copenhagen: normann copenhagen store renewal

© normann copenhagen

founded just before the turn of the century by jan andersen and poul madsen, two ambitious professionals with a penchant for high-quality design, their normann copenhagen brand gradually flourished into a full-fledged design company, creating a wide range of products that straddle the full scope of contemporary living. all this while, the company had been operating a store in copenhagen's emerging østerbro district. initially a modest space, it was later relocated to the lofty premises of a former cinema a few blocks away, a decision that further cemented its rep both home and abroad as a leading design destination.

and now, little over a decade later the combined normann copenhagen flagship and showroom has been quite spectacularly reinvented to provide the ultimate backdrop for its coveted offerings in the years to come. the new design, created in collab by the company's brand manager britt bonnesen and danish designer hans hornemann, the decor is a leap forward into an understatement that's anything but void of evocative details. the building's original classic elements have been restored, touched up, and then effortlessly embedded in a palette of shimmering steel, epoxy and coloured acrylic, thus creating a visual tension that's more than just easy on the eye.

the premises measure a palatial 1,700 sqm. [18,299 sq.ft.] and are divided into four distinct sections: foyer, stage, ballroom and gallery, and each elaborates on a section of the product range with a setting of its own. but the splendour we're talking, actually kicks off immediately upon entering the store, right there in the metal-clad foyer. furnished quite effectively with merely a 20 meter-long rope sofa and a row of identical ceramics. the elongated space leads to the stage where daily fiction, a collection of stationery that was launched earlier this year, is paired with the new materials library in a candy store-like setting that's adorned by no less than 160 amp lamps.

the sense of adventure that normann copenhagen's new interior instills, acquires a sudden edge of sensuality when heading down a metal shaft down to the gallery space. amidst a pink-lit scenography with specially commissioned soundtracks by artist nina holmgren, a swell sofa and a number of other selected designs beckon to be admired up close. similarly to the ground floor, the subterranean domain is interspersed with fashion items – we're talking curated statement pieces – that add up to the ultimate lifestyle experience normann copenhagen has managed to uphold so effortlessly all these years. location: østerbrogade 70 [østerbro].

© normann copenhagen

online: feit military hiker

© feit

for many residing in the northern hemisphere, chillier times are nearing fast, and that obviously means adjusting your wardrobe. we believe in investing in well-crafted pieces, especially when it comes to footwear, that last more than one season. and you know what? the military hiker boots by feit totally fit the bill. drawing inspiration from the classic military trench boot, they're taller than the brand's unlined hiker, and feature a dual material suede and leather design. the one-piece upper is flexible and hugs the foot due to its narrow shaft, while the collar and toe are lined with leather to provide extra durability. the hand-sewn goodyear construction, gusseted tongue, and rugged vibram gumlite outsole make it water-resistant and grounding for the wearer in any rugged outdoors setting or urban jungle. the feit military hiker is available at feit stores in sydney and new york city, but can also be ordered online.

© feit

london: axel arigato store opening

© axel arigato

spawned from the creative minds of max svärdh and albin johansson, two young gothenburg-based entrepreneurs, sneaker brand axel arigato was founded two years ago with the aim to provide the discerning demographic with a product range that pair style with high quality and affordability. mind you, before the duo set up the brand, they rightfully sensed a need in the market, and built a name for themselves by forgoing traditional channels and engaging with customers directly. never looking back, axel arigato is now on top of its game, releasing one new style every week on their website.

the company's relentless ambition hasn't wavered, and in fact, gained new momentum with the opening of its first flagship store in the planet's most dynamic retail market: london. having secured a premium location in soho, arguably the most coveted neighbourhood in town for trend-conscious brands, axel arigato remained true to its roots, and the exceptional talent of stockholm-based architect christian halleröd, to collaborate on a matching interior design. the aesthetic is intentionally sleek and understated – which as it happens, is a hallmark of halleröd's many concoctions – to allow its diverse range of designs to pop.

rows of large black-framed windows define the façade, allowing generous peeks of an understated palette that includes concrete, metal and mirrors. the retail space is sparsely furnished, featuring only a few chunky white-coloured tables, all carved from a boulder of terrazzo stone and each with different architectural characteristics. the new axel arigato store  carries the brand's full range of men's and women's shoes, accessories, and apparel items, in addition to a selection of rare japanes books, magazines and objects. it also serves as a curated gallery with carefully selected brands, items and events. from november the store stocks apparel items by matthew miller and göran kling's jewellery pieces. location: 19-23 berwick street [soho].

