Pop-Up Shop Part 1: Creating a Luxury Shopping Experience in a Hotel Room


Creating a pop-up boutique experience across the country is no easy feat but, we made it happen! Over the summer, DC fashion icon Dani Sauter, known on the internet as "Blonde in the District"  asked me if I would lend a few of my designs for her "EXPERIENCE" room for a big hotel opening with citizenM NoMa in Washington DC. Her room was a glimpse into everything she loves... visual art, porcelain vintage kitties, leopard print, pink and over the top size inclusive fashion. It was also a full circle moment as her first campaign with the hotel chain featured one of my earliest designs. It was such an incredible moment seeing how far both of us have come since our friendship began on Instagram during the early days of the pandemic in 2020.
Because we can't keep things small after I decided I NEEEEEEDED to be there to see everyone in "Il trittico" pink Parisian Coats and both of the long "BAM" Teatro Robes, Dani suggested I try to do a pop-up shop and generously offered to connect byVINNIK with the hotel's incredible marketing staff! I honestly couldn't tell you what part of the room I loved most between the neon signs, kitties in sparkly necklaces and sunglasses or the people coming in and trying everything on lounging on the bed making hilarious content. 
Suzanne in BAM Leopard Teatro Robe with pink rhinestone earrings and brown heart sunglasses in front of garment rack

Schlepping a good deal of inventory across the country meant I wasn't traveling light. We managed somehow to pack and ship quite a bit into this 60lb box which we sent out ahead of our arrival. Some of the pieces were still in production before the overstuffed box went out so, I folded them down into a large suitcase I brought with me for the event with other supplies needed to create a store experience. I was working like crazy to get everything finished and fortunately, the night before my flight about 45 minutes before my weekly live sale, we got in the last additions from my production run merchandised, photographed, edited and packed! Racks, hangers, shopping bags, tags and a credit card reader were ordered ahead of time and sent to the hotel for the festivities so I could focus on getting myself there in one piece without too much stress! I'm quite shocked at how seamless and drama free the coordination was to get everything prepared!


In a few short hours, my photographer and I transformed a hotel room into a shopping experience utilizing the clothing bar and shelving as you entered the room with my hi-lo tops, coloratura capes, kaftans and new long teatro robes in our newest fabrics and prints for fall. We added personal touches to really make the room feel like our brand with flowers and pink shopping bags intertwined with the merchandise. It really gave those entering the idea that everything they saw could be theirs! On the propped open door to the room we hung up the viral "Pagliacci" Roma Coat which has been viewed over 900K on Instagram Reels trimmed with thousands of Swarovski crystals on display for those entering to admire and/or try on as they waited in the hallway to enter the experience. 

Suzanne inside the citizenM Pop-Up Shop Room with merchandise

On the vanity, we placed all of our "tits and bits" consisting of earrings and sunglasses curated for the event with @byVINNIK scrawled across the mirror in pink lipstick! We've enjoyed seeing the mirror selfies shared by guests across the various social media platforms!

Jewelry on vanity at citizenM byVINNIK Pop Up ShopSuzanne in front of mirror with @byVINNIK written in lipstick with earrings on vanity

Opposite, we had a "fitting room" which was actually the shower! One usually doesn't get into a shower stall to put on clothes but, it TOTALLY WORKED and nobody accidentally bumped into the shower knobs and got soaked... a fear of mine! Everyone who entered the bathroom came out looking glorious! We loved when our new clients checked out in a different outfit than the one they entered the byVINNIK room in! 

Next, in the space we had a small garment rack with my jacquard collection consisting of an assortment of Parisian Coats, Opera Coats,Virtuoso Jackets and our gorgeous Colla Voce and Bardot Dresses at the end in a variety of sizes and colors. We didn't want to cram the rack with too much merchandise but, it felt like just the right amount for everyone to see what we design and know that if we didn't have the particular print or style they wanted, we could ship it to their home from our website.

I set up a little shop counter on the writing desk beside the bed which we decorated with robes on the headboard, turbans on the lighting fixtures and one of my newest virtuoso jackets hung over the TV. We placed tissue paper and shopping bags under the pillows as well as additional inventory in various sizes under the bed in the drawers. 

citizenM has done a really fantastic job of designing their hotel rooms in a way that utilizes the space efficiently. It's hard to believe that we were able to fit so much inside. Throughout the night, we loved changing the colors of the lighting in the room throughout the night with the MoodPad tablet to really give the room ambiance along with our disco playlist. 

It was so amazing meeting many of our divas IRL for the first time and connecting with new DC local friends we will stay in touch with on social media! Seriously, it was just toooooo much fun! 

Photo Credits: Kaleigh Rae Photography