Small fleeting establishments from enterprising individuals have been popping up for years: a temporary shop of artisan goods, a one-time dinner in the back of a gallery. So it is no surprise, as with most things that catch fire, that larger, recognized brands have begun to host their own editions too.
While Noma, arguably the world’s best restaurant, is temporarily exchanging its “hej” for “kon’nichiwa” during a six-week residency at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Tokyo, Japan, clothing brand Club Monaco has taken over its space in Copenhagen’s Christianshavn neighbourhood. The unique retail concept, CM at Noma, is a sanctuary for the beautiful, showcasing select styles from Club Monaco’s current season, limited pieces from the label’s archive, curated accessories and homeware, and an impressive collection of publications from the Strand Bookstore in New York.
Overlooking the harbour, opposite the Inner City, Noma features exposed wooden beams, whitewashed brick and concrete walls, and pale wooden floors, which provided a blank canvas for Club Monaco. The retailer brought in creations from local Danish artists and New York–based makers to outfit the space with hand-crafted wooden yurts, large woven art installations, and blossoming floral bouquets. Accompanying the wares is Swedish coffee roasters Koppi, supplying that sought after caffeine jolt.
The curious case of pop-up culture, and perhaps why it’s caught on so quickly, stems from the temporary creative freedom it provides. While pop-ups offer small and unknown names a platform to showcase their craft, it also allows established labels to playfully deviate from their branding or build something new upon it. For Club Monaco, CM at Noma asserts the company’s stake as more than a clothing business—instead, it’s a lifestyle brand.
Almost every day of the pop-up, Club Monaco will host an array of events, each an extension of this lifestyle division: cocktail parties with vino from Ved Stranden 10 and spirits from mixologist Søren Krogh Sørensen; a leather workshop with craftsman Simon Tuntelder; a whisky tasting from Stauning Whisky; intimate concerts with Danish artists; and many more.
It is safe to categorize CM at Noma not as just a pop-up shop but rather the host of a collection of pop-up events—an interesting but welcome evolution of the original idea. As the nature of pop-ups continues to develop, we’re sure to see more iterations from big industry players. In any case, in true fashion of the traditional stead, CM at Noma is open only until March 13. Here today, gone tomorrow.