© axel arigato

paris: saint laurent s/s 2017 women's collection

© saint laurent

amidst the hoopla of paris fashion week all eyes were on designer anthony vaccarello and his first women's collection for the house of saint laurent. as we all know, the revival of the fashion house was in full swing when his predecessor made a tumultuous exit that's still taked about, and the belgian-italian creative had quite big shoes to fill. but vaccarello passed the test with flying colours, showing a s/s 2017 womens collection that was not only a firm nod to a number of iconic saint laurent silhouettes from the past, but also showed off his own strong sense of sex appeal. the classic women's tuxedo jacket, puffed-shoulder dress, and the see-through blouse – mind you, an audacious male model was seen wearing one – had all been reimagined, and presented in a context as if it were regular street garb. the latter notion had much to do with the raw setting of the catwalk show, a derelict complex in the heart of paris which, in two years time, will be the future headquarters of the house of saint laurent, but also signals the prolongation of the counterculture element first infused into the brand by slimane. shown here are seven looks from the collection that we particularly like.

© saint laurent

montreal: crew collective & café opening

© henri cleinge / photography: adrien williams

in its third year of operations, montreal-based freelance design and web developer marketplace crew made a bold move, and opened a new venue in downtown montreal. and not just any venue, but on the premises of the royal bank of canada tower. a neoclassical landmark building from the mid-1920s, it's replete with soaring vaulted ceilings, chandeliers, intricate tiling and inlay marble flooring. the structure had been empty for almost six years, and was in need of an audacious new occupant to bring it back to life. crew enlisted local architect henri cleinge to redevelop the 12,000 sq.ft. [1,115 sqm.] space, and obviously it was done with respect of the building's original architectural features.

interestingly, the crew collective & café as it's now called, has become a hybrid space that's not only home to a new co-working space, but also the company's head office, and last but not least, a café section accessible for the public. as said, the original decor has been retained, while sleek modern elements have been inserted, thereby creating a compelling contrast. the bank's deposit-slip counters are incorporated into an elongated bar, while custom light fixtures above the counter adds a distinctly modern touch. the bank teller counters now divide the café area shop from the members-only co-working space and the crew head office.

the new design integrates brass plated steel throughout, fixed to boxy minimal enclosures that serve a co-woriking and meeting rooms, form both a dialogue and a contrast with the existing yet ornate brass elements. although each section is clearly designated, they very much form a visually cohesive space. all tables, chairs and bar stools have been sourced from de gaspé, a design firm from montreal. crew collective & café's menu lists a wide range of espresso and coffee options, healthy snacks and fruit and yoghurt mixes, and we totally see the place becoming the new downtown hub for digital creatives location: 360 rue st.-jacques [downtown].

© henri cleinge / photography: adrien williams

lausanne: aesop store opening

© aesop

there's no mountain high enough for aesop, not even the swiss alps. we're talking the ongoing expansion of the australian cosmetics brand, and its sixth signature store in switzerland in particular. tucked away in a cobblestoned street in the historic heart of lausanne, it's quite compact, boasting a mere 17 sqm. [182 sq.ft.] of retail space. but what it may lack in space, it makes up with a beautiful aesthetic inspired by giò ponti's modernist interior of hotel royal continental in naples, and created by aesop's paris-based in-house architect marion mouny. it's an oasis of lacquered timber, acerro timber to be precise, captured by ample shelving, a sales counter, a demonstration sink, and wall paneling. a pair of eye-catching vintage chandeliers by paolo venini from the 1960s not only lends the space a chic yet frivolous touch, but also help to balance out the ruggedness of the ceiling and flooring. further furnishings comprise of two art deco stools that provide customers the opportunity to sit back for a beauty consult or to merely take in the gorge surrounds. the new aesop boutique stocks the brand's full range of skin, body and hair care products. location: rue st.-laurent 6-8 [centre].

