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Rockets of Awesome Pops Up in NYC for Back-to-School Season

Rockets of Awesome is giving customers the IRL experience just in time for the back-to-school season.

The brand founded on making cool but comfortable clothing for kids wearing sizes 2-14 opened its Fifth Ave. pop-up to a crowd of VIP customers, influencers and press Wednesday night, offering a sneak peak at what it hopes will become the de facto back-to-school destination for style-savvy shoppers (and their guardians) across New York City.

Though like many new brands, Rockets of Awesome got its start online, but made no secret of its ambition to become a full-fledged omnichannel company when it raised a $19.5 million Series C in February. And the pop-up hints at the kid’s brand’s budding relationship with Foot Locker—a strategic investor that led the last funding round—via a wall of lifestyle sneakers “powered” by the athletic footwear retailer.

Partnering with creative agency Ludlow Grey, Rockets of Awesome designed the temporary store to appeal to both mission-minded moms and their curious, active kids. Racks of clothing coordinated by outfit help parents shop head-to-toe looks while an Instagrammable rainbow swing, Boomerang-worthy ball kit and primping stations where kids can dress up their nails with decals and mini manicures, decorate their skin with temporary tattoos, and debut a new coiffures courtesy of the braiding bar.

And because every child is a unique individual, Rockets of Awesome lets shoppers personalize sneakers and limited-edition gender-neutral sweatshirts—exclusively available in the pop-up—to their liking.

Rockets of Awesome’s planned roster of events confirms the new role of the store as seen through the eyes of digitally native brands. Not just the place where commerce happens, stores also can be central actors in shaping community and strengthening customer relationships. Pop-up events geared toward parents include meditation sessions, networking opportunities and speaking engagements, while families are invited to decorate “over-the-top” indulgences (like Wednesday night’s Rice Krispie treats designed to resemble sushi) and shop on particular days where proceeds go to benefit schools.

The shop at 133 Fifth Ave., which carries the brand’s full assortment plus select bestsellers, including limited-edition backpacks, is officially open as of Thursday with a to-be-determined end date that could keep the pop-up running into October.