mumbai: muji store opening

© muji

india's steady economic growth and sizeable middle class during the past decade have had their fair share of attention from retailers around the planet, but only since the country's government eased legal requirements a little while ago, have foreign companies set up shop at an accelerated pace. a new arrival onto india's retail scene is celebrated japanese brand muji, known for its elaborate range of well-designed and logo-less lifestyle goods. eager to tap into the vast indian consumer market, muji set up a joint-venture with indian retail company reliance brands, and has just launched its operations in the country with a shop at high street phoenix, an upscale shopping mall and social hub of sorts in mumbai's leafy lower parel neighbourhood.

the store is situated on the third floor of the shopping complex, occupying a 207 sqm. [2,228 sq.ft.] unit, and features a functional shop setting similar to muji outlets across the globe. so, what's on the shelves? the offerings are varied, and seem specifically geared towards a demographic of young professionals, and includes men's, women's and children's apparel, bags, shoes and accessories, furniture items, homeware, beauty products, stationery, electronics, bedding and travel goods. to celebrate the store opening, muji holds an exhibition of iconic goods in the shopping mall's atrium space. also part of its arrival in india, is the opening next month of a second store in the southern indian city of bengaluru. location: high street phoenix, 462 senapati bapat marg, third floor [lower parel].

© muji

online: paul smith x apple music

© apple music

having come of age in the 1960s and 1970s, british designer paul smith experienced one of the most exciting times in the history of contemporary music, and it doesn't really come as a surprise that many iconic artists and tunes from that period have made an indelible mark on his creative output. the london-based designer has now teamed up with streaming service apple music to curated three playlists featuring personal favourite classics and new tracks that make up the soundtrack to his youth, his travels, and inspire his creative work in the studio. the first playlist is entitled around the world in 20 tracks, and is pretty much a soundtrack to smith's constant global travels, blending past and present influences, in addition to a tribute to some of his favourite jazz musicians, who he was lucky enough to see perform live as a younger man. the three playlists are also accompanied by a short film that was shot in various locations around london's notting hill area, including smith’s favourite record shop rough trade, and his very own office in covent garden. paul smith's playlist is now available exclusively on apple music.

© apple music

paris: brioni store renewal

© brioni / photography: kristen pelou

founded in 1945, italian men's tailoring brand brioni has a storied past, and introduced a number of firsts to the global realm of men's fashion. brioni operates in the top segment of menswear, and it didn't really come as a surprise that it was acquired by luxury conglomerate kering in 2012. the new ownership marked the kick-off of a new rock 'n roll-infused creative trajectory and image, initially with the appointment of australian justin o'shea as creative director earlier this year, and now followed by the renewal of the brioni flagship stores to signal the transformation. the company's boutique in paris is the first retail space to feature the new design codes as laid down by david chipperfield architects.

at 590 sqm. [6,351 sq.ft.] spread over two floors, it's one of the biggest stores on rue st.-honoré, and now features an interior that befits the palatial dimensions. the new design presents an open and uncluttered space clad in grey travertine that's offset by contrasting pillars in green marble, dark-hued furniture, and sleek floor-to-ceiling shelving, while a meandering mesh partition adds a slight industrial touch to the setting. adding up to the distinct contemporary feel is a sophisticated lighting system that backs up the natural light flooding in through the ground floor windows. a giant staircase leads downstairs to the basement section where a salon for bespoke orders is situated. the renewed brioni store carries the brand's full range of men's apparel , accessories, shoes and bags. location: 370 rue st.-honoré [st.-honoré].

© brioni / photography: kristen pelou

tokyo: house vision 2

© house vision

home is where the heart is – it's a saying that's pretty universal, but in japan particular dynamics, such as a populations that's both aging and decreasing, natural disasters, and economic woes, put a particular spin on urban planning and how to cater to housing needs. these specific circumstances may be quite a challenge, but also make the land of the rising sun an ideal place to explore new possibilities to the max. launched last year in tokyo, the house vision exhibition considers the house – or rather, a well-designed abode – as a pivotal element in modern society, and therefore makes it the starting point for solutions for many issues, including energy, communications, mobility, the aging society, the relationship between urban and rural, and the preservation of traditional land.

this year's edition of house vision is called co-dividual – split and connect/separate and come together for a reason as It addresses the question of how individuals, urban and rural areas, and fragmented technologies can broght together and re-connect. the showcase, held outdoors in the harbourside area of odaiba, presents 12 innovative house designs crafted predominantly from timber by major japanese brands and corporations from various industries. the fully furnished structures are set across an expansive 12,519 sqm. [134,753 sq.ft.] site, and are all embedded in a setting designed by renowned architect kengo kuma [open through aug 28]. alongside the exhibition there's an extensive daily program of interesting talks by leading japanese architects and other relevant experts, but these are held in japanese only. location: aomi station, 2-1 aomi [odaiba].

© house vision

kyoto: hotel anteroom renewal

© uds

with alluring cultural treasures and sights abound, kyoto is very much an obligatory stopover when heading to the land of the rising sun – mind you, its shopping scene isn't bad either. but finding cool and affordable lodgings is a different story, and if you ask us, there's only one place in town we'd lay our head to rest. initially opened five years ago, hotel anteroom has been the preferred address in kyoto for any visitor with a penchant for design-led hospitality. fast forward to summer 2016: the property has just inaugurated an expanded and tweaked format that hinges on a traditional japanese design theme known as wa

the theme is embedded in a playfully called 365-day art fair concept which allows the property to even better serve as a showcase for young budding artists. oh yes, there's plenty of art. in fact, there are over 200 works by more than 70 artist strewn across the premises, including the guest rooms, and the great thing is that it's all for sale. so, expect to see a constant rotation of art each time you stay at hotel anteroom. local urban development company uds, the owner and operator of the hotel, has added 67 rooms, all situated in a wing that had been previously used as a student dorm. the transformation has resulted in a series of so-called concept rooms.

