berlin: #genxbeat

© generator / photography: nikolas könig

generator is a happening design hostel brand with a fast-growing network of properties in exciting destinations across europe. all generator hostels boast comfy private and shared rooms, but what makes a stay even more special is that a great effort has gone into the design concept of each property, making them no less than appealing social hubs that tap directly into the local culture of each city. perfectly in line with this connectivity to urban culture, generator has teamed up with beat, an opinionated and artsy music + culture magazine, to curate a series of creative talks at three of its hostels across the old continent, and the second edition of this so-called #genxbeat series will be held in berlin. these talks are very informal, yet informative meet-ups where the magazine's multi-tasking founder hanna hanra will be chatting with leading deejays and recording artists little bootshorsemeat disco and nts radio.

these meet-ups aim to give the audience an insight into the music industry and inspire a new generation of creatives. the talks will cover everything, from the empowerment of women in music, to dj’ing across the planet, or starting your own online radio station. and that's not all, folks! the talks end with a matching party until the wee little hours, featuring exclusive dj sets by all of the aforementioned participants, in addition to budding local dj talent. mind you, all the events are free and include entrance to the talk, a welcome drink upon arrival and access to the after party. you fancy? then register here for access. the first #genxbeat talk will be held on thu - apr 23 [talk: 8.30pm-9.30pm / party: 9.30pm-2am] at generator berlin mitte, featuring the mischievous boys of horse meat disco as special guests. see you there! location: oranienburgerstrasse 65 [mitte].

© horse meat disco - the boys looking their best

sydney: the smoking panda bar opening

© the smoking panda

adding up to sydney's cosmopolitan vibe is the smoking panda, an eclectic fusion of a cool watering hole in downtown l.a. and a retro chinese diner. the interior shows an abundance of elements from both, albeit tweaked or glossed over here and there for hipness' sake. a distinctive neon malboro sign, created especially for the venue, and the sultry pink, red and black colour scheme pays homage to the seductive clubs of los angeles, while the retro cherry red banquettes, timber beaded curtains, illuminated live fish tank, and red and gold accents allude to the classic chinese feel. the dark wooden bar top and back bar, exposed brick and desert-scape murals all add a pastiche that's pretty hard to resist. and not surprisingly, so does the smokey panda's menu.

mind you, the back bar features over 65 bourbons, 50 rums and an extensive range whiskies and tequila, and is the most elaborate spirits list down under. and we haven't even begun talking about the equally wide choice in wines, craft beers and the very tempting list of classic american cocktails, all curated by world-renowned mixologist grant collinsfoodwise, this place shouldn't be overlooked either, boasting a bar food menu created by acclaimed chef danny russo and chef roy nair that draws inspiration from suburban chinese restaurants. signature dishes include sweet and sour pork ribs, soft shell crab slider with asian slaw and the chairman’s wings served with barbecue sauce. location: 5-7 park street [town hall].

© the smoking panda

london: nudie jeans repair shop opening

© nudie jeans

the second nudie jeans repair shop in london has just become a fact, and not surprisingly it opened  in shoreditch, an area of town which has transformed into one of the city's most dynamic areas in terms of retail and hospitality. the store is situated on redchurch street, generally seen as the area's most desirable address for fashion brands. given this surge in popularity, gentrification is in full swing, and nudie jeans has secured a lofty 73 sqm. [780 sq.ft.] unit on the ground floor of a newly redeveloped stretch of real estate on this axis of style. the store has been designed by the brand's in-house interior architecture team, and features an interior with the distinct minimalist-industrial hallmarks we've all come to appreciate.

a focal point of the store, similar to any nudie jeans repair shop across the planet, are the repair stations, and these are paired by a 3 meter steel-fabricated denim wall with a matching ladder on a track, situated directly opposite. flooring made of reclaimed victorian pine and vintage furniture pieces from post-1930s era not only adds further patina to the retail setting, but also a homey touch. a playful hit of swedish art is represented with a nudie jeans raven-shaped puppet created by artist maline nordin holding open the door. the new nudie jeans repair shop carries the brand's full range of men's and women's denim. location: 19-29 redchurch street, unit 3 [shoreditch].

