For any designer, having your own retail store is the dream. The freedom you feel when you finally have your own apartment sans roommates must be similar to what designers enjoy when finally faced with a retail establishment to call their own.
Nada Shepherd shared this new freedom last night at Bayview Village with the official launch of her new shop named for her signature label, NADA. A sleek, sexy interior of white walls and wood floors was accessorized with simple clothing displays and no less than 13 mannequins. And while this is a somewhat temporary location – a year, to start – the fact that nothing was nailed down spoke less to the idea of it being a temporary “pop-up shop” than to the possibility she could experiment with different store layouts. Still, when and if the NADA store moves on, everything in the place can easily follow.
Experimentation is a major benefit with your own retail space. I immediately noticed new garments hanging on racks that never made the runway. “Designed for retail,” Nada explained. Once you have your own spot to sell things you can make capsule collections and even one-offs that never hit your retail partners’ floors. You also have a place to test drive new products – accessories, fragrances, all of those things that drive the bottom line of big labels like Marc Jacobs and Chanel. (What, you thought it was the ready-to-wear?!)
Designing your own store, while exhilarating, comes with a whole new set of challenges. Like buying mannequins, what should they look like? The feet? Hands? What about the face? How many dressing rooms are needed? Where should the checkout be?
NADA is a perfect addition to Bayview Village’s collection of Canadian retail. While the upscale mall may live outside most young fashionistas’ comfort zone (speaking geographically or financially, or both) it is a beacon to the Canadian designer-turned-retailer. Between Andy The-Anh, Brian Bailey, Mirabelli and Ross Mayer to name a few, NADA is in good company.