these have been designed by eight artist teams, including directional creatives such as kohei nawamika ninagawa, kenji yanobe, teppei kaneuji and aiko miyanaga, and further boost hotel anteroom's objective to blend art and culture into its unique hospitality concept. other additions include an art-lending service on the fifth floor in support of young artists throughout the surrounding kansai region. an atelier room on the ground floor is now available to accommodate artists to stay in kyoto and practice their craft at the same time, and a newly opened boutique stocks merchandise produced in collab with galleries and local artists. the aforementioned innovations perfectly complement hotel anteroom's existing gallery 9.5, the on-site exhibition space which has already anchored itself in the local contemporary art scene. location: 7 aketa-cho higashi-kujo [central kyoto].

© uds

global: matières s/s 2017 collection

© matières

following stints at leading fashion houses and a well-received streetwear label, esmod paris graduate and woolmark prize 2016 nominee clément taverniti embarked on a new journey called matières. it's clearly an effort to redefine contemporary menswear the approach is thorough, and even includes the creation of exclusive fabrics to emphasize matières' very own signature. the silhouettes of the brand's s/s 2017 collection are a balanced mix of classic sartorial tradition, street elements, and last but not least, a playful hint of subversion. the eye for detail is obvious, and translates into a perfect cut and fit. the garment range encompasses shirts, pants and jackets, basically a full men's wardrobe. shown here are five looks that we particularly like. the matières s/s 2017 collection is available at select stores across the planet, including maria luisa [paris], colette [paris], merci [paris], juice [hong kong], opening ceremony [tokyo] and idiome [kumamoto].

© matières

rio de janeiro: hermès store opening

© hermès / photography: tuca reines

brazil's luxury market isn't as promising as it used to be, but the house of hermès has effortlessly retained its appeal to a specific demographic, and still sees room for growth. it has very timely opened a second brazilian boutique in rio de janeiro, slightly ahead of the 2016 summer olympics and a huge influx of visitors. the french luxury house first entered the brazilian market seven years ago with a boutique at cidade jardim, an upscale mall in são paulo, but this new endeavour will be the brand's first standalone store. it's situated in ipanema, an iconic part of town and one of its most affluent, where it occupies a two-storey building from the 1940s.

the store's façade has been entirely restored, and the large windows are discreetly shaded by woven blinds. the retail space measures a respectable 147 sqm. [1,582 sq.ft.], and boasts a design by paris-based architecture practice and longtime collaborator rdai. large show windows provide a glimpse into the house’s collections, and two special window displays have been created by amsterdam-based set designer noa verhofstad, presenting a composition of scenes using miniature décors. in the year of the upcoming summer olympics, and in which hermès became official saddler for the brazilian show jumping team, these scenes represent the competition ring for the games and the equestrian theatre of the versailles academy of equesttrian arts

the store interior features a number of alluring settings, each showcasing a different segment of the vast hermès product range. the ground floor is decorated in the brand's signature faubourg mosaic with yellow and white tesserae and golden bronze glass cabochons, and the attention to detail extends to every facet of the design. furnishings, decorative walls and flooring have been made of precious brazilian woods, while natural materials and light colours have been used throughout the store. it's here where hermès' collections of women's silk shawls and scarves, men's silk ties are presented, in addition to fragrances, and in a specially demarcated section, the luxury brand's tableware, jewellery and watches.

one floor up, amidst an equally lavish setting with custom-made furnishings – the specially designed gold upholstered seating is said to be a highlight  the extensive collections of men’s and women’s apparel, trophy bags, shoes and small leather goods are presented. although still not on a par with the abundance of luxury offerings in são paulo, the arrival of hermès in rio de janeiro has given the local high-end shopping scene a major boost. location: rua garcia d'ávila 160 [ipanema].

© hermès / photography: tuca reines

tokyo: vandalism

© nick walker – mona simpson

hailing from bristol, artist nick walker [1969] is part of the stencil graffiti movement that artist and musician robert del naja a.k.a. 3d started in the 1980s, and which has also been a major influence on the elusive banksy. following his first showcase at department store shibuya parco in tokyo two years ago, walker returns to the venue for a solo exhibition before it closes for a lengthy renovation that'll kick off later this month, and it's said to be his biggest ever held in the land of the rising sun. the show is entitled vandalism, and presents works from his vandalism series, in addition to a body of new work. and interestingly, all items can be snapped up. to commemorate the exhibition, a limited edition t-shirt has been released in collab with japanese fashion brand sophnet. [on through aug 7]. location: shibuya parco, part 3, udagawa-cho 15-1, fifth floor [shibuya].

© nick walker – multiple mona

stockholm: rodebjer store opening

© rodebjer

coinciding with its brand renewal, swedish womenswear label rodebjer has inaugurated a new flagship store in norrmalm, an area of stockholm which in recent years has developed into the city's golden mile of luxury shopping. the store occupies a 300 sqm. ground floor unit of a former bank, and features an understated interior design created the brand's creative director carin rodebjer and swedish set designer and longtime collaborator sahara widoff. the duo have transformed the once strictly functional space into an inviting shopping environment, combining clean lines, an exotic palette of colours, and various materials. the existing concrete floor with its grid-like pattern has been overlaid with a configuration that visually adds up, creating an entirely new aesthetic. most fixtures have been custom-made, including a striking display table that meanders through the store, a carpet with abstract motif, and last but not least, a sales counter made of terracotta. the new rodebjer store carries the brand's full range of women's apparel, shoes and accessories. location: smålandsgatan 1 [norrmalm].

© rodebjer