The OG of experiential shopping, COMME des GARÇONS, may be reclaiming its pop-up shop crown. With as little fanfare as it can muster, Rei Kawakubo's inimitable label is reintroducing its "Guerilla" stores, pioneering temporary boutiques that predated the pop-up shop movement by a good decade or so.

Kawakubo is an innovator, to be sure, but she didn't invent the pop-up nor the concept shop (the latter title is held by 10 Corso Como) — she did, however, perfect countless emerging retail concepts to the extent that many of them became de rigueur. Consider COMME des GARÇONS' brutalist Soho flagship, art-meets-fashion TRADING MUSEUM, merch-centric Good Design Shop, or the constant flood of exclusives that enliven Dover Street Market on a weekly basis, heightening both return visits and the store's street cred.

COMME des GARÇONS' Guerilla shops were an early experiment in experiential retail, the "anti-concept concept store," as The New York Times asserted. From 2004 to 2009, the Japanese company granted local enthusiasts permission to run single-year stores in mostly European locations — including Ljubljana, Berlin, Helsinki, Istanbul, Barcelona, and Reykjavik — that were, especially at the time, not quite fashion hubs. They were successful, too: a spokeswoman reported that a Warsaw outpost "met 300 percent of its projected monthly sales in the first week."

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this YouTube video.

These short-lived spaces allowed CdG to step into territory where it didn't have existing outposts, experimenting with low-cost storefronts that emphasized clothing interaction over social media-friendly facades. One need only look at the plastic tarps and clunky wooden furniture deployed in Berlin's space to ascertain the intentionally roughshod feel. It's quintessential COMME des GARÇONS: a so-crazy-it'll-work concept brought to life by true believers, enlivened by FOMO before the term existed.

Over a decade since the last tiny Guerilla store closed its doors, COMME des GARÇONS suddenly revived the concept. A Guerilla store has spontaneously opened in Tokyo's Omotesando neighborhood for a mere two weeks (it closes May 31), offering archival clothing akin to the original Guerilla locations and even some suitably low-tech merch by way of a screen-printed T-shirt and coaches jacket.

To the surprise of no one, the always-enigmatic CdG hasn't reported any more Guerilla stores, so this might be a one-off quirk. Or, it could be the first sign of COMME des GARÇONS reasserting its place as pop-up pioneer with another series of global Guerillas.

We Recommend
  • ASICS x CDG Sneaker Collab 2024.
    CdG’s New ASICS Are an Explosion of Color
    • Sneakers
  • comme des garcons hoka tc 1.0
    COMME des GARÇONS' HOKA Sneaker Collab Is Extra Normal
    • Sneakers
  • comme des garcons nike air max fw24
    COMME des GARÇONS Upped Its Nike Air Max Game Literally
    • Sneakers
  • Dua Lipa wears a black Coperni hoodie with horns in New York
    The Animalistic Urge to Wear Another Set of Ears
    • Style
  • black sneakers
    15 Black Sneakers for Any Rotation
    • Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety
What To Read Next
  • New Balance's 550 sneaker in spring 2024 colorways including patent leather & suede
    New Balance's 550 Sneaker Colorways Are Getting Crazy
    • Sneakers
  • Rick Owens' Fall/Winter 2024 womenswear collection at Paris Fashion Week
    Making a Monster at Rick Owens FW24 (EXCLUSIVE)
    • Style
  • stussy converse collab 2024
    Stüssy's Converse Sneakers Are Wonderfully Hairy Again
    • Sneakers
  • fragment design's green Stanley cup collab
    Stanley Cups Have Streetwear Hype — But Are They Streetwear?
    • Culture
  • ASICS METASPEED Paris Super Shoe.
    ASICS' Latest Super Shoe Is Fast AF
    • Sneakers
  • Arcteryx's logo on a store in Shanghai
    Inside the Arc'teryx Museum, Where GORE-TEX Jackets Are Art
    • Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.