brand communications within the realm of fashion have seen a gradual but major change this past decade. the advancement of technology has given consumers a global focus, and more importantly, it has made them supersavvy. creating added brand value initially seemed the exclusive domain of luxury brands, but has now become a preferred focus for all, and pushing the envelope to truly engage and entice is now a prerequisite. in an attempt to raise its profile, italian apparel brand replay opens the replay boardroom gallery on the premises of its new showroom – mind you, it's housed in a historic canal mansion with ornate period rooms – in the heart of amsterdam. starting fri - mar 20 and for the next two months, part of the office will be accessible to the public on fridays [10am-4pm]. kicking off a rotation of showcases by emerging creartive talent, all curated by glamcult studio, are ewa aleksandrowicz and andrzej wojtas a.k.a. pussykrew, an acclaimed brussels-based multi-disciplinary duo known for their innovative work within the realm of new media. on display is a selection of artwork that's exemplary of the duo's creative output. location: replay, herengracht 280 [centrum].
although the a.p.c. brand had already been available in hiroshima, it didn't have its own store there. until now, that is. the coveted brand has recently set up shop downtown, a stone's throw away from hondori, the city's popular shopping arcade. the store occupies a 75 sqm. [807 sq.ft.] ground floor unit of a modern low-rise building. shoppers traverse a small courtyard before entering a setting that's instantly recognizable as a.p.c.'s signature retail aesthetic. courtesy of laurent deroo, the paris-based architect who has designed the vast majority of the brand's stores across the planet, it features fixtures and shelving in light oakwood, paired with a pentagonal sales desk with built-in seating made from a similar material. a striking element is the flooring which consists of glazed bricks in a variety of grey hues. the new a.p.c. store stocks the full range of men's and women's apparel, denim pieces, accessories and footwear. location: 6-2 fukuromachi [central hiroshima].
paris-based menswear label some[thing] goes against the grain of fashion's restrictive cycles. and quite successfully so. helmed by creative forces philippe natali and franck pouch, the brand masterfully fuses classic silhouettes with contemporary detailing, resulting in a new standard of timeless menswear pieces. some[thing]'s a/w 2015 collection, aptly entitled wilderness, is inspired by the endless and uncompromising quest for meaning and freedom in contemporary wild urban territories. the designs are once again a quirky mash-up of elements, captured in tailored and precise cuts and layers, quality fabrics and oversized volumes. the creators' keen eye for detail adds slight vintage aura and thus character to each garment. some[thing]'s a/w 2015 collection is available at select stores across the planet, including ron herman [los angeles], hotoveli [new york], o paris [paris], manifesto [singapore] and john bull [tokyo].
just like art, fashion signals change or the arrival of something audaciously new. what has been appreciated for a while by subculture icons, and more recently fashion's most forward and often younger consumers, is gradually becoming a mainstream phenomenon. unisex style, or more specifically, apparel created to be worn by both sexes, is making a grand entrance at selfridges in london, one of very few department stores with global appeal. the department store has just launched agender, a temporary 'gender neutral' concept space across three floors within its oxford street flagship.
created by british designer faye toogood, the settings contrast sharply with the usual luxe aesthetic of selfridges, pairing industrial materials with highly artisic props to create a matching forward atmosphere for the curated fashion offerings. the focus of the agender merchandise is varied, ranging from a unisex kit that can be the foundation of any wardrobe, to streetwear items by nicopanda and cherry picked high-end garments from the likes of ann demeulemeester, rad hourani – very much the master of the modern genderless uniform – and yohji yamamoto. similar agender concept spaces have been launched at selfridges stores in birmingham and manchester [on through apr 25]. location: selfridges, 400 oxford street [mayfair].
known as the undisputed city of superlatives, dubai has propelled itdelf into the upper echelons of global cities in little over a decade. there's hardly any industry or market in which it hasn't made its rambunctious presence felt. the government's drive to diversify its petrol dollar economy is already paying off, and the affluent city is now even making a name for itself in the realm of art and design. opening today is the fourth edition of design days dubai, a design fair with a growing regional significance, which presents design from leading international designers and galleries, alongside up and coming design from across the globe. this year, a record 44 art galleries from 20 countries will bring an top selection of design pieces by established and emerging designers to the venue, a purpose-built exhibition space near the base of the soaring burj khalifa tower in the downtown dubai district. participating galleries include david gill galleries [london], carwan gallery [beirut], carpenters workshop gallery [london + paris], southern guild [cape town] and broached commissions [melbourne]. and next to the multitude of gallery presentations, design days dubai once features again presents an interesting non-commercial program consisting of education, workshops, installations and live performances [on through mar 20]. location: the venue, mohammed bin rashid boulevard [downtown dubai].
