Tiger Beer showcases the best of Asian design in a temporary store in Chinatown, New York

Open for three nights last month, the store aimed to challenge perceptions that ‘Made in Asia’ equals cheap, counterfeit goods.

Last month, Tiger Beer installed a temporary store – titled Tiger Trading Co – on Canal Street in the heart of New York’s Chinatown. It was filled with products sourced from designers and artists across Asia, and aimed to show off the region’s skill and creativity in design, fashion and technology.

Created by ad agency Marcel Sydney alongside designer James Dive of The Glue Society and production company Will O’Rourke, the store contained over 700 products. To gain access, customers had to present a limited edition Tiger Beer coaster from one of the nearby bars, which could then be redeemed for one item in the store. Unsurprisingly, queues quickly formed round the block. The ‘installation’ ran from June 6-9 with the store entirely restocked each night. The film below explains it in more detail:

Top: Exterior of Tiger Trading Co store in Chinatown, NYC; Above: Interior of store
Top: Exterior of Tiger Trading Co store in Chinatown, NYC; Above: Interior of store
Customers queuing to enter the store
Customers queuing to enter the store
Close-up of the floor
Close-up of the floor

“Tiger is a premium beer,” says Scott Huebscher, ECD at Marcel Sydney. “It’s an authentic Asian original. But ‘made in Asia’ carries a lot of negative baggage in the US. For our first New York launch, we figured why not tackle the elephant in the room head on?”

To emphasise the difference between the products in the store and the cheaper goods sold in the shops nearby, Dive and O’Rourke placed stereotypically Asian products sourced from Canal Street under a floor made of glass. “The design decision to place cheap, clichéd goods underfoot was key,” says Dive. “To see what real Asian design is, you literally had to walk over what Asian design isn’t.”

Interior of the store
Interior of the store
Customer in the store
Customer in the store
Customers in the store
Customers in the store

Among the products on offer were items from Felix Tai from Pomch, Douglas Young from Goods of Desire and Kelly Lim of Kllylrck, among many more. “It was a fairly exhaustive search over the whole region from Shanghai to Singapore, Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh,” says Dive of the process of finding the goods.

“It was a mix of traditional research methods and boots on the ground. We enlisted both international and local expertise, plus went to a few of the regions ourselves, to literally knock on doors to see the real creativity going on in Asia right now.”

See all the goods on sale at tigertrading.co

Agency: Marcel Sydney
Production company: Will O’Rourke
Designer/curator, project director: James Dive, The Glue Society
MD/Executive producer: Michael Ritchie
Executive producer/head of projects: Josh Mullens
Producer: Jasmin Helliar
Curator/designer: Silvana Azzi Heras
Production designer: Thomas Ambrose
Post: Heckler

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