© Clarks Japan

Having had a presence in the Land of the Rising Sun since 1983, you could say Clarks Originals is a household name for a large part of the Japanese, both young and old. The company manages a network a shops nationwide, but as of late, it has dramatically raised up its profile with a new concept store – mind you, it’s the first one outside the U.K. – in Tokyo‘s ever-evolving Harajuku shopping district. The retail space occupies the ground floor of a modern mixed-use 1980s building alongside Meiji dori, a bustling store-lined artery that connects Harajuku with the adjacent Shibuya shopping district. Designed by kooo architects, a practice based in both Tokyo and Shanghai, the interior design of the rectangular space is inspired by both Clarks‘ brand focus and the atmosphere of Somerset, a rural county in the southwest of England where the company was founded in 1825. The opening of the store should be seen in the light of the company’s upcoming centennial.

The retail space sees flooring of natural stone tiles that signal the historic streets of a rural British town, flanked on both sides by a grid of floor-to-ceiling timber panelling. An opening on one side reveals a sales counter and office space, and is mirrored on the opposite side by recessed shelving. The back wall is clad in mirrors and optically enlarges the retail space, and right behind it sits a visually intriguing space that’s aptly called The Brand Box. Here, a backdrop of curved walls and similar tile flooring forms the perfect setting for designs made in suede, the brand’s signature material, showcased amidst a curated range of design furniture. The gallery, which is not accessible to the public, aims to provide a new platform for the brand’s designs, create a connection with the world of design, lifestyle and culture along the way. Shinichiro Nakahara, CEO of The Conran Shop‘s Japanese division and designer, has been appointed to supervise the space. Another Clarks Originals concept store will open its doors mid-September in downtown Osaka.

Clarks Originals
6-17-10 Harajuku (Harajuku)
Tokyo 150-0001
Telephone: +81 3 64505552
Daily 10am-8pm

© Clarks Japan