Luxury men’s sneaker brand Nera is hosting its first-ever pop-up activation in New York City this weekend, as the brand marks another milestone in its growth.
Launched four years ago by two friends James Yip and Lucas DiPietrantonio, the footwear brand officially launched to consumers on its e-commerce site in April 2021 after years of sourcing and development.
Each style is handcrafted in Abruzzo, Italy using premium materials, with a strong influence from motorsport, motoring culture and design. Its most recent launch, the Arco sneaker, is inspired by the famous Arco lamp designed in 1962 by Achille Castiglioni, with his brother Pier Giacomo. Styles sell for between $200 and $275.
Now the duo – along with creative director Stefano Jacobson, who joined the company in July – are setting up shop for Nera’s first physical presence. Located at 21 Spring St. in the SoHo district of New York, the “Nera Mercato” pop-up was designed by Alimentari Flâneur. Inspired by the local markets of Florence, the shop will remain open until Sunday, June 12.
And, according to DiPietrantonio, the boutique will continue to pop up in different cities throughout the summer. “I would really love to see this Mercato market concept in the Hamptons this summer and other similar cities as we seek to continue to communicate the quality of our made-in-Italy product in person,” DiPietrantonio told FN.
Asked if the brand will have another physical retail presence this year, DiPietrantonio maintained that Nera is still direct-to-consumer, but is open to partnering with strategic retail partners in the future.
“I have a background in direct-to-consumer sales and e-commerce, and that’s where I feel most comfortable,” DiPietrantonio said. “For the right touchpoints, of course, wholesale would be great. We just want to keep the brand exclusive since we only make a few hundred units per style and colorway.
Jacobson added: “For us, we see ourselves as a streetwear company. So we would like to partner with high-end streetwear retailers.
For the future, the Nera team is committed to continuing to “raise awareness” of the brand, as well as to expand its selection. “Yes, we are working on new products,” DiPietrantonio said. “We’re looking at doing other items outside of shoes, but it has to follow the same ‘built to last’ mantra that we keep now. But mostly we’re looking to leverage this new in-person touchpoint we have with this Mercato pop-up design to get our message across. We are also launching a massive media campaign this weekend, which will continue after the pop-up, as we look to create more activations where our customers are. and where our brand needs to stay relevant.