Phoenix Designers to Open a Pop-Up Shop During Modernism Week in Palm Springs

Pack your bags, Phoenix. There's never been a better time to escape to Palm Springs.

Not only will Modernism Week be filling the desert city with 11 drool-worthy days of design-centric events, but the awesome duo at Modern Bear will also be opening a pop-up shop during the festival's first weekend. It's going to be filled with Phoenix design goodies -- oh, and it's going to be next to the Ace Hotel pool.

Like we said, pack your bags.

The shop, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on February 18 and19, will be stocked with home décor and furniture from Phoenix Metro Retro, jewelry from Heidi Abrahamson (owner of Phoenix Metro Retro), products from ModerncatStudio's Kate Benjamin and art from Jan Stevens and Jason Hill.

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From 3 to 5 p.m. on February 18, Modern Bear's Chris Bale and Travis Smith will be in the shop signing Guide for the Modern Bear, their quirky, self-published manual to navigating the gay bear subculture.

The book is fun and semi-educational, Bale says -- more focused more on the bear-world characters than Mid-century modernism itself. But there will be more design-focused books (and even cookbooks) to come.

"We're busy creating our Beartha Stewart empire," says Bale, who once owned the stylish Retail Laboratory in Biltmore Fashion Park. He recently moved to Palm Springs, but he's loved and lived in Phoenix for years.

Modern Bear will host a Phoenix book signing later this year. In the meantime, watch their Facebook page for more details on purchasing the book.

The pop-up shop is a must-see at Modernism Week, but here are four more design-nerd attractions to plan for. Some events on the 11-day schedule have already sold out, so buy your tickets soon:


1. Modernism Show The grand centerpiece of Modernism Week. Look for 80 décor, art and furniture dealers covering various eras of the 20th century. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 19 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, Feb. 20 Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs Tickets are $15, available at the door

2. Alexander Girard lecture: When Modern Exploded with Color, Pattern, Primitive and Pop Learn more about the iconic designer who pioneered playful textiles for Herman Miller. Presented by designer and New York Times contributor Brad Dunning. 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18 Hilton Palm Springs Resort, 400 E. Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs Tickets are $20, available at

3. Iconic Home Tour Visit the Menrad house in Twin Palms, a 19567 house that underwent a full authentic restoration of its interior and exterior. Presented by the Palm Springs Modern Committee. 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Monday, Feb. 20 Location provided at time of purchase. Tickets are $35, available at

4. Interior Guided Tours of Vintage Airstreams and Trailers Check out restored airstreams and trailers that have been infused with Mid-century memorabilia. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 26 Desert Fashion Plaza, 123 N. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs Tickets are $10, available at

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