© aesop

paris: summercamp

© vetements + idea 2016 / photography: pierre-ange carlotti

the second book by cult fashion brand vetements will be launched by idea publishers during the hustle and bustle of paris fashion week at comme des garçons trading museum on mon – oct 3 [5.30pm-7.30pm]. similarly to the first release, it's undoubtedly a much-prized possession, featuring shots of the brand's s/s 2017 collection by pierre-ange carlotti, an up-and-coming visual provocateur based in the city of light, and who collaborated on the project with stylist lotta volkova and model paul hameline. vetements may be a company, but this project also signals that it's a tightly-knit group of both friends and collaborators.

the book was shot at a château in northern france and the result is a stream of quirky shots that seamlessly match the off-beat identity of the brand. additionally, the book features the collab collection in which vetements worked with juicy couture, brioni, comme des garçons shirt, champion, manolo blahnik, and twelve more companies on uniquely tweaked and reinvented product lines. having shown the collection at galeries lafayette in paris during couture week this past july, vetements will skip the upcoming edition of fashion week and instead presents this summercamp book. launch location: 54 rue du faubourg st.-honoré [st.-honoré].

© vetements + idea 2016 / photography: pierre-ange carlotti

london: patta store opening

© studio lili / photography: louiza mei king

patta is in retail expansion mode again. only four years after its co-owned multibrand store concept precinct 5 in downtown amsterdam failed to fully bloom – and let's not forget the pop-up ventures on either side of the big pond . it's once again focusing on sustainable growth through additionall brick an mortar presence. the owners picked london's flourishing retail arena to test the water, and given the brand's loyal following in this neck of the woods, we're pretty sure it'll be a successful venture. patta strategically chose a location in soho, very much the hub of leading names in streetwear in the british capital, and tapped amsterdam-based designer lili de goede to create a matching retail setting.

referencing the design codes as laid down for the original store in amsterdam's red light district, the setting is minimalist with a slight utilitarian touch that's captured by scaffolding rods used to create an elongated display-cum-clothing rack. directly opposite, there's more shelving, but in a contrasting sleek form, created from white powder-coated steel, presenting the patta t-shirt collection. the flooring and a single wall section, are made of plywood boards, and mildly balance out the overt brightness of the store's palette. mind you, even the sales counter is all-white, although it's embellished with an integrated glass display case. the new patta outpost stocks the brand's full range of merchandise, including the rotating range of collab items. location: 6 silver place [soho].

© studio lili / photography: louiza mei king

tokyo: louis vuitton installation

© dsm ginza

it's a well-known fact that fashion designer kim jones has a soft spot for tokyo. so, it isn't very surprising that following a high-profile men's pop-up store at luxury department store isetan only last july, louis vuitton has once again pushed its menswear collection into the limelight with an immersive installation at another revered shopping destination in the japanese capital: dover street market ginza. situated at the so-called elephant room on the store's ground floor, it features a specially designed setting with its publicity slogan volez, voguez, voyagezdiagonally imprinted across the floor, walls, and even the furnishings. presented at the space are selected items from louis vuitton's a/w 2016 men's collection, in addition to exclusive products that'll only be available here. location: dover street market ginza, ginza 6-9-5, ground floor [ginza].

© dsm ginza

hong kong: touching/touched

© aishonanzuka

toshiaki hicosaka [1983] is kyoto-based painter who holds a degree in information design from kyoto university of art + design, and it's this expertise which may have inspired his tech approach – mind you, he has been using coarse-grained photographs as a base for many of his canvases. the japanese painter has a keen interest in the relationship between people and iconography, and extensively explores various media to maintain a broad perspective to explore and capture the essence of whatever catches his gaze. however, painting is very much at the core of hicosaka's creative focus, and the exhibition which opens today, in the presence of the master himself, at aishonanzuka gallery in hong kong is prove of that. entitled touching/touched, the show references hicosaka's practice of using a wide variety of materials even in his paintings, and thus a tactile allure that aims to link up with the power of an evocative image. on display is a range of major works that have been on display at major venues across the planet, in addition to a body of new artworks [on through oct 22]. location: regency centre, 9 wong chuk hang road, phase 1, unit 13a [aberdeen].

© aishonanzuka