© nudie jeans

paris: easy laundry

© merci

its distinctive vision and exceptional range of offerings have made merci a favourite destination for discerning shoppers from across the planet. heralding the arrival of the spring season, the concept store has launched easy laundry, a new in-store theme with a very compatible installation of 24 stacked washing machines courtesy of samsung. the theme references – or should we say emphasizes? – the season's domestic connotations of cleanliness and lightness, but all in a very merci way. to achieve this state of bliss the store not only presents its clientele with a curated selection of nifty home appliances by the aforementioned electronics giant, swish home utensils, and a number of organic soaps, stain removers and bleaches, but also a diverse batch of fresh style propositions in white [on through apr 26]. location: 111 boulevard beaumarchais [marais].

© merci

mexico city: la metropolitana pop-up store

© la metropolitana

founded by rodrigo escobedo, alejandro gutiérrez and mauricio guerrero, an entrepreneurial trio from mexico city whose expertise is firmly rooted in design, la metropolitana is a joint effort which focuses on developing design projects in interior design, furniture design, architecture and graphic design. as part of a new wave of young mexican creatives and a flourishing local scene, they aim to make their mark with a distinct vision and approach. and their efforts haven't exactly gone unnoticed as la metropolitana's nomination by london's design museum for the designs of the year award 2015 proves.

and now, it's is raising its profile on home turf by setting up a pop-up store in colonia roma, a swanky neighbourhood of the mexican capital. the temporary venue occupies a space within a restored and stunningly redeveloped townhouse on tree-lined calle córdoba, and which is now home to a cluster of creative businesses and lofty apartments. situated in the basement area, featuring a raw setting of bare red bricks and concrete flooring, la metropolitana's pop-up store features an exemplary selection of furniture pieces, ranging from chair and tables, to shelving and other designs. the pop-up store remains operational for an indefinite period of time. location: calle córdoba 125 [colonia roma].

© la metropolitana

fukuoka: super y-3 photographed by leslie kee

© leslie kee

originally from singapore, photographer leslie kee's obsession with japanese culture lured him to the land of the rising sun where he eventually managed to establish himself in the highly competitve fields of fashion, music and advertising with his dynamic style. one of kee's latest projects is shooting fashion brand y-3's s/s 2015 collection with japanese rock guitarist miyavi and gay dance sensation ayabambi a.k.a. aya sato and bambi, and all under the supervision of its creative director yohji yamamoto. always a happy snapper, kee continued to shoot pictures off-set and these are now to be exhibited at the y-3 store in fukuoka. entitled super y-3 photographed by leslie kee, the show opens sat - apr 18 [6pm-8pm] in attendance of kee himself, and will feature official photos from the series, as well as shots that didn't make the cut, and perhaps more interestingly, a selection of backstage photographs. shoppers who stop by the y-3 store and splurge over jpy 21,600 on goods receive a specially designed tote bag [as long as stock lasts]. location: daimyo II building, 1-13-9 daimyo, ground floor [daimyo].

© leslie kee

hong kong: château zoobeetle store opening

© château zoobeetle

launched in 2012 in paris as a leather goods and accessories line by elsa lepeu and johanna el iman – two sisters with a background in the luxury industry  zoobeetle's operations were later on reinforced by a third member, junior parado, and eventually relocated to hong kong. their joint effort continues to blossom, resulting not only in a growing collection of contemporary bags, small leather goods and accessories, but also a growing number of collaborative items with other brands, and now also a new store of their own. called château zoobeetle, it's situated in hong kong's sheung wan area, and set up as a one-stop shop for design aficionados and anyone appreciative of well-made products alike.

the store occupies two floors of a non-descript building, yet stands out through a chic façade of moulded black panels and gold lettering. measuring 1,400 sq.ft. [130 sqm.] spread over two floors, the interior by design agency substance is an extrapolation of the façade's clean style, and features a similar mouldings that adds a light classic touch. upon entering château zoobeetle, the first thing shoppers come across a well-stocked bar with detailing in shiny brass. giving away the proprietors' french roots is the fact that it's filled with fine wines, poured during special wining tastings, one of the store's activities.

the clean aesthetic extends upstairs, featuring the same wooden shelving, but supplemented by modular displays and a cutesy seating arrangement with vintage sofas by the window. château zoobeetle obviously stocks the full range of zoobeetle's products, but also a curated assortment of men's and women's apparel, shoes and accessories, in addition to eyewear, luggage pieces and cosmetics. obviously, the store's brand list is a diverse one, and lists coveted, predominantly french brands, such as cuisse de grenouille, mr. boho, amish boyish, apologie and pétronie et boniface. location: 38 sai street [sheung wan].

