launched in a two-season cycle each year. It still continues some classic elements of the main line of COMME des GARÇONS, and the pricing strategy has not changed. Limited time sales points will occasionally be available, but You can usually get started on the official website and Dover Street Market.

With the changes in the consumption environment, BLACK COMME des GARÇONS has also successfully completed the phased transformation. In recent years, the joint project with Nike has also caused a lot of topics.

In 2019, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Dover Street Market, Rei Kawakubo continued the concept of BLACK COMME des GARÇONS to create brand new limited-time shops in Tokyo and London'B lack Market'.

Gucci, Burberry, Raf Simons, Kiko Kostadinov, Futura and many other well-known fashion companies have launched a variety of co-branded black items. Its grand lineup and volume once again sparked heated discussions in the circle. The black version of CLOT x Air Jordan 1 Mid by Guan Xige is on sale here. I believe everyone is impressed.

From the outrageous Guerrilla Store to the Black Market that shocked the industry , you can see the continuous innovation of COMME des GARÇONS’s retail strategy in each period, which has also turned it from a Japanese designer brand to a world-class fashion business giant. .

The emergence of Guerrilla Store is an epoch-making. Now we know the Colette limited time space, Fujiwara Hiroshi’s the POOL aoyama and THE PARK·ING GINZA, Kanye’s 2016 I Feel Like Pablo peripheral project, VLONE’s early opening of the well-known POP UP sales model, etc. And so on, all inspired by it. COMME des GARÇONS's repackaging of inventory, the exquisiteness of basic models, and the limited branch marketing strategy have affected major fashion and trend brands so far.

Of course, the general environment is still changing. As brands undergo digital transformation, online lottery and live streaming are no longer new. What will be the next consumption scene that can trigger a sense of freshness?

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