Beyond Pop-ups: Why Brands are Embracing Exhibitions
Luxury brands are known for their quality, craftsmanship, and unique designs. But how do they showcase their expertise and artistry to their customers? One approach that is growing in popularity is by holding brand exhibitions.
These temporary events go beyond traditional pop-up shops, offering immersive experiences that showcase a brand’s history, expertise, and creative vision. From Moncler’s 70th anniversary retrospective to Jaeger-LeCoultre’s space-themed Stellar Odyssey, these brand exhibitions are quickly becoming a go-to strategy for luxury brands looking to position themselves as experts and educators in their field.
But what exactly makes these brand exhibitions so effective, and how are they changing the way we think about luxury retail? Let’s take a closer look.
Moncler’s “70 Years Extraordinary” exhibition, which celebrated the brand’s 70th anniversary, has opened around the world. The exhibition has been held in London to Seoul and featured installations that showcased the brand’s history, from its roots as a small French mountaineering brand to its current status as a global luxury fashion label.
Featuring 360-degree imagery, sound design, olfactory effects to create sensations of snow and fog, the exhibition ticks all the boxes of ‘immersive’. Exhibitions allow brands to display archive product as if they were artworks or artefacts. Luxury brands are able to put their product on an even higher pedestal, positioning them as items to be examined and revered.
“The exhibition format allows brands to display archive product as if they were artworks or artefacts – and illicit the same response.”
Similarly, Jaeger-LeCoultre’s “Stellar Odyssey” exhibition showcased the brand’s history and expertise in watchmaking. The exhibition features a history of time keeping, watch making and a collection of the brand’s most exceptional timepieces.
Featuring exhibits about the history of time keeping and the first measuring tools, the brand acts to imbed itself in this rich history. By being able to author a selective history within a field, brands are able to write their own version of the story of any particular industry.
“By being able to author a selective history within a field, brands are able to write their own version of the story of an industry.”
BAPE showcased the brand’s 25-year history through various interactive displays and installations at their very own BAPE GALLERY. To celebrate 30 years of BAPE in 2023, the gallery invited 12 emerging and established artists worldwide 16 never-before-seen artworks to celebrate the monumental cultural influence of the Japanese streetwear label.
Here we see Bape positioning itself as a cultural patron, as well as a bridge between cultural disciplines like art, fashion, design and music.
The rise of brand exhibitions’ popularity signals not only the desire (and pressure on) brands to be more than just manufacturers, but entities that are valuably contributing to the cultural ether.
It also reveals a levelling up in consumer expectations – we want an enriching, 360 cultural and educational experience rather than something that just looks pretty. We want to know how brands truly align with our deepest values, how they have shaped the world around us, and how they will continue to pioneer the future.
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