tokyo: viridian march

© hermès japon / photography: satoshi asakawa

there's hardly any other place on the planet where hermès' artisanal excellence resonates as well as in japan, and it's no wonder that the luxury brand makes quite an effort to continue mesmerizing its following there. next to an elaborate range of meticulously crafted products, hermès is known for its engagement with the arts and collaborations with leading creatives. it so happens that maison hermès ginza, as one of its most prestigious flagship stores on the planet, also serves as a brand showcase. the store boasts a gallery space on the 8th floor where interesting art shows are regularly held, but aditionally stuns with beautifully conceptualized window installations. currently on display is a lush, nature-inspired installation by japanese artist sakae ozawa, entitled viridian march, and which draws on the concept of metamorphosis. portrayed is a quiet room interior, against the backdrop of a tranquil autumn setting. the wallpaper, window glass and floor become the embodiment of lush green leaves and sturdy young branches, immersing the window space in an intensely procreative power that's seemingly ready to explode from within the room. the installation is right up the alley of ozawa, who as it happens, is known and admired or paintings that comprise unique colour schemes and rich and powerful narratives [on through sep 18]. location: maison hermès ginza, 4-1-5 ginza [ginza].

© maison hermès / photography: satoshi asakawa

chicago: adidas style store opening

© adidas 

although one of the leading cities stateside, chicago lags a little behind new yorklos angeles and even second-tier hubs such as san francisco and miami when it comes to happening retail. but the windy city was picked by adidas to be the launch pad for a new multi-collaboration retail concept called adidas style. occupying a 1,200 sq.ft. [111.5 sqm.] ground floor space on prestigious east oak street, it was previously home to the y-3 boutique. the new store boasts a minimalist interior with a slight industrial edge. upon entering shoppers encounter a sneaker wall, one that's constructed with an architectural twist. black and white, captured in walls, ceiling and floor, form the backdrop of chunky displays and a sales counter in untreated wood. a sleek lighting system and backlit shelving adds a sophisticated touch. the adidas style store carries exclusive collections from the expansive world of the sportswear giant. the store carries men's and women's  footwear from the adidas x raf simonsadidas x rick owens and adidas orignals x opening ceremony collections, in addition to apparel and accessories. location: 50 east oak street [gold coast].

© adidas

global: veja memory

© veja

the massive sneakerness event lands in paris on sep 6-7, and veja seizes the opportunity to launch the memory high-top. initially designed in 2009, the sneaker has actually remained in the prototype stage for five years in order to be tweaked and improved. the memory shoe packs the very best of veja: the sole is made out of liquid rubber technology, while the hybrid design incorporates elements of a dive slipper, a chukka and a running sneaker. being a veja shoe, it's made of a mix of eco-friendly materials, such as chrome-free tanned inserts, organic cotton canvas, or according to the style, recycled flannel. veja's new memory sneaker comes in five appealing styles, and is available from early next month at select stores across the planet, including kith [new york], centre commercial [paris], concrete [amsterdam], duke [barcelona] and kapok [hong kong].

© veja

new york: andaz 5th avenue

new york: andaz 5th avenue

view of ny public library from the street level cafe, andaz 5th avenue

if it's one thing andaz does well, it's re-engineering space. we're not talking about the outer limits of the cosmos, rather, the re-mastering of urban structures to accomodate an increasingly selective spectrum of global explorers. nowhere is this more apparent than at andaz 5th avenue, housed in a historical pre war building, in the heart of midtown nyc.

one of the less obvious places to find spacious, loft-style lodgings [we'd expect to find this more so over the bridge in brooklyn these days], the hotel features 12 feet floor-to-ceiling windows, spectacular views of midtown manhattan [including the iconic new york public library], mammoth open plan travertine floored bathrooms and over 300 square feet of room to play in. not to mention the vaulted steel doors on the street level café, hand-selected reclaimed furniture in the atmospheric subterranean bar and modern accents like transparent glass closets, conceived by architect tony chi. the hotel is an ode to the seamless integration of both private and public spaces as well as combining progressive design with old world charm.

