A womenswear boutique is opening one weekend a month over summer that will display independent labels and KU student designs.
Heidi Kitch, 40, a second year student in art and design at Kingston University, was given the opportunity to display her work after the founder of a womenswear boutique saw her work at KU’s interim show.
She said: “It is nice to display the work in Kingston, especially with it being in the Market Place in a historical market town. I like the idea of a pop-up shop. It is really nice for the community.”
Inspired by music, words and people, Heidi Kitch specialises in decorating sets for film and television companies. She has also decorated various bars and restaurants in London and Surrey.
PEEK Boutique concept
PEEK Boutique will be displaying the work of other KU and Kingston College students over the next three months to give students an opportunity to shine.
Taking place in the exhibition space of Market House in Kingston, it offers a range of hand-picked clothing and accessories alongside cakes and music to create an enjoyable shopping experience.
The founder of PEEK, Laura Whiting, has created the conceptual womenswear boutique that showcases independent and up-and-coming talent.
The 25-year-old said: “It’s all about giving struggling independent businesses an opportunity to showcase their work whilst creating an enjoyable shopping experience with fresh concepts that will thrill the customer.”
The first event took place on the first weekend of April and was a huge success, receiving great feedback from customers who said it was ‘nice to see something different.’
“Offer them something extra”
Ms Whiting’s success is down to her retail experience at clothing store Pie in Kingston combined with her fashion degree at the University for the Creative Arts in Epsom.
She developed the idea in November 2012 after seeing so many high street shops closing down and wanting to give small, independent designers a chance in such a tough economic climate.
She said: “People have not got enough time any more. You have got to offer them something extra, an experience each time they come.” Current collaborations see PEEK host an in-house café and art gallery.
Keen for exclusive designers
She has displayed the work of people she has met whilst networking at similar events and collaborating with local colleges, schools and universities.
Ms Whiting explains that she is keen to work with more exclusive designers at Kingston University in the next pop-up shop events.
The next event is to take place at the Market House on May 11, 12 and 13 and again in June and July.