© Descente Blanc

Japanese outdoor apparel brand Descente Blanc has tremendously raised its profile in Harajuku, one of Tokyo‘s leading shopping grounds, by opening a flagship store at a key location in the neighbourhood. The so-called Descente Tokyo store occupies 530 sqm. (5,705 sq.ft.) spread over the two lower floors and basement of a nine-storey modern building on Meiji Dori, a major thoroughfare lined with shops of leading brands. Similar to all of the brand’s other retail spaces across Japan, Descente Tokyo‘s interior has been designed by Jo Nagasaka of local architecture practice Schemata. Upon entering the store’s ground floor, shoppers encounter a section with garments presented by way of suspension, a signature feature of the brand.

As Descente Blanc’s largest store, the premises come with special extras that provide the retail concept a strong lifestyle element, such as an in-house tea café and shop of Susumuya, a revered Kagoshima-based tea company, housed in a cabin-like structure, and allowing shoppers to relax in between shopping sprees. Right behind a corner is situated, stocked with baseball apparel which can be customized on the spot. The setting at Descente Tokyo is understated, and makes use of the building’s concrete shell as a prominent backdrop. The basement is home to a footwear corner stocked with both running and training shoes, and matching clothing presented by way of suspended clothing racks. But that’s not all. A so-called Body Balance device with a 3D sensor measures body alignment in just three seconds, and personal advice is available for up to 25 separate body areas.

One floor up, the chosen austere design codes continue with similar exposed concrete surfaces and suspended storage, but with slightly more furnishings, crafted from wood and braided steel, in addition to fitting rooms covered with zippered grey sailcloth. The merchandise offered here comprises of the full Descente Allterrain line, including the Mizusawa down jackets and pieces from the Pause collection, created by designer Ryota Iwai of fashion label Auralee. Additionally, a range of books are available, all selected by Numa Books. To further engage with its target demographic, the Descente Tokyo flagship store hosts a rotating programme of events and workshops. Location: Descente Tokyo, 6-19-21 Jingumae (Harajuku).

© Descente Blanc