the key element of the 5th avenue location is its effortless combination of pre existing and modern features in a way that not only personalizes the place, but pays homage to its classic pre war character. and as for the local area, you're within a stones throw of world class retail, art and entertainment mayhem. it stands to reason then that while andaz 5th avenue is strategically placed centre stage in a chaotic metropolis, they are experts at engineering quite the opposite feeling once through their door. location: 485 fifth avenue [midtown].

antwerp: a.f.vandevorst store opening

© a.f.vandevorst

after launching a number of pop-up stores belgian fashion brand a.f.vandevorst has opened its first standalone store in the historic heart of its homebase antwerp. founders an vandevorst and filip arickx enlisted belgian interior designer bob verhelst to create a matching setting. it so happens that verhelst has worked with the duo before, and for this project he masterfully recycled a.f.vandevorst's signature codes - such as the uniforms, the infirmary and the hospital beds - into a whole new design for this retail space. the entire store is dipped in a soft cream hue, paired with floors of inlaid linoleum and bare concrete ceilings. all furnishings and fixtures have been conceived by the designers themselves, emphasizing the subjective dimension of the interior. the new a.f.vandevorst store carries the brand’s main line, as well as footwear, accessories and one-off and exclusive items. one floor up a showroom is situated, and it's right there where private appointments with the designers will be offered twice a month to selected clients, involving the two designers. location: lombardenvest 20 [centrum].

© a.f.vandevorst

hong kong: somedays somedaze

© above second

a quirky platform for urban art, above second gallery continues to showcase interesting artists from home and abroad. opening fri - sep 5 [7pm-10pm] is somedays somedaze, an exhibition of works by hong kong-based collective parent’s parents and graphic designer kristal melson from singapore. the show is very much inspired by 21st century life and our very [urban] existence that's all too often infused with words and images that pass us by out of sequence like a comic strip without purpose. parent's parents is made up of graffiti, illustration and leather crafting artists who all met in the same design school. keeping their output edgy, the group explores the limitless of chaos, exceptional beauty and modernness. on display are six pieces and six topics.

each painting tells a different story, but all are tied together to form a view on the struggles and hopes of living in this fast-paced century. at the same time they also reference hong kong's peculiar political climate in one piece, and dissect the media's position in society in another. the remaining four pieces grapple with more abstract ideas such as religion, death, money and finally, the revelation of destruction. the artworks are made from multiple layers of hand-cut wood, screen-printed and hand-painted in an intricate collage of imagery. kristal melson's work on the other hand is a mash-up of art and design, using various tools of picture making and an individualistic method of working with various mediums from installations to screen printing. location: 31 eastern street [sai yin pun].

© above second

london: suwun store opening

© suwun / photography: christa holka

amidst the hustle and bustle of netil market, a hub of creative indie retailers in hackney, a quirky new shop has opened its doors. called suwun [pron.: soo-woon] and meaning 'thank you' in colloquial javanese, it has been set up by egle rutkausk and tigana sari, two young, ambitious, and last but not least, culturally-engaged entrepreneurs. rutkausk, who hails from lithuania, is a postgraduate sociology student at goldsmiths university, while indonesian-born sari is a fashion graduate. suwun's opening spawns from the duo's multi-faceted drive: the desire to produce and consume thoughtfully, while supporting independent artists and makers, but also to create an unbiased retail environment that crosses borders between genders, fashion, arts and ethics. this innovative concept really took shape when the founders headed for singapore and indonesia earlier this year.

they met designers and artisans who share their focus on on ethical production and unisex aesthetics. the interior of suwun's container shop is clean and light, featuring but a few and simple furnishings that somehow add up to its forward concept. its offerings are based on the principle that style is first and foremost beyond gender, while - as previously said - ethical production ranks up there too. this has resulted in a tightly edited and rotating number of quality lifestyle products, from apparel + accessories to books, magazines, bespoke furniture and even cold drinks, all ready to be snapped up by like-minded shoppers. the current brand list includes quite a few names which are exclusive to london, including tulisan, mantis world, enfants paradis, cotton bow tie co. and locale jakarta. location: netil market, 13-23 westgate street [hackney].

