StyleSociety Pop Up Boutique and Fashion Soiree

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a Facebook event called StyleSociety Pop Up Boutique and Fashion Soiree that was going to be happening at the trendy Fire and Ice Hotel in Cape Town on 27 November 2010. It was organized by Kumari Govender of StyleSociety. About founding this event she says, “With the recession, the new trend globally is pop-up stores and pop-up boutiques of different brands, where they set up a store in different venues and then they just move from one to the next, often in a different city.” I see this as a great way for designers to extend their brand, build up a clientele that will anticipate the designers next arrival in the city.

After becoming a follower on Twitter, Govender suggested I look at her blog, and I had her look at mine too, after which she proceeded to invite me as a guest to this event.  When I arrived I was greeted at the door with a fabulous goodie bag consisting of my favourite product, Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream, a Glamour Magazine, an Elizabeth Arden make-up/make-over voucher, a style advice voucher, a slab of Lindt chocolate as well as various other discount coupons. And this was before I actually went through the door. Guests were given welcome drinks on arrival and even more Lindt.

In the actual venue were rails of local clothing, shoe and jewellery designers, often manned by the designers themselves, as well as hair and make-up stations. Govender and other stylists offered free style advice and make-overs, while attendees lapped up all the luxury and pampering. A lovely girls’ day out, I’d say.

At one point I considered not attending as I was photographing a wedding nearby, and needless to say that in itself was chaotic. But aside from the freebies, during my quick visit, I was impressed by the innovativeness, elegance and organization that drove the event. I have been criticized quite a bit for being cynical about South Africa’s “fear” of fashion. I respect and appreciate those with the initiative to accept nothing but an international standard in their work, be it fashion design, photography, events and even street style – that is what will take us beyond our borders. The facilitation of this event was on an international level, even more so as Kumari decided to take it to “a much larger scale by having quite a few labels present”. The venue was chic and upmarket, big enough to include all it needed, and small enough to keep the exclusive feel. I liked that it didn’t feel like an oversized market or expo.

Furthermore, having no idea what she looked like, the way I tracked her down for a short interview amongst everyone present, was the way she flitted between all stations in the venue evaluating the efficiency of her team. Her hands-on approach showed in the end result.

Kudos to StyleSociety on an event well-done!