tokyo: hunter store opening

© checkland kindleysides

if you think wellies are archaic footwear worn exclusively by aristocrats in british tv costume dramas, you've clearly missed out on a currrent global trend. following the launch of a flagship store in the heart of london one-and-a-half years ago, british heritage brand hunter is banking on the perennial popularity of british style in the land of the rising sun, and has accordingly set up shop in tokyo's dynamic ginza district. situated at tokyu plaza ginza, a prestigious new highrise filled with boutiques and dining establishments, the store is spread over two floors and features a modern and subtly whimsical interior design by checkland kindleysides. the british design agency, which also designed the london flagship, has extrapolated the design codes used there in a more ethereal form for this retail space, albeit with elements of the japanese capital blended in.

loosely referencing rural britain, the visual shopping experience is centered around a journey through an imaginary forest, conjured up by handcrafted silver birch replicas, and finding a homely refuge at a country barn, as the expansive latticed roof structure suggests. one floor up, the setting transforms, featuring a traditional english box hedged garden, evocatively spiced up with led-illuminated hedges and an artificial turf floor. on two levels digital screens form an integral part of the setting, further boosting an immersive brand experience by showing hunter campaigns, short films and events. the new hunter store carries the brand's full range of footwear, apparel and accessories for men, women and kids. location: tokyu plaza ginza, 5-2-1 ginza [ginza].

© checkland kindleysides

mexico city: nervous moments membranes

© proyectos monclova / photography: moritz bernoully - exhibition setting

hailing from berlin, artist anna virnich [1984] has become known for her textile-based tableaux. a graduate from the brunswick college of fine art, one of germany's leading art schools, virnich uses both found and new fabrics as a canvas attached to wooden frames. during the past few months, the artist took up a residency arranged by proyectos monclova, a prominent contemporary art gallery in mexico city. the creative output spawning from this long-term residency is currently on display at the gallery venue. entitled nervous moments membranes, the exhibition presents a series of tableaux, crafted from a variety of local materials, including mantilla, snake skin, and rayon.
 
some of these materials date from other eras or have been used, showing stains, dirt marks, human sweat or rips that not only add character and depth, but also an intriguing narrative. interestingly, these works are references and their virtue goes beyond the visual, incorporating the olfactory, and this specific swerving out of the merely visual into the spatial and physical, is potentiated in a separate installation presented in the gallery’s backspace. this section is entitled you change the smell of my sweat, and combines sound, scent, light manipulations as well as objects [on through apr 23]. location: calle colima 55 [roma norte].
 

© proyectos monclova / photography: moritz bernoully - nervous moments membranes #1 [detail] and exhibition settings

melbourne: incu store renewal

© incu

incu has shaken up its melbourne retail portfolio with a new retail space. well, sort of. in 2012 the sydney-based retailer opened a dedicated men's store to an existing women's boutique at the qv shopping precinct. and now, only three-and-a-half years on, the two have merged on the expanded premises of the aforementioned men's store. the joining of the two stores has gone hand in hand with a complete refurbishment, supervised by australian practice akin creative. at 330 sqm. [3,552 sq.ft.] it has become incu's largest store, and features an interior design that's inspired by the local landscape.

an expansive floor-to-ceiling glass façade allows in floods of daylight, and allows ample peeks of a sleek contemporary aesthetic, captured by locally sourced and australian made elements, handmade moroccan tiles, american oak veneers, and concrete flooring. matching furniture pieces have been crafted by local carpenter collective extraordinaire arteveneta. modern and uncluttered, it's a backdrop that most compatible with incu's curated range of contemporary men's and women's apparel items, acessories and shoes by various brands, such as acne studios, maison kitsuné, isabel marant, norse projects and paul smith. location: qv, albert coates lane, shop acl12 [cbd].

© incu

tokyo: études studio limited edition collection

© études studio

études studio will be heading back to the far east for a pop-up store, and this time it's at one of tokyo's most interesting multi-brand boutiques. opening on fri – apr 15 at en route, a venture by upscale japanese retail giant united arrows in the ginza shopping district, the temporary shop will be operational for just one month, stocking the full s/s 2016 collection of the quirky paris-based fashion label. but that's not all, folks. additionally, études studio has cooked up an exclusive limited edition t-shirt and tote bag, featuring the silkscreened phrase dérives in tokyo – a nod to the collection's flâneur or wandering in the urban environment concept. on the backside of both products, the phrase has appropriately been translated in japanese. location: en route, 3-10-6 ginza [ginza].

