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ART + COMMERCE

Retailers launch brand museums

There’s been a rise in brand museums that give companies creative ways to celebrate their history, products, and ethos while bringing people together for unique IRL experiences. Culinary brands were among the first to experiment in this space, and now retailers are getting in on the game.

VICTORIA’S SECRET

Victoria’s Secret recently opened a museum in its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in NYC that offers fans the next best thing to front row seats at its annual fashion show. The branded exhibition celebrates the history of the big event and includes looks from last year’s show at the Grand Palais in Paris, including the three million dollar Fantasy Bra and the bondage-style outfit worn by Gigi Hadid. A framed picture showcasing the names of all the models who have ever walked for the brand, signed by many of them, is also on display.

IKEA

The IKEA Museum, which highlights the history of the Swedish furniture giant, opened in the town of Älmhult, Sweden. The main exhibition is divided into three themes: Our Roots, Our Story and Your Stories. The first tells the story of the company’s founder and how Sweden’s transformation from a farming society to a modern welfare state played a crucial role in the establishment of the company. The second shows the brand’s evolution over the years and gives costumers a chance to pick up a copy of the catalogue with their photo on the cover.  The third puts the spotlight on customers’ inventive ways of using IKEA furniture and products.

HMV

In an effort to boost its profile in Asia, UK-based entertainment retailer HMV launched a museum in the Shinjuku region of Tokyo. The store’s exhibit highlighted a selection of work by EBiDAN, a group of artists who moonlight as actors. The company also opened a retro-inspired store that offered 70,000 records, most of them vintage, as well as a collection of more than 20,000 CDs. The throwback space was in keeping with the growing analog movementanalog movement; a quarter of youth in the U.S. and UK get their music by buying CDs and records.