tokyo: mr. gentleman store opening

© mr. gentleman

if he's not looking after clients at his delicatessen chain pariya, creative multitasker yuichi yoshii is either at his cult fashion store the contemporary fix or crafting classic men's silhouiettes with a subtle modern twist with his business partner and designer takeshi osumi. the brand, called mr. gentleman, has been around for a few seasons, and banks on its growing success both home and abroad with a standalone boutique in aoyama, one of tokyo's plushest shopping districts. it's situated a stone's throw away from the aforementioned restaurant, and occupies a ground floor unit of a modern building. local practice jamo associates was tapped to create the store interior, and came up with a minimalist aesthetic with a strong industrial vibe. the monochrome palette is matchingly captured by perforated metal, faux stone surfaces and slabs of mirror. interestingly, a vintage stereo system by iconic industrial designer dieter rams adorns a corner of the premises as a rather fitting art installation. the new mr. gentleman store carries the brand's full range of men's apparel, denim pieces, accessories and shoes. the opening marks an ambitious retail expansion, and the opening of a second outpost is already due next month in shanghai. location: 5-50-1 jingumae [aoyama].

© mr. gentleman

bali: brooklyn whelan

© the slow

firmly rooted in urban culture, the slow stands out in bali's hospitality scene, blending a quirky cultural element into its blissful resort concept. the owners hail from sydney, and as can be expected, they've tapped into the local scene there to spice up the atmosphere on the island of the gods. in collab with china heights, a leading gallery that covers both urban and contemporary art, emerging aussie artist brooklyn whelan has been whisked to bali to showcase his work. on display at room 13, the property's very own gallery space, are a series of canvases that have been inspired by both the moprhing beauty that exists in weather patterns and fantasy futurism [on through apr 5]. whelan's show is the first of a series of collab presentations with the sydney-based gallery at the slow, and aims to establish room 13 as the island's most happening art space. location: the slow, jalan pantai batu bolong 97 [canggu].

© the slow

los angeles: kith store opening

© kith

having gained a solid reputation that has reached far beyond the confines of homebase new york city, kith has gradually expanded its footprint in recent years to bank on its success. following the opening of an outpost in miami two years ago, the sneaker store has secured a brand new retail space in los angeles. the store is part of the apartment residences, a leafy new mixed-use complex on bustling sunset boulevard, occupying a ground floor unit of 3,500 sq.ft. [325 sqm.] on the lower level with entrances from the parking level [entrance on north la cienega boulevard, via the outdoor courtyard elevator, or the staircase inside the entrance of neighbour fred segal. the interior design is a renewed collab with new york-based architecture practice snarkitecture, and it's one that aims to give the effect that the shop is breaking through the garage, where kith's signature neon sign can be seen.

maintaining close ties with both the creative and street scenes, the kith store comes with a special gallery space where artists will rotate displaying their works directly onto nine large parking spaces to create unique murals. upon entering, shoppers are met by an installation of approx. 200 nike air jordan 6 sneakers dangling from the ceiling. right below, a kith treats cereal bar is situated where they can indulge in commuter bowls, ice cream swirls, milkshakes, and the latest kith treats merchandise. the store's main area boasts a palette of concrete and brass furnishings and detailing, and has an inner sanctum that comprises of a glass-encased section where all the trophy shoes are presented. location: the apartment residences, 8500 west sunset boulevard [west hollywood].

© kith

tokyo: koé x thom browne pop-up store

© koé

japanese fashion brand koé may be best known on home turf, but it has made strides to gain the limelight abroad as well. owned by stripe international, a company from okayama in japan's textile heartland, the brand has a few collabs with new york city-based designer thom browne under its belt, and it has just released its fourth collection. anticipating the sunny climes ahead, it's called summer beach, and is inspired by a retro stripe pattern that can be found on awnings on nantucket island. the collection features 20 items for both men and women, and all bearing the signature preppy signature of the american designer. in a previous post we've talked about hotel koé, an extrapolated hospitality concept in shibuya that has caused waves since it opened last week. not surprisingly, koé has launched a pop-up store on the venue's ground floor, right next to the reception desk, stocking the full koé x thom browne collection. location: hotel koé, 5-7 udagawa-cho, ground floor [shibuya].

© koé

paris: sorry, no vacancy

© kourtney roy

originally from canada, but now based in paris, photographer kourtney roy initially envisoned a different creative career. luckily, she started dabbling in taking pictures, and it wasn't for long before she dedicated her talent to taking pictures. roy ihas made a name for herself in fashion, often flaunting a style of a 1950s road movie. the photographer's upcoming showcase at hôtel jules & jim in paris presents an exemplary range of works. the show sorry, no vacancy opens fri – mar 2, and presents portraits of herself in a parallel universe where the realm of the imaginary spreads itself as a fine netting over the peripheral world. in these pictures, roy plays the protagonist in a world where external reality is ripe with strange and mysterious juxtapositions and scenarios. additionally, the imagery reference a cinematic and collective imagery that spans american screen iconography, mythology and folklore and creates a link between the real with the symbolic and imaginary, where the possible is reflected in the impermanent states created and recorded by the photographer. location: hôtel jules & jim, 11 rue des gravilliers [marais].

