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NYCEDC and STORY Launch Project Pop-Up NYC Competition

Winning New York City-based Fashion Retailers and Technology Companies Will Participate in a Rent Free, One-of-a-Kind Month-Long Pop-up Store in September

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and STORY today launched Project Pop-Up NYC, a competition to promote innovative retail and technology businesses by offering the winners prizes such as a temporary pop-up store, PR/marketing support, and business mentoring. Up to three winning retailers will receive a month-long retail space, beginning around Fashion Week in September 2012 and running through the end of the month within the Chelsea-based retailer STORY, with 100% of sales going to the winning companies. In addition, up to eight winning fashion technology companies will also be given space at STORY to display and promote their products, which can range from apps to enabling technologies and software, for the month of September. In addition, the winning companies will receive a tool kit of business services including, PR and marketing support, mentoring from industry leaders, and exposure at key industry events.  The winners will be selected by a panel of judges including fashion designer Norma Kamali; Brandon Holley, Editor-in-Chief, Lucky Magazine; Vanessa von Bismarck, Founder, Bismarck Phillips Communications & Media (BPCM); Andy Dunn, CEO, Bonobos; and Shana Fisher, Managing Partner, High Line Venture Partners.

To be eligible for Project Pop-Up NYC, an applicant must meet certain requirements including: being an existing fashion retailer and/or fashion-related technology company; able to support a pop-up store with saleable merchandise (retailers) or a demo/showcase (fashion technology companies) during the month of September; be based in New York City; have been in business for at least one year; and have annual sales or sales projections of over $25,000. Applications are due no later than July 30th, 2012. The application form is available online at

“Project Pop-Up NYC will enable emerging New York City-based fashion retailers and fashion technology companies to gain critically important exposure, helping them to join the next generation of leaders within this important sector,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “By providing the opportunity to sell merchandise from a unique pop-up store, while also offering mentorship and business development training, this program will help these companies take their businesses to the next level.”

“I am honored and excited to be a part of Project Pop-up NYC!” said Rachel Shechtman, Founder of STORY. “I have personally and professionally experienced a wide range of opportunities in the fashion industry here that I believe wouldn’t be able to happen anywhere else.  This competition will leverage all that NYC has to offer to support new, emerging retailers and technologies.”

“Having made the decision to call NYC home for Bonobos has been one of the critical factors in our success. Access to amazing talent, a supportive startup community, and the fact that it's the fashion capital were not only the key drivers in the initial decision but what has kept us here and enabled us to flourish,” said Andy Dunn, CEO of Bonobos.

Project Pop-Up NYC was developed with the assistance of a number of New York City-based businesses and designers. For the physical store design and experience, STORY and NYCEDC teamed up with Brooklyn-based architecture firm Snarkitecture and its principals, Alex Mustonen and Daniel Arsham. Snarkitecture has created pop-ups for NYC-based retailer Odin and designer Richard Chai. Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) member and designer Matt Murphy developed the program’s logo, and Paperwhite Studios designed the website.

Project Pop-Up NYC is one of six initiatives that resulted from Mayor Bloomberg’s Fashion.NYC.2020 plan, which is designed to sustain and grow the fashion industry in New York. The fashion industry employs 173,000 people in New York City, accounting for 5.7 percent of the City’s workforce, and generating nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. In addition, the City is home to one of the world’s largest wholesale fashion markets, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year to its trade shows, showrooms and retail stores. The Fashion.NYC.2020 initiatives address the industry’s challenges in two ways: by further positioning the City as a hub of innovation for emerging designers as well as specialty and multi-channel retail, and by attracting the next generation of design, management and merchant talent. The industry chairs for Fashion.NYC.2020 are Richard Darling, CEO of LF USA; Diane von Furstenberg, Chairman and Founder, Diane von Furstenberg Studio L.P., and President, Council of Fashion Designers of America; Terry Lundgren, Chairman, President and CEO of Macy’s, Inc.; Andrew Rosen, CEO of Theory; and Kevin Ryan, CEO of Gilt Groupe.

For more information about Project Pop-Up NYC, visit
Twitter: @ProjectPopUpNYC


New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives. 


STORY is an innovative retail model pioneered in a 2000 square foot space in Manhattan’s burgeoning 10th Ave. retail corridor. Editorial and ever-changing, STORY is a curated concept shop that takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store. Every four to eight weeks, “STORY” will change out all its merchandise and interior design to reinvent the store around a different plot line. STORY follows the successful soft launch of Rachel Shechtman’s widely lauded beta exhibit “A Startup Store” and since opening has presented stories of “Love,” “Color” and “NY.” Shechtman was also included in the June 2012 issue of “Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.” For more information about STORY, visit


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Patrick Muncie/Kyle Sklerov

Rachel Shechtman