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Man Repeller and Klarna Collab on “Dream Closet” Pop-Up at Showfields—Here’s Why

Fashion and lifestyle blog Man Repeller is taking operations offline through a pop-up retail collaboration with Klarna.

Opening at Showfields in New York on Monday, the “highly instagrammable” retail space was crafted to represent a shopper’s “dream closet,” Man Repeller said in a statement. Curated by the Man Repeller team, the temporary store includes offerings from brands such as eyewear maker Coco & Breezy, men’s t-shirt label Cuts, footwear startup M.Gemi, purveyor of boho chic Planet Blue, and sustainable swimwear player Wolven, as well as Man Repeller’s own line of products.

All purchases can be fulfilled through Klarna’s pay-later solution, which provides consumers with a suite of options for spreading out their purchase payments over time rather than absorbing the full cost up front. After more than a decade operating in Europe, the Swedish company is making inroads with American brands looking to offer young consumers a new way to shop. With 60 million consumers using its payment solutions, Klarna is one of the biggest players in the alternative checkout space.

The brainchild of writer Leandra Medine, Man Repeller’s signature brand of wit and fashion wisdom set out to subvert industry standards by infusing humor into trend coverage. The company has since launched its own small line of retail products and has collaborated with high fashion entities like Prada and ready-to-wear brands like Soludos.

Man Repeller and Klarna launch dream closet Showfields pop-up
Klarna lounge with curated Man Repeller favorites at Showfields. Kenneth Castaneda and Man Repeller

Collaborations and pop-ups have come to represent marketing fixtures for fashion brands and others in the retail space. Playing upon the millennial consumer’s hunger for newness, short-term, social media-friendly brand activations create an air of exclusivity and cache that has proven irresistible. In a retail landscape where e-commerce wins on convenience and selection, brick-and-mortar has turned instead to specialized capsule collections and impermanent experiences to entice consumers and play into FOMO: fear of missing out.

Ultimately, shoppers still consider shopping at a physical location to be an important part of the retail experience. New York outfit Showfields (which bills itself as “The Most Interesting Store in the World”) has found a way to capitalize on that truth by creating an environment for rotating pop-up activations, mostly for direct-to-consumer brands that don’t have physical retail spaces of their own. For savvy merchants and brands, sales are only part of the objective.

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A June study from the University of South Carolina revealed that the top three factors that retailers view as pop-up success indicators were increases in social media engagement, web traffic and press coverage. Of the retailers surveyed, more than 80 percent of the 600 online and brick-and-mortar retailers surveyed had hosted at least one pop-up, and deemed those efforts a success from that perspective, and the majority (58 percent) said they would be interested in follow-up efforts in the future.

For Man Repeller and Klarna, which are not known for peddling tangible goods, a pop-up offers a different sort of opportunity to leverage brand equity. Moving into the retail realm is a natural next step for the fashion site, which lends its curatorial chops to the storefront’s selection and reaps the benefits of being associated with desirable millennial-centric brands. A tech platform that integrates with retailers’ existing point-of-sale systems, Klarna is eager to demonstrate that its benefits don’t just lend themselves to e-commerce, but in-store as well.

Like many brands looking to extend their reach, Man Repeller has dabbled with pop-ups in the past—last year launching the Hotel Man Repeller, a takeover of New York’s Freehand Hotel that transformed the establishment’s gift shop with blog-favorite goodies from accessories and apparel brands The Giving Keys, Lizzie Fortunato and Kule.