© kourtney roy

tokyo: hotel koé opening

© stripe international

as a leading global hub, tokyo has its fair share of well-designed five-star hotels, but in the mid and lower segment, appealing options have been relatively few for a long time. but with the 2020 summer olympic games looming on the horizon, the japanese capital's hoispitality scene has been shaken up with the arrival of new establishments that tick all our boxes. the latest affordable property to open its doors in the popular shopping district of shibuya, is design-led hotel koé. it's owned by stripe international, a tokyo-based company with a varied portfolio of fashion brands, cosmetics, food brands and hospitality venues.

as for the latter category, the company has so far managed a café on the premises of its head office in harajuku and two koé green eateries in the greater tokyo area, but has now leaped forward by opening this high-profile, lifestyle and culture-inspired property. interestingly, it's linked to koé, one of stripe international's handful of fashion brands that offers timeless and understated men's and women's apparel, and this aesthetic approach has been extrapolated to create this hospitality format. making this very clear is a namesake flagship store that can be found on the second floor. it isn't coincidental that hotel koé has opened in the buzzing shibuya district as it taps into the neighbourhood vibe, blending fashion, culture and food, aiming to offer a fresh take on tokyo urban life.

the contemporary interior, designed by local practice suppose design office, is inspired by japanese culture. the branding, art direction and graphic design by creative agency artless lends the concept a modern edge. the sense of modern japan arguably is most evident in the rooms on. the aesthetic of each of the ten rooms takes cues from the tea ceremony room, a symbol of traditional japanese culture, but this has obviously been done without compromising on comfort and style. situated on the ground floor is the lobby area and reception desk, but also koé lobby, an all-day bakery-restaurant produced by satoshi kakegawa, chef at popular french bistro äta in daikanyama. the establishment offers an elaborate menu of tasty bites and drinks in an austere setting that makes clever use of the building's bare concrete shell and exposed utility pipes.

a giant wooden staircase leading to the upper floors ties in with the timber furnishings. as said, the koé shibuya store is one floor up, featuring apparel pieces, including store-exclusive items, in addition to lifestyle goods, and limited-edition items created in collab with artists. the very heart of the hotel koé concept is on the third where guests lay down their head. the guestrooms come in four categories, each in a diferent size and format. the overall design is understated yet welcoming, and oozes modernity with a strong japanese twist. at 100 sqm. [1,076 sq.ft.] the xl room is obviously the biggest one in the house, featuring a living area and a separate bedroom.

while the neighbourhood offers plenty of opportunity for jolly banter, hotel koé pitches in with some fun of its own. the so-called private lounge is a sleek and minimalist space that can be accessewd by hotel guests and members only, serving japanese green tea, powdered green tea and special drinks exclusive to the hotel, including original cocktails with a green tea base. additionally, on the ground floor, there's koé space, a versatile event space which allows the hotel to collab with the local creative scene on many levels. this means a rotation of special events offering sale items in collab with other brands, and regular dj parties during weekends. needless to say, hotel koé redefines tokyo's fun side on more than one level. location: 3-7 udagawa-cho [shibuya].

© stripe international

bangkok: gaysorn village opening

© cl3 / photography: ketsiree wongwan

even luxury malls have to make an effort to stay relevant, especially so in a fast-paced retail scene as can be found in bangkok. little over a decade after the global financial crisis, things may look much more on the bright side, but its effect can still be traced to this very day. the opening of luxury malls seems an unstoppable phenomenon, while the shopping habits of the thai capital's biggest spenders – read: middle class households and the upper crust demographic – has drastically changed from strictly high-end purchases to a more eclectic and adventurous outlook on lifestyle. it's a notion that the owners gaysorn village have taken to heart. formerly known as gaysorn plaza, the venue first opened in 1994 as the city's first upscale mall, and as such, it has longtime served as a nationwide benchmark in the upper echelons of retail.

anticipating changing times, the shopping centre has tweaked its formula and given its premises a multimillion-dollar revamp. it's a massive transformation that also involves the renaming of amarin plaza and amarin tower, a similar mixed-use complex situated across the road and which is currently still in the works, and the opening of a brand new 30-storey building called gaysorn tower. both complexes are to be linked by a new skywalk that allows shoppers to safely avoid bangkok's brutal traffic flows. although gaysorn village is primarily concepted as shopping mall, there's also office space to be found, resulting in an impressive total floor area of 180,500 sqm. [1,167,884 sq.ft.]. the mall's new and slightly futuristic outer shell has been designed by architects 49, while hong kong-based practice cl3 was commissioned to design its interior.

