The pop-up store specialists launch a permanent shop/gallery/reading room in the Old Town
|By Heather O’Brien
Wed 28th Sep, 2011 [updated Wed 28th Sep, 2011]
Prague Fashion Weekend had the very best fashionistas and bloggers out and about and the opening of Gallery by Minty Concept Club was no exception. Belvedere Vodka provided mixed drinks from behind a makeshift bar while visitors shopped around and took in the new space for Minty Concept Club’s latest brainchild — the Gallery.
The space, which has high ceilings, lots of natural light, and features pristine white walls with murals of bicycles and other graphics, has more of the feeling of an LA boutique than something one would normally find in Prague. “The Gallery is a destination store,” explains Yasmin, one of the space’s main co-creators. “We were known for the ‘pop-up’ ethos, which created buzz around the company. With Gallery, we hope to bring interest to a deeper level and create a longstanding community.”
Looking around I was struck by the quality of goods and jewelry. According to Yasmin, all of the designers are “in some ways connected to Gallery — they’re usually younger, independent brands that are not fast fashion, but arising from a more modest and creative background.” And she’s right. The Gallery is anything but fast fashion — most of the brands reflect a change in attitude for customers that are starting to have serious conversations about sustainable fashion and what they are willing to spend their hard-earned money on.
Speaking to Yasmin, I ask what her favorite pieces are in the current collection. “I have been wearing a sterling silver snake bracelet and skull earrings from Zoe and Morgan since day one,” she says. “I have a ‘Y’ delicate necklace from Laura Lee. I love jewelry and am always drawn to it.”
From left to right: Zoe & Morgan – Eternity Snake Bracelet; Laura Lee – Rabbit
“All the clothes are beautiful and there are too many pieces I would love to wear,” she adds. I think I can gladly say that I feel the same way about the assortment carried. The day that I was there I immediately fell in love with a blue-and-white printed silk dress by Carin Wester; easy to wear yet seamlessly chic. My other favorite find — Magda Marnell — is another one to watch and I am happy that I can watch, try on, and buy her clothing not far from my own home.
From left to right: Magda Marnell; Carin Wester
The Gallery is different from the traditional stores that one finds on Pařížská and its side streets. For starters, the idea is to start a conversation about a “shop” being just more than a store. “It’s an improvised space, a shop, gallery, and reading room.” says Yasmin, “It’s no longer about retail per se, but more about an experience.” This idea of store-turned-gallery-turned-reading room seems like a perfect fit, and the idea of creating something in a more artistic way has always been the focal point of fashion to begin with. But where many stores have failed, Gallery, we hope, will succeed. Of course, not all artists will fit the vibe that the Gallery is trying to create. Ideally, the store would like to focus on international illustrators in the fields of graphic design and illustration, but any fashion-related art could be added to the “experience”.
So, what can we expect from Gallery in the future? “Designers with a strong story; independent and with heart,” says Yasmin. “We seek out like-minded individuals who have the same drive and ambitions as we do.” Looking around the fashion scene these days I am willing to bet that it will continue to be pieces that are easy to wear and hard to find outside of the major fashion capitals of Western Europe. Thank you, Virginia and Yasmin, Minty’s creators, for bringing some of our old and new favorites to the next up-and-coming fashion capital — Prague.
Gallery by Minty Concept Club
Phone: (+420) 221 776 714 (Office)
** article appeared on Prague.tv**