tokyo: louis vuitton pop-up store

© louis vuitton japan

following the huge success of last year's pop-up store at isetan, louis vuitton's menswear designer kim jones has returned to the illustrious department store in his beloved tokyo to set up another temporary retail space. but this time, the louis vuitton pop-up store has a different angle, having limited edition merchandise on offer that's curated by none other than hiroshi fujiwara. the hugely popular japanese style guru, a longtime friend of jones, has collaborated on a capsule collection that fuses streetwear and high-end fashion into a hybrid range of items, including apparel items, bags, among which four versions of the monogram eclipse bag, small leather goods and iphone cases, and obviously these are all adorned by the french fashion house's iconic monogram. the louis vuitton pop-up store is situated on the ground floor of the men's building, and features a setting that blends the luxury brand's shimmer and shine with subtle underground elements that reference fujiwara's very own pop-up store the park-ing ginza [open through july 19]. location: isetan shinjuku, 3-14-1 shinjuku, ground floor [shinjuku].

© louis vuitton japan

stockholm: generator hostel opening

© generator

it's full steam ahead for generator. the design-led – and dare we say fun-infused – hostel chain has opened cool properties in europe's most buzzing destinations at an accelerated pace, and now stockholm too has joined the list. the new property occupies a former office building in norrmalm, a downtown area of the city, and features 796 beds in 233 suites, premium private rooms, and shared hostel lodging, all spread over 11 floors. and for those who love to live large, a studio apartment with a private kitchen and living is readily available. similarly to other generator hostels, the new outpost is infused with funky design elements courtesy of toronto-based practice and longtime collaborator designagency, and thanks to a series of alluring communal spaces, it's bound to be the neighbourhood's new social hub as well.

the welcoming and spacious lobby boasts quirky pops of colour and oversized pendant lighting, and is open day and night for guests and vistors alike to hang-out and chill. another place to rub shoulders over a drink and a bite is the ground floor café and bar. open daily, it's where to go for either breakfast and brunch or lunch and dinner, featuring a menu by chef david gard. a full-fedged restaurant, called standalone, and featuring a setting inspired by the swedish capital, and serving global street food, will open on the premises later this year. when duty calls, one floor up a lounge and convertible communal spaces are situated. needless to say that stockholm as your next destination to explore just got a little more real. location: torsgatan 10 [norrmalm].

© generator

singapore: k+ curatorial space opening

© kinetic singapore

based in singaporekinetic is a boutique design and advertising agency with an inquisitive drive. and so much so, it considers making connections with like-minded creatives across various disciplines essential to remain on top of the game. as described in a previous post, the company set up a gallery space at scotts square to provide a platform to budding creative talent. and now, more than a year later, a bigger 4,000 sq.ft. [372 sqm.] exhibition space and expanded format has been inaugurated on the premises of the same shopping mall. the new k+ curatorial space totally ups the ante, accommodating not only a gallery, but also a shop with a curated range of lifestyle products.

to be found on the shelves are books, furniture pieces and apparel items, all designed by singaporean creatives. but that's not all. the new venue also has a community space with attached co-working space for creative start-ups and a separate exhibition space for local art schools and associations. the gallery's inaugural show is dedicated to acclaimed local furniture designer nathan yong, and presents new furniture designs, as well as items that he designed under the grafunkt by nathan yong label. after the show, the new line of products will be carried exclusively at k+ curatorial space until february of next year. location: scotts square, 6 scotts road, unit 03-11 [orchard west].

© kinetic singapore

paris: amastan hotel opening

© amastan hotels / photography: adrien dirand

in paris, there isn't exactly a shortage of cool places where to lay your head to rest, but few offer the subtly calibrated style of the amastan paris. the newly opened and first boutique hotel of entrepreneur zied sanhaji is conveniently situated in the heart of the city – just off the iconic champs-élysées thoroughfare in fact – and is a tranquil urban haven for a more cultured flock of travellers. amastan's interior, created by designers juan pablo naranjo and jean-christophe orthlieb of local practice nocc, effortlessly pairs style and comfort with details that'll directly speak to the initiated.

the quirky atmosphere is immediately evident upon entering the lobby. an architectural light scheme complements a setting of walls clad in petrol blue herringbone parquet, and a specially commissioned, luxurious tapestry by german designer jan kath. the property features just 24 homey guest rooms, spread over six floors. these pads ooze a distinct homey vibe, and feature a palette that's extrapolated from the setting downstairs. similar blue parquet walls and flooring are paired with lacquered oak and brass, while bespoke furniture pieces further personality. rooms facing the back of the hotel come with beautiful garden views, and some have private furnished balconies.

as said, it's tranquil refuge in the heart of paris, but that doesn't mean it's entirely void of jolly banter...no sir! ground floor bar and night haunt anouk, accommodates locals and guests alike with killer cocktails and light bites amidst a stylish setting of floor-to-ceiling brass-framed bottle shelves, an ornate chandelier and large bay windows. the venue opens onto a lush, landscaped garden, perfect to steal a smoke and bond with gauloises-toting parisians. adjacent to the hotel entrance, amastan’s project space will exclusively host pop-up installations and collab projects in the realm of art, fashion and design. location: 38 rue jean mermoz [champs-élysées].