© études studio

london: harvey nichols store renewal

© harvey nichols

as one of london's leading luxury department stores, harvey nichols is on top of the retail game. aiming to consolidate this position, the retailer continues to innovate and has just revealed a renewed menswear department in its flagship store in knightsbridge. the elaborate transformation, supervised by local design agency virgile + partners, took no less than nine months to finish, and marks the kick-off of a bigger, four-year renovation scheme for the entire premises. the first sign of the men's department upgraded significance are two new dedicated street entrances, followed by a complete overhaul of how men's collections are showcased.

harvey nichols has decided to steer clear of the usual shop-in-shop configuration, and has instead opted to present the 270 brands it stocks in a number of specialized boutiques, each with a variety of collections, introducing a though-out and sophisticated narrative to the shopping experience. the new set-up will surely stimulate the fashion senses, and it's playfully paired with both fashion and art installations across a surface of 28,000 sq.ft. [2,601 sqm.]. harvey nichols' new menswear department not only covers all aspects of a men's wardrobe, but also aims accommodates the most discerning of males with top-notch lifestyle services.

new to the men's department is the swanky style concierge suite, a private space replete with large interlinked dressing rooms that can either be split up or used as a one giant room by customers and their friends for any kind if event. mind you, it comes with cell phone charging points, cherry picked furnishings, and last but not least, its very own bar. another innovation is the so-called project 109, a new space opening next month, stocking  a curated range of gifts, technology, shades, fragrances and grooming products. it will also include an installation section where a rotation of branded pop-ups will be held.

additionally, traditional barbers are on the premises for expert grooming on the spot, and several skilled style advisors are readily available to give pointers, or in the worst case, tackle a sudden fashion crisis. as said, the new menswear department at harvey nichols features a good variety of the latest styles for just about any occasion, and not suprisingly, it carries an elaborate list of international top brands to match. to name but a few of the coveted and often niche labels that have made the cut: casely-hayford, valextra, 3.1 phillip lim, corneliani and wooyoungmi. location: knightsbridge 109-125 [knightsbridge].

© harvey nichols

washington d.c.: mykita store opening

© mykita

washington d.c. doesn't appear often on our radar, but thanks to mykita's latest store opening we've got our eyes fixated on the u.s. capital city. the berlin-based forward eyewear brand has picked a heritage-listed building, situated on the corner of m street and 30th street in the historic georgetown neighbourhood. and although the red brick façade and moulded window frames look distinctly traditional, the interior design instantly ushers visitors into the sleek retail environment mykita has become known for. oak flooring is paired with a whitewashed ceiling and walls, and obviously the design features the signature eyeframe wall to shine, stretching all the way to the back of the store. furnishings are sparse, and comprise of a sales desk and modular cabinets, all in a matching white hue. the new mykita boutique carries the brand's full range of eyeframes and sunglasses. location: 3001 m street n.w. [georgetown].

© mykita

amsterdam: generator hostel opening

© generator / photography: nikolas könig

consistenty ranking in the top 10 of the most popular european tourism destinations, amsterdam has seen a surge in hotel openings of late, and with the number of visitors still rising, the end seems nowhere near. with the city's canal district being already well provided for, new properties tend to pop up in other parts of town, adding a fresh flavour to the urban setting. the dutch capital had been on the radar of generator for a long time, and when the design-led hostel chain finally found the right location, they jumped to the occasion. generator amsterdam occupies a monumental red brick building – mind you, it was initially home to the university of amsterdam's faculty of science – in amsterdam oost

situated right on the doorstep of the lush greens of oosterpark, the building is listed as a historic landmark, and subsequently redevelopment honours much of the original architectural details. generator once again collaborated with design agency from toronto to create funky, modern settings that would not only appeal to its young target demographic, but also add to the neighbourhood's happening vibe. the transformation of the premises has been inspired by both the history and park-side location of this former college building. the original lecture hall and science lab have been retained while other spaces have seen an equally meticulous transformation, using cool cartoon-like graphics and pops of colour.

