Hufft is playing big with its ‘small box’ pop-up design, a concept that has allowed homegrown retailer Baldwin Denim to try major markets on for size without signing long-term leases. Over the past 12 months, the Kansas City-based architecture firm and fabricator’s store-in-a-box has helped Baldwin Denim expand to New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and San Jose, California.
Hufft founder Matthew Hufft and Baldwin Denim founder Matthew Baldwin are longtime friends, so Hufft was game when Baldwin asked him in 2017 to fast-track design for a pop-up store in New York City.
“It started with (Baldwin) saying, ‘hey, we need a popup store in a few months. How can we get that done on a budget?’” Matthew Hufft said. “We worked with them to develop a scalable model, basically a store that can ship to almost any location and be set up in days. Landlords are loving this model and offering better lease terms because of it.”
Packed inside one plywood box, the “pasture in the city” pop-up landed rave reviews from Interior Design magazine, with editors calling the mashup “one of the most innovative pop-ups” they’ve ever seen. Fabricated at Hufft’s Kansas City headquarters, the concept features design nods to Midwestern barns and landscapes.
The entire store is shipped in three birch-plywood shipping crates comprised of two nesting “prairie tables.” When separated, the rustic tables feature edges that resemble Kansas hillsides. The theme continues with a dressing room shaped like a grain silo flat-packed for easy assembly without fasteners.
“We are helping create (Baldwin’s) brand experience, and looking at the retail industry overall we understand we have to do it differently,” Hufft said.
Additional Baldwin Denim stores in Denver and Austin are expected by the end of the year. Check out the slideshow provided by Hufft below. Click on the photo to advance the gallery.