© suwun / photography: christa holka

melbourne: the standard store opening

© the standard store

orlando and nicola reindorf have careers well-rooted in the fashion business, respectively working in wholesale and as a stylist. when the husband and wife team relocated to sydney, it was inevitable they'd continue honing their skills in this field. after setting up what is now one of australia's leading fashion wholesale companies, they opened the standard store in sydney's surry hills neighbourbood. stocked with a range of tightly edited men's and women's brands from around the planet, it has become a fav address for those in search of timeless quality pieces. and now, only three years on, the standard store has landed in melbourne. the new shop is situated in fitzroy, an area of town awash with cool establishments in retail and hospitality, and occupies a space which previously was butcher shop and a booksellers.

the interior takes cues from the standard store in sydney and its atmosphere that's so reminiscent of indie boutiques in europe, featuring polished copper clothing rails and fixtures with walnut point of sale and multi-level display table, propped up against a backdrop of printed wallpapers by pottok and polished wooden flooring. a set of vintage pendant lights add up to the store's highly personal vibe. the standard store has carved quite a name for itself carrying a sharp selection of men's and women's apparel, shoes and accessories from across the planet, all picked for their contemporary edge and timeless quality. currently on the shelves is a good mix of brands, including maison kitsuné, perks and mini, carven, henrik vibskov and ami. location: 159 gertrude street [fitzroy].

© the standard store

copenhagen: riverbed

© olafur elíasson at louisiana museum of modern art / photography: anders sune berg 

always managing to create arresting settings, ólafur elíasson has now occupied a large part of copenhagen's louisiana museum of modern art with a striking site-specific installation that reverses the relation between nature and art, and also blurs boundaries between them along the way. the transitions between inside and outside, culture and staged nature, become fluid and transitory – and the progress of the visitor through the museum becomes a central issue. eliasson’s installation is an enhancement of our gaze at the museum, at ourselves and at the world. consisting of three spatial sections, the central work - aptly named riverbed [2014] - is based on the unique connection between nature, architecture and art that characterizes the venue's set-up.

the installation is comprehensive and has morphed the entire south wing into a stunning rocky landscape, instigating a new way of movement into the museum. this sculptural approach to the body’s movement in space is also evident in the next section. here, three recent film works are presented, all very much explorations of different spaces and settings. the third and final part comprises of model room [2003], a key work in the artist's creative output that is always adapted to the specific exhibition situation. in this case, elíasson presents around motley collection of 400 geometric models used in developing artworks, and which give an insight into elíasson's hybrid creative practice [on through jan 4]. location: gammel strandvej 13 [humlebæk].

© olafur elíasson at louisiana museum of modern art / photography: anders sune berg 

london: opso restaurant opening

© opso / photography: tom gildon

the newly opened opso by chefs georgianna hiliadaki and nikos roussos totally avoids the usual associations most people have with a greek restaurant. situated in the marylebone neighbourhood, it boasts a concept by athens-based practice k-studio and coherently fuses the design and branding elements. the ground floor has a rectangular narrow shape, divided into two zones which are connected by a central spine that runs the entire length of the space. right at the entrance this spine takes shape as a coffee, but morphs into a high table top for informal, communal dining further in the back of the restaurant. an additional key design element is an open storage system. a generous row of streetside windows allow in floods of daylight. the palette consists of natural materials usually found in old eateries in the greek capital, and includes kavala marble wall cladding and table tops, and hand-laid terrazzo flooring.

the traditional is seamlessly matched with tweaked interpretations of traditional design elements such as oak panelling, leather upholstery and brass accents. adding an artsy touch to opso's modern setting is a triptych of ceramic tiled murals by the artist joanna burtenshaw that illustrates the diner's focus on social dining and the sourcing of quality ingredients from both the u.k. and the greek homeland. named after the ancient greek word for delicacy, opso's elaborate menu focuses on both traditional and modern flavours, featuring only the very best ingredients. this is an all-day restaurant with a wide range of tasty bites and dishes, and of course drinks, that can easliy keep you gastronomically satisfied from dusk till dawn. location: 10 paddington street [marylebone].

© opso / photography: tom gildon