generator amsterdam features 168 comfy twin and quadruple rooms with en-suite bathrooms, in addition to one sky suite, luxurious apartment-style lodgings for six people with views of the park and a self-catered kitchen. staying at generator amsterdam comes with a string of alluring perks. at the core of the hostel is a multi-faceted social hub named nescio – the pen name of a renowned dutch author – is situated, comprising of a café where to recharge and mingle over a bite and drink, and the  laid-back auditorium lounge with the original lecture-style seating and a professor’s desk, wonderfully repurposed as a central bar with gas taps and reclaimed laboratory beakers.

last but not least, there's the library, an intimate space, featuring much of the original setting, albeit tweaked into modernity, where to relax or socialize. but that's not all, folks! downstairs in the basement a bar and with dance floor is due to open later this year, and adding up to the fun vibe is a program of activities, including a coffee lab and coffee masterclasses, beer tastings, movie screenings, and lots more. hot on the heels of this inauguration, generator is preparing new hostel launches in rome and stockholm in the next couple of months. location: mauritskade 73 [amsterdam oost].

© generator / photography: nikolas könig

tokyo: pierre hardy flagship store opening

© pierre hardy

little over five years ago pierre hardy first ventured abroad to set up shop in new york city. and now, the french luxury cobbler has expanded east, opening a brand new flagship store in tokyo's upscale shopping district of aoyama. occupying a sizeable 80 sqm. [861 sq.ft.] ground floor unit of a modern red brick structure, the interior design is very much based on the minimal, graphic and modern design codes of the brand. these have been interpreted with a playful twist, creating contrasts through a variety of materials, textures and by way of clever lighting. the result is a visually layered shell with a distinct industrial look, softened at the base by more sensual materials and colours, such as taupe velvet carpeting and touches of shiny gold. the shop's furnishings are largely made from burnt wood, and both display tables and seating have been installed at the same low height, making the retail space optically appear more voluminous. the new pierre hardy store stocks the brand's coveted men's and women's shoes, in addition to its bag collection. in celebration of the store opening, limited edition men's sneakers are currently put up for sale. location: aoyama yusen building, 5-5-25 minami aoyama, shop 103 [aoyama].

© pierre hardy

hanover: aesop store opening

© aesop

aesop continues its expansion into germany's second-tier cities as the recent opening of a new signature boutique in the heart of hanover proves. the new retail space, measuring a compact 35 sqm. [377 sq.ft.], is situated on the premises of kastens hotel luisenhof, but has its very own street entrance. for the interior design, the australian cosmetics brand has once again collaborated with munich-based creative practice einszu33. inspiration was drawn from the frankfurt kitchen, considered the forerunner of modern fitted kitchens and developed in the 1920s for a housing project in, yes indeed, the city of frankfurt. interestingly, the design also makes use of existing elements, notably the red floor tiles. a suspended storage system, made partially from repurposed wood and replete with built-in sink, covers all walls, and intentionally contrasts with a supersleek metal sales counter that's placed in the middle of the store, and a vintage chandelier by carlo scarpa dangling from the ceiling. the new aesop boutique carries the brand's full range of skin, body and hair care products. location: kastens hotel luisenhof, luisenstrasse 1-3 [mitte].

© aesop

amsterdam: black comme des garçons store opening

© superfuture

just as unexpectedly as the comme des garçons pocket store popped up in amsterdam's canal district little over two years ago, a complementary sister establishment has opened its doors in the heart of the red light district, much to the delight of the local comme des garçons fanbase. this new black comme des garçons shop occupies a 43 sqm. [463 sq.ft.] ground floor unit of a lowrise red brick structure, and even though it's compact in size, it flaunts a distinct interior design by the brand's inimitable creative director rei kawakubo. concrete flooring is paired with walls and a ceiling dipped in fresh white paint, and heavy metal rods make up a seemingly makeshift clothing rack lining one side of the shop. three lifesize putti sculptures defiantly take centre stage, somewhat concealing the boxy sales counter and fitting room closet at the far end of the retail space. the black comme des garçons store stocks a selection of this line's extensive range of men's and women's items, and aims to refresh the merchandise on offer every two months. location: zeedijk 73 [centrum].

© superfuture