© amastan hotels / photography: adrien dirand

tokyo: aesop store opening

© aesop

these past few years, aesop has been rapidly expanding its footprint in tokyo, setting up shop in key shopping zones across the city. until recently the shinjuku neighbourhood lacked an outpost, but that void has now been filled. the australian cosmetics company established a shop-in-shop in newoman, a brand new retail complex geared specifically towards a female demographic, and situated directly opposite shinjuku station, and in true aesop style, it's once again a superbly executed, design-led retail setting. tokyo-based practice torafu architects was enlisted to create a design, and the result is one that pairs functionality with a stunning aesthetic.

set across a compact 46 sqm. [495 sq.ft.], the setting in its entirety is crafted from limestone, and yes, that includes flooring and ceiling. two pillars, incorporating shelving, are situated on one side of the unit, while a lower and elongated cabinet marks the opposite perimetre. a unit with sink protrudes from one pillar, and a detached sales counter is placed in the middle. lighting is another important element of the design, comprising of a grid of sunken ceiling lights, a light band that demarcates the ceiling, and a single desk lamp on the counter. the new aesop shop-in-shop sticks the brand's full range of skin, body and hair care products. location: newoman, 4-1-6 shinjuku, ground floor [shinjuku].

© aesop

copenhagen: väkst restaurant opening

© väkst / photography: chris tonnesen

there's no denying the noma effect has done quite a bit for copenhagen's culinary scene, making it one of the most dynamic in northern europe and creating a new can-do mindset among local chefs and entrepreneurs. the danish capital now boasts a handful of highly prized restaurants, and the wave of interesting new openings has yet to cease. a new gem that has arrived onto the scene is väkst, a gourmet restaurant set on two floors on the premises of hotel sp34 in the historic heart of copenhagen. the new venture of hospitality entrepreneur torben klitbo is equally design-led, and väkst – or growth in plain danish – effortlessly extrapolates the hotel's scandinavian style, but with a quirky twist as the very heart of the establishment comprises of an indoor greenhouse packed with plants.

the interior design, by local retailer and architecture practice genbyg, aims to recreate the sense of a garden setting, albeit one that's not too well-kept and with a relaxed bohemian touch. the majority of the materials are recycled, adding intneional patina to the look of the place. the bar is made of old scaffolding planks, lamps are made ​​of old zinc milk cans, the floor of the basement is made ​​of old floorboards, and so on. taking pride in local cuisine and ingredients, the menu at väkst's is based on fresh nordic veggies, but backs it up with a good piece of meat or fish, and a curated range of french, italian and german wines. location: hotel sp34, sankt peders stræde 34 [indre by].

© väkst / photography: chris tonnesen

miami: east miami hotel opening

© swire hotels

for many decades, miami has been seen as a destination where to frolic on the beach or board a five-star cruise vessel bound for the caribbean. well, no more. since launching little over a decade ago, art basel miami beach – an off-shoot of the european super art fair – has lured a new breed of rich and famous to these sunny shores, creating not only an unprecedented buzz, but also an enormous image upgrade. the limelight hasn't been switched off since, leading to the emergence of the city's design district as a  global hub for art, design and luxury, and a slew of related investments and developments that further solidify miami's new stature.

the recent opening of east miami, a new five-star hotel, can be seen in the light of this boom. the property is embedded in brickell city centre, a flagship project of hong kong-based swire properties, and is managed by its division swire hotels. it's a mammoth mixed-use complex that spans no less than five blocks, and comprises of apartments, offices, a shopping mall, and as said east miami as its sole hotel. the entire complex, including the tower that east miami occupies, is a design by local architecture practice arquitectonica. the swanky hotel features 352 rooms and 89 serviced apartments, spread over 40 floors, all designed by clodagh from new york city, and specific restaurant and lounge interiors by los angeles-based agency studio collective,

the rooms come in various sizes, ranging from 300 sq.ft. [28 sqm.]  to 1,800 sq.ft. [167 sqm.], and most feature balconies with sweeping views of the city and the aquamarine hued waters of biscayne bay. and obviously, they meet all the requirements of today's savvy traveller with complimentary wifi, a 50-inch smart tv, an ipod dock and a walk-in rain shower. the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments also offer fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities, along with access to all amenities and services of the hotel. as an anchor of a prestigious complex that clearly banks on the momentum, east miami obviously offers its guests and visitors a range of stellar facilities.

