Yinka Ilori’s kaleidoscopic pop-up shop injects playfulness back into the high street
Now open in Shoreditch, the shop integrates key elements of Yinka’s practice – like the exploration of his British-Nigerian heritage – into the design, products and communal approach of the space.
- Olivia Hingley
- 1 December 2022
Yesterday (30 November), the multidisciplinary artist and designer Yinka Ilori opened his first pop-up store in Shoreditch, London. Like much of his practice, the shop draws inspiration from West African architecture. For this project specifically, a press release explains that Yinka was inspired by the home and mosques along the streets of Burkina Faso. With blues, greens, pinks and violets, Yinka has “created a typology and design language, translating vernacular architectural forms into colourful display units”. Just in time for Christmas, the shop will be filled with Yinka’s well-loved homeware, alongside some brand new products.
One of the main intentions of the project was to highlight the current state of the high street and the retail sector at large, exploring new ways of how we can make the high street a more joyful, playful place. “The high street plays such an important role in our communities but in recent years we have experienced a steep decline with many independent businesses struggling,” Yinka says. “With this pop-up, I wanted to bring retail back and design a fun, engaging space that tells a story,” Yinka says.
Launched in 2020, the shop will feature Yinka’s tableware and textiles, whose bright patterns reference his British-Nigerian heritage and local London scenery. Additionally, there will be some new products, all designed under the focus of “memory-making, togetherness and play”, a press release details. Such items include Ayo Game, a strategy game popular among Yoruba people, umbrellas, notebooks, basketballs and new editions of his Chairman T-shirt, which references Yinka’s history in upcycling chairs.
Also, be sure not to miss some of the brilliant events that will be taking place at the shop. On 8 December Yinka will be singing a limited number of basketballs, on 14 December there will be an Ayo game tournament, in which a winner will receive a limited edition of the game, and on 20 December a Palm wine shop and chat will take place on 20 December, a drink that symbolises unity and community, often served at gatherings in Nigeria. These events are intended to create a sense of community, with much of Yinka’s work exploring “belonging”, and in light of the cost of living crisis five per cent of profits will be donated to Shelter.
The shop will be open until 3 January 2023, and is located at 9 Club Row, London E1 6JX. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday from 11am - 7pm and Sunday from 12pm - 6pm.
Yinka Ilori: Pop-up Shop (Copyright © Yinka Ilori & Ed Reeve, 2022)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.