AWGE Bodega

October 9th, 2017

Design 4Retail

A New York bodega in the depths of an infamous UK department store. Not a standard pop-up theme that we thought would feature in our ‘on the road’ posts. But then, the creator behind this pop-up was certainly not standard.

A$AP Rocky’s New York style bodega opened in Selfridges last week and we just couldn’t help ourselves. I booked a ticket and headed straight to the pop-up, with an open mind and a camera ready.

The window displays for the bodega were impressive, featuring the half-rolled shutters, neon signage and heavy graffiti. The most instagram-worthy shot for visitors – check out our own insta for proof.

AWGE retail design

My first surprise was the security guard outside the Oxford Street entrance, checking my ticket and providing me with a festival-like wristband. The next surprise was a second and third security guard at the bottom of the stairs, checking my bag and ensuring that I left any liquids with him for safe-keeping. At this point, I wasn’t sure if I had booked for a rave or a flight! But I continued my way through and I was pleased I did.


AWGE bodega navigation graphic
AWGE Bodega stairway graphics

Eclectic. Chaotic. Fun.

These were my first three thoughts when I entered the space. Taking inspiration from bodega’s in his hometown, the acclaimed musician has created a pop-up which mimics the feel of corner stores in New York. The authentic cues come from the chequered flooring, broken telephone box, discarded trolleys and graffiti. And whilst the hand-written signs on ripped fluorescent cardboard may seem amateur, it is entirely reminiscent of NYC bodega’s – nailing the brief that A$AP had in mind.

AWGE Bodega Self Service Sign
AWGE Bodega Pay Phone
AWGE Bodega Packaged Ice Art piece

Selling all kinds of American treats (peanut butter Oreos and lucky charms included) the store also sells special edition Krispy Kreme donuts and own-brand energy drinks. The layout of these items is nothing special – no offence intended – it is the literal representation of a cramped NYC corner store. However, one area is certainly not priced as per the usual bodega convenience! Official AWGE merchandise can be bought, with a tee costing a minimum of £75.

AWGE Bodega checkout copunter
AWGE Bodega Krispy Kreme section
AWGE Bodega industrial packaging
AWGE bodega shelf design
AWGE Bodega Sale DIsplay

Looking around the space, it’s clear that a huge amount of effort went into making the space look effortless. It had character, it had brand and it had a buzz. The perfect juxtaposition with a polished department store such as Selfridges, making it that bit more entertaining.

Open for just 10 days, the pop-up ends on Wednesday so we suggest getting a free ticket A$AP. Pun intended.

AWG Bodega cereal