givenchy's global retail expansion seems unstoppable. the french fashion house has seen an ever-increasing demand of its products since riccardo tisci took the creative reigns in 2005, and obviously its success is reflected in a growing network of boutiques around the globe. and as miami's stature as a luxury lifestyle destination has been considerably boosted – let's call it the art-basel-miami-beach effect, shall we? – these past few years, high-end brands increasingly flock to these sunny shores to either set up shop or raise their profile. givenchy follows the trail, opening in the city's design district, a neighbourhood that increasingly offers a more distinct upscale shopping experience than the equally upscale yet more leisure and entertainment-focused south beach area. the givenchy store occupies a prominent location amidst peers from the segment of luxury goods. an expansive black façade is adorned by the brand name in gold lettering, and its distinct tailoring t-cut. inside, the aesthetic is equally clean but captured in opulent materials such as marble, brass and chrome, to maximize an atmosphere of understated luxe. all fixtures are totally in sync, and secluded cabins that convey the sense of a titillating shopping discovery. the new givenchy store carries the brand's men's and women's apparel, shoes and accessories collections. location: 102 n.e. 39th street [design district].
a graduate of the royal academy of art in the hague, photographer eddo hartmann  collaborated with koryo studio, the arts + culture division of a british-run, beijing-based company specialized in travel to north korea, on an adventurous project to document the city of pyongyang's bold socialist architecture and the life of its inhabitants. officially becoming the north korean capital in 1948, its architecture was conceptualized as such to immerse every citizen in a socialist ideology and hence also create a strong sense of economic progress. both the speed with which the city was constructed and its ultra-modern style showed the ambition of the country to rush towards a future of state-controlled bliss. the first series of hartmann's fascinating photo project, entitled setting the stage - pyongyang, is currently on display at huis marseille in amsterdam. and although what is depicted is clearly government-approved, the images give a rare view of life in what arguably is the planet's most off-limits capital [on through jun 7]. location: keizersgracht 401 [centrum].
after expanding across the big pond to london in 2013 – there are currently five stores in the city, and counting... – j.crew has now planted a flag in the heart of paris. according to the american retailer the french market is one of its most important overseas, so it only seemed logical to open up shop there as well. the new store occupies a sizeable 170 sqm. [1,830 sq.ft.] ground floor unit of a historic building in the popular marais shopping district. the retail space has been been fully restored yet retains a large part of its original elements, including the distinct stone masonry and wooden façade.
added to the interior is a considered mix of modern fixtures and vintage furniture pieces. the new j.crew store carries the brand's women's apparel and accessories, in addition to a collab collection of polos with lacoste, and special shop sections dedicated to shoes and a curated collection of accessories by other brands. the retailer has announced the opening of a shop-in-shop at le bon marché department store coming summer, while a second standalone store is scheduled to open in the marais in september. and yes, it'll be exclusively dedicated to the men's collections. location: 12 rue malher [marais].
hailing from rotterdam, urban artist daan botlek  is generally known for bold murals that adorn façades across the planet. following his participation in a street festival in bangkok two years ago, botlek returns for a special solo exhibition at toot yung art center. opening there today, his inhabited hypercube show is presented in collab with the hub saidek, a non-profit organization based in chinatown, and dedicated to helping enrich the lives of homeless children. three of the gallery's spaces will feature a series of botlek’s latest works, all created during his three-month residency in the thai capital. these works include large-scale paintings on canvas, posters, silkscreen prints, and laser-cut art objects. a number of street wall paintings link the three spaces. and being linked to charity, the show also includes daily graffiti and hiphop workshops for the kids at the hub saidek [on through mar 22]. location: location: toot yung art center, 12/6 ekkamai soi 2 [sukhumvit].
for most manhattanites the first neighbourhood that automatically comes to mind when thinking of what lies beyond the east river is williamsburg. and while that slice of the big apple's most populous borough rightfully has gained tremendous exposure home and abroad for its multi-faceted coolness, things are heating up in other brooklyn neighbourhoods as well. in an audacious collab, architect palmer thompson-moss teamed up with hospitality veteran dane risch to turn a derelict, one-storey structure from 1910 in the middle of crown heights into an appealing late-night haunt for local denizens. it's exotic name king tai is derived from a chinese fish restaurant which first occupied the space, but that oriental legacy stops right there.
measuring 870 sq.ft. [81 sqm.], the interior was completely stripped and replaced by a light and swish setting with an art déco-ish edge that's somewhat reminiscent of establishments in sunny south beach. bare bricks and a ceiling and paneling dipped in a crispy white hue, form the backdrop for a simple configuration of simple chairs and tables, a fixed seating corner and a bar directly opposite, encircled by chrome stools. subtle touches of add a further holiday feel to the place. king tai's menu is compatibly fun-infused, listing a choice of signature tropical cocktails, in addition to beers, wines, and a variety of finger foods. cheers! location: 1095 bergen street [crown heights].