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Fashion student revamps London location as pop-up shop for Christmas

Ema’s design for the new pop-up shop on London’s Savile Row (Heriot Watt University/PA)
Ema’s design for the new pop-up shop on London’s Savile Row (Heriot Watt University/PA)

A talented Scottish university student has seen her colourful redesign of a prominent London building as a Christmas pop-up shop turned into a reality.

Ema Ester, 20, has reimagined the frontage and interior of a former police station on Savile Row after winning homeless charity Crisis’ annual Christmas Pop-Up competition.

The contest, now in its fourth year, challenges students to unleash their creativity and convert vacant premises into eye-catching retailing spaces.

Once the design is finalised, designer brands are then encouraged to donate clothing, gifts and accessories to fill the pop-up shop to raise funds for Crisis.

Ms Ester, a second year Fashion Branding and Promotion student at Heriot Watt’s School of Textiles and Design in Galashiels, wowed judges with a graffiti art concept that celebrates British cities and youth culture.

Her pop-up shop on Savile Row is due to open to the public on Monday morning. It will sell brand new products, old season stock, flawed items and samples from luxury brands as well as public donations.

Ms Ester, who is originally from Croatia and now resides in Galashiels, said of coming first in the competition: “It was an amazing feeling. Crisis were really pleased with what I had produced and they have been amazing at keeping me involved.

“We’ve had video calls and emails and they’re they’ve just been great with me and very supportive.

“I’ve been working on this competition for around two months and it’s been a lot of fun to apply what I’ve learnt in the classroom and incorporating this into the real world.

“My lecturers have been extremely supportive. They’ve helped throughout the whole process and have always been available to answer questions. It’s been a great experience.”

Entrants to this year’s competition were tasked with creating the branding, marketing and promotional ideas for Crisis Pop-Up whilst incorporating the charity’s 2023 Christmas strap line Life Beyond Homelessness.

Crisis aims to raise more than £125,000 in sales from this year’s pop-up shop to aid those experiencing homelessness.

Georgina Evans, head of retail at the charity, said: “We were blown away by all the submissions for this year’s competition but Ema’s was definitely the stand out concept.

“It captures the nature of Crisis’ Pop-Up brilliantly and will provide the perfect backdrop for shoppers looking to support people experiencing homelessness this Christmas.”