Now that offline, in-person shopping is making a comeback, can fashion pop-ups be far behind? This year, independent creators and homegrown labels are pooling resources to create shareable platforms. In the last year, a plethora of small-scale design businesses decided to go commercial and also took the flea market culture to the virtual space with digital concept stores and thrifting exhibits.
But now that safe, distance-friendly pop-ups are possible, there are a host of winter events that have been scheduled across the city and are offering the quirkiest fashion, lifestyle, decor and skincare options. Here are a few to get you started:
For its sixth edition, The Backyard Pop-up (hosted by Calcutta Food Co) is showcasing 30 independent sustainable fashion and lifestyle labels such as Santiniketan’s natural dye studio Dorji, organic skincare label Snato, eco-friendly bath and body label Autumn Love, upcycled intimate wear brand Wear Equal and more.
“We’ve had quite a lot of repeat participants over the years. We consistently try to feature labels that are making handmade merchandise, who are trying to help their community or are working with weavers or local artisans or independent artists who run their own labels. It’s a three-day pop-up and on average, we pull in around 200 people a day,” says Utsa Das, who co-founded the pop-up along with Rohan Sur.
Dates: December 10-12
Venue: Calcutta Food Co. (opposite Lake Mall)
Timing: 12pm to 9pm
Lifestyle label Butterfly Tree is set to host a lifestyle pop-up, The Winter Parab, which promotes the idea of community over competition — to help other independent brands showcase their work. “We want to create a community for homegrown labels and creators, who are starting their journey. I feel it’s important to embrace local brands because there’s an abundance of talent around us, but they lack a platform. So, it was important for us to create an inclusive community for fellow creators,” says Utsha Nandi, of Butterfly Tree.
The pop-up will showcase pieces by around 10 labels such as resin jewellery brands Rooh & Flowers and Hayaal, copper jewellery label Cuprum Quirks, eco-conscious skincare label Jugni and more.
Dates: December 4-5
Venue: The Beanshot Cafe, Patuli
Timing: 11am to 9pm
The second edition of C/O Kolkata’s winter festival will feature around 20 homegrown fashion and lifestyle labels. To ensure distancing, C/O Kolkata founders Priyanka Chanda and Arunima Sarkar have picked the airy Sudesh Bhawan as the venue. “The idea is to be able to encourage and support homegrown brands and some talented artists. We are trying to create a space where artists or designers can exhibit their products in exchange for modest charges, as compared to other, bigger lifestyle pop-ups,” the founders share.
The pop-up will line up brands like Mousree Sarkar’s independent jewellery label Prapti, local lifestyle label Hemline, handloom brand Akashlina, Poushali Dutta’s natural skincare label Soapy Tales and more.
Dates: December 18-19
Venue: Sudesh Bhawan, Sarat Bose Road
Timing: 12:30pm to 8pm
The Weekend Pop-Up
For its first edition, the Weekend Pop-up will balance fashion, lifestyle and leisure elements and will have quirky stalls like baking and tarot alongside ethical fashion, Christmas buys, macrame items and more.
“There are so many pop-ups happening around the city, but not all brands can afford to participate, mainly owing to low investment capacity and budget restraints. So, we wanted to organise one where everyone could take part. The idea is to give small businesses a platform to showcase their creativity and their work. There will be around 15 brands and we are setting up the stalls in a way that makes distancing easier and buyers don’t have to overcrowd an area,” says Sriparna Baidya, who’s setting up the pop-up along with Swagnik Sanyal.
Date: December 18-19
Venue: Petal Story, beside Vivekananda Park
Timing: 12pm to 8pm