Diane von Furstenberg, Dame Natalie Massenet and British GQ Editor in Chief Dylan Jones are among the fashion industry leaders who will select four entrepreneurs to win a two-week residency in a flagship store provided by Appear Here.
This is the third outing for the short-term retail space marketplace’s Space for Ideas competition, which was designed to discover and launch the next big retail idea and to challenge entrepreneurs, emerging brands and young designers to turn their ideas into reality.
The top four ideas will each receive a two-week flagship store space in one of the world’s top retail destinations: London, Paris, New York and new for 2019, LA. Plus, they will receive the mentorship, design advice and budget to bring their ideas to life.
Despite 2018 being one of the most challenging for retail in recent history, Appear Here said it had enjoyed a “stellar year” that saw demand for space grow by 296% in the UK.
This year’s judges panel includes fashion and commerce powerhouses; Diane Von Furstenberg (founder of DVF), Natalie Massenet (founder of Net-a-Porter and now executive co-chair at Farfetch), Dylan Jones (Editor in Chief GQ), Neil Blumenthal (co-founder of Warby Parker), Jeff Raider (co-Founder of Harry’s Inc. and CEO of Harry’s Labs) and Ajaz Ahmed (founder of AKQA).
Dame Natalie Massenet is taking part in the judging for the second year running. “In my experience, the greatest challenge many entrepreneurs face is turning an idea into a reality. Great ideas deserve to be seen, and Space for Ideas delivers this opportunity.
“Appear Here are giving aspiring entrepreneurs across the world the chance fulfil their dreams. The flagship store cities of London, Paris, New York and LA, sit at the forefront of the retail sector and provide the ultimate springboard for the lucky winners,” she said.
Ross Bailey, founder of Appear Here, added: “We’re proud to announce that Space for Ideas is back. Offering entrepreneurs, emerging brands and young designers the chance to unlock their space, start their dream and create something incredible.
“I truly believe that the right idea, given the right space to grow, has the power to change the world. As retail undergoes a period of unprecedented change, providing a platform for transformational ideas has never been more important.
“In the UK this year Appear Here saw a 296% growth in demand for our space, people are yearning for an outlet for their creativity and we’re eager to provide the destination.
“I want to see ideas that embody the need for human experience and showmanship. At Appear Here we believe that a store is more than the sum of its parts, It has the power to be the heartbeat of a community. Retailers are defined not by what they sell, but by the experience they promise, and we want the winning ideas to reflect that.”
The competition is now open for entries on the Space for Ideas website until 18 February.