© château zoobeetle

milan: the department store

© lee broom / photography: luke hayes

it's that time of the year again. indeed, we're talking the salone del mobile. as the planet's greatest design showcase, the city of milan turns into veritable playground where leading creatives show their latest and very best. partaking in this year's edition is lee broom, an acclaimed product and interior designer based in london. broom has audaciously occupied a row of empty store units along via alfredo cappellini in the porta venezia neighbourhood to stage his exhibition entitled the department store. the show occupies two entire floors and offers visitors an immersive through a cinematic pastiche of, yes indeed, a department store. visitors instantly become shoppers, and the unvoluntary roleplay starts upon arrival when walking past beautifully styled shop windows towards the entrance. once inside the the scenography takes it up a notch, featuring various sections, including perfumery, ladies accessories, gents fitting room, bookstore and haberdashery. each section serves as a backdrop for broom's newest designs. on display is furniture, lighting and home accessories, crafted either in new materials or in a fresh tweaked versions [on through apr 19]. location: via alfredo cappellini [porta venezia].

© lee broom / photography: luke hayes

tokyo: 221restir store opening

© restir

just watching the pace at which tokyo's retail landscape continuously evolves leaves you breathless. it's fair to say that shopping here is a form of escapism – and a refined one at that – from the daily grind. and if you add the innate sense of aesthetics and love for top-notch quality, it's hardly surprising the city is dotted with so many quirky, cool and highly sophisticated store concepts. the sprawling harajuku maze is a fertile habitat for glittering flagships of the planet's leading luxury brands, chain stores and indie boutiques, and there's so much activity that the retail landscape can potentially change overnight. just off cat street, a busy pedestrian trail lined with standalone boutiques, a new shopping complex recently opened named six harajuku terrace. it consists of two low-rise buildings laid around a central terrace, and its the home of six new fashion and lifestyle boutiques.

following openings in tokyo's roppongi area and one in osaka, it's right here at six harajuku terrace where japanese high-end retailer restir pushes its retail concept 221restir further into the limelight. the store occupies two light-filled floors within the complex, featuring a contemporary interior that's defined by a minimalist interior of shelving in sleek black steel, chunky furnishings, and of course, expansive floor-to-ceiling windows. the 221restir boutiques serve a younger demographic than the regular restir stores and their offerings are more in sync with current street trends. the new 221restir store accordingly carries select men's and women's merchandise from japan and abroad that suits their taste. currently in stock are jewellery pieces by yazbukey, house of holland t-shirts, leo bags and shoes, and men's apparel by white mountaineering and women's collections by facetasmlocation: harajuku six terrace, 5-16-13 jingumae [harajuku].

© restir

paris: #soundofparis

© nik hartley - jerry bouthier

remember we talked about design hostel generator operators newly opened property in paris in previous post? the chain is known for being connected to local urban culture, and so generator launched #soundofparis. it's a competition that would not only give budding talent, be it musicians, music producers or deejays, the opportunity to step into the limelight, but also win cash prizes, and perhaps more importantly, a one-to-one studio session with maison kitsuné icon and dj jerry bouthier and a gig at the #soundofparis party. well, the cards have been drawn a little while ago and the winners announced, so fast forward to thu - apr 16 [9pm-late] for the aformentioned party. it'll feature sets by the contest winners and monsieur jerry bouthier himself, and it's all happening at generator's fancy new outpost in the city of light. needless to say the event doubles as the design hostel's official opening party. see you on the dance floor, peeps! location: generator, 9-11 place du colonel fabien [canal st.-martin].