catering to events and meetings, it offers various venues on the premises, ranging from four so-called workshop rooms and the high noon room, to the lofty rise, a spacious multifunctional space perched on the 38th floor. the pleasure seekers certainly aren't forgotten, because after all, this is miami. an expansive outdoor pool + deck area, replete with swaying palm trees, is readily available for a dip in one of four different pools or to drape yourself on a sunbed for unabashed lounging. the 40th floor is home to sugar, a rooftop bar with amzing views, and uniquely embedded in a lush garden setting. 

domain is the lobby café + bar, serving fresh coffee, light bites and a variety of wines and spirits. but east miami also has a culinary trump card up its sleeeve. called quinto la huella, it's the first-ever outpost of parador la huella, a charming beach-side restaurant in uruguay that ranks as one of the best on the continent. the cuisine is largely latin-inspired and offers a blend of simple dishes made with the best ingredients. adding a slight exotic touch is the fire cooking method with a wood parrilla centered at the heart of the kitchen, and the venue includes a wood fire oven, sushi counter, in addition to al fresco dining. location: 788 brickell plaza [downtown].

© swire hotels

tokyo: valentino flagship store opening

© valentino

creative directors pierpaolo piccioli and maria grazia chiuri have pushed storied fashion house valentino back into the fashion limelight, and although it has just been confirmed that the latter designer is to leave the company for a highly coveted job in paris, the italian fashion house continues to bank on the momentum by opening stores at prestigious locations around the planet. valentino had been present in tokyo for many years, operating shop-in-shops at a number of leading department stores across town and a short-lived standalone outpost in ginza, but lacked a proper flagship store of its own. well, that was yesterday. officially opening today is valentino's first flagship store in the japanese capital.

it's situated at omotesando hills, an upscale mall that's part of what's widely considered the city's golden mile of luxury shopping. the boutique has a prominent location right next to the mall's main entrance, but shoppers can also enter through its private store entrance from tree-lined omotesando dori. the boutique measures a very spacious 467 sqm. [5,027 sq.ft.] spread over two glass-encased floors, and features an interior designed that follows the sleek new design codes as formulated by the aforementioned creative directors and london-based practice david chipperfield architects.

the concept of a traditional italian palazzo has been tweaked into a retail format, molding grandeur and functionality in a new guise. this has resulted in terazzo flooring and wall panels, chunky displays clad in carrara marble, brass light fixtures, and a variety of wooden furnishings and carpeting that lend a controlled dose of warmth to the luxurious setting. the valentino store stocks the full range of women's and men's apparel, accessories, bags and footwear. to celebrate the store opening, a specially designed tote bag has been released with all the proceeds going to the victims of the kumamoto earthquake that occurred earlier this year. location: omotesando hills, 4-12-10 jingumae, shops m109 + m210 [harajuku].

© valentino

los angeles: moses@90 phase two

© william turner gallery

american abstract artist ed moses [1926] is widely regarded as a pivotal figure in the post-war west coast art scene, and his work has been included in collections of leading art venues stateside. moses currently has a solo exhibition, entitled moses@90 phase two, on the occasion of his 90th birtday and held at both william turner gallery and santa monica museum of art's former bergamot station outpost in santa monica. the show, moses' third at the gallery, explores works that span the entirety of his long career from the 1950s to the present day, including a selection of never before seen paintings and works on paper, and new pieces and abstract self-portraits that he specifically created for this showcase. at the age of 90, moses continues his dogged search for the elusive metaphysical power of painting, creating works that are about the expression of temporality, process and presence, beyond the physical limitations of surface [on through jul 30]. location: 2525 michigan avenue [santa monica]. 

© william turner gallery

vienna: viu store opening

© viu

swiftly expanding in all directions, viu's newest outpost has emerged in vienna. obviously, not just anywhere in the city, but very fittingly in neubau, a buzzing bohemian enclave in the austrian capital. the store occupies a spacious corner location on neubaugasse, a popular shopping zone lined with independent boutiques. it's a spacious 300 sqm. [3,229 sq.ft.]  unit set over two floors, and is in fact a collab initiative with local concept store we bandits which occupies the upper floor with a matching range of goods. the zurich-based eyewear brand is led by designer fabrice aeberhard, and he has once again plotted an interior design that on the one hand features all the signature elements, but also site-specific adaptations and furnishings. a fixture, albeit an obvious one, is the expansive eyewear wall – this time in a sophisticated back-lit version – meandering across the premises, and framed by whitewashed walls, ceiling and floor. furnishings are similarly sparse as other viu boutiques, comprising of a sturdy desk with stools, an eye-catching, artsy sofa, and a faux granite bench in a contrasting soft pink hue. a number of framed campaign shots adorn the walls. the new viu store carries the brand's full range of prescription frames and sunglasses. location: neubaugasse 36 [neubau].

© viu