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What it takes to pop-up a ‘shop’

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Every year, brands get a chance to translate their story into a physical space.

Those are told through vignettes—constructed for Investor Day—showcasing the hottest, newest, products yet to hit the shelves for the annual event. The idea is to be able to walk investors through the expression of a particular brand, as told through upcoming product and an inspirational layout.

But what does it take to bring a brand to life? Quite literally, it's months of planning, more than 24 hours of construction time and, in Athleta's case, more than 160 pieces of product, one spin bike, one bicycle and a full-size yurt.

We chatted with Andrea Hicklin, senior manager of external communications, who oversaw Athleta's vignette along with the visual-merchandising team. She broke down what it takes to take a vignette from concept to completion.


Product, Product, Product

Like all the brands, Athleta presented its top Fall 2015 product, including the first line from Derek Lam 10 Crosby: performance bottoms in a range of brilliant colors and incredible yoga, run and lifestyle pieces that feature new, washable wool sweaters—the first for the brand.

“The team did an incredible job of bringing to life what Athleta stands for this Fall season. We took inspiration from our Fall catalog shoot and our in-store experience to create what you see in this vignette," Andrea said. “Ultimately, it's about bringing the product to life to inspire active women. "

Mannequins—now with heads and hairstyles

The brand brought out its newest mannequins—designed by the Athleta visual team—that include a few new additions; namely heads and hairstyles.

“These mannequins were designed by our own team, and not only include heads, but also come in new poses like the headstand and the cycling mannequins," Andrea said. “We're a brand that represents a variety of sports and that's one of our differentiators, so we wanted our mannequins that reflect that."


About that yurt…

Athleta's inspiration for this Fall's collection stems from the brand's California roots and heritage. Product imagery was shot throughout the gorgeous woods of Northern California, including Big Sur, Marin and other locales throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Those features were instrumental to the concept of the vignette, replete with natural wood finishes, scrims of redwood and a full-size yurt.

“We come from this beautiful outdoor landscape and with that comes a particular outdoor lifestyle," Andrea said. “ We live our lives outdoors and we design clothes for that lifestyle."

Look for Athleta's Fall product in stores and in catalogs in August.