the design objective, creating a distinctive shopping and working environment that's anchored by the concept of an artisanal village and developed in a sustainable manner. as for the shopping aspect, the vibe shifts away from strictly prestige-driven, and aims to add a unique experiential value. it sees the creation of various zones where to shop and relax, captured by locally sourced materials and inspired by thai crafts. the mall section that was previously known as gaysorn plaza has been given an extension to the newly built gaysorn tower, and to connect the two elements, a cocoon-shaped has been erected to symbolize renewal and transition. not surprisingly, this cocoon is also home to a social meeting place where activities are being held. the current tenant list of gaysorn village includes a slew of leading brands, such as brioni, bang & olufsen, louis vuitton, leica and brooks brotherslocation: gaysorn village, 999 thanon ploenchit [siam].

© cl3 / photography: ketsiree wongwan

yongin: samsung digital plaza opening

© betwin

the digital invasion of modern lifestyle is an unstoppable phenomenon, boosting comfor, efficiency, and last bit certainly not least, connectivity levels to a new high. as a result, most of the nifty devices we've come to depend on, double as prized trophies. it's hardly surprising that in south korea, a hotbed of sophisticated electronics companies, this trend has spawned a retail space that reflects 'the good life' with a showcase that's both immersive and alluring. situated in the town of yongin, an affluent satellite town south of seoul and right in the heartland of the samsung conglomerate, a plush retail concept called samsung digital plaza has recently opened its doors.

spawning from the notion of a sophisticated and individual lifestyle – it's something many young koreans aspire these days – a platform has been created where many of samsung's home appliances are showcased in stylish homey settings. the electronics giant tapped seoul-based architecture practice betwin space design to create the venue's façade and interior. it's situated on the ground floor of a new three-storeyed building and measures a sizeable 1,255 sqm. [13,509 sq.ft.] yet feels even bigger thanks to its high ceiling. the façade is clad in perforated pre-moulded metal panels, and it's this material that largely defines the chosen design, extending also inside covering the store's expansive ceiling. interestingly, the aformentioned panels' rounded corners are a nod to the overall design of samsung electronics and its brand identity.

the abundance of space at samsung digital plaza sees a meticulous configuration, featuring a series of demarcated display areas that each showcase a different section of samsung's vast home appliances range, and with a backdrop of supersized photos of living spaces and scenes of nature. large-sized products, such as laundry machines and refrigirators are grouped, but smaller home appliances are embedded in homey yet alluring settings with modular furnishings that fully propagate the store's lifestyle approach. samsung digital plaza's retail concept signals thorough understanding of the  consumer market, and that's best reflected by ithe so-called compact premium zone which is dedicated to the single-person household and presents specific products.

anticipating the on-going obsession with cooking is the complex premium zone which has an abundance of kitchen appliances that capture the latest trends, all featured in dream kitchen settings. also to be found on the premises is a comfy listening room awash with audio devices by harman, a company that became a samsung division early last year, and a samsung tv zone that presents the latest lifestyle televisions. and yes, these prized possessions are aptly displayed in welcoming living room settings with comfy sofas. the lifestyle aspect of samsung digital plaza is further anchored by a café where shoppers can recharge in between trophy hunting sprees. location: samsung digital plaza, 2485 yonggu-daero [giheung-gu].

© betwin

new york: deisel pop-up store

it's nothing short of a stroke of self-deprecating genius. we're talking italian fashion brand diesel, and its new pop-up store in new york city. obviously, it's not just any pop-up store. guised as an inconspicuous  knock-off outlet, the store in tribeca stocks goods adorned with a logo that's intentionally spelled deisel instead of diesel. the somewhat dodgy looking retail space stocks a limited edition denim collection, tees, sweatshirts and a range of accessories, all legit diesel merchandise, but branded deisel for the occasion. and compatible with the retail concept, prices are much more moderate than at official diesel boutiques, ranging from usd 10 to 200. the collection playfully nods to the global logo obsession and counterfeit trade that comes with it, and although the pop-up is a cleverly concepted stunt, the goods will drop in regular diesel stores across the planet after it closes on mon – feb 13. pop-up store location: 419 broadway [tribeca].

mexico city: casa decu opening

© nice to see you

given its sheer size, mexico city can be somewhat hard to grasp for a first timer. sprawling, chaotic and densely populated, the city unsuprisingly is an assault on all senses, and exploring its many treasures requires a centrally located home base where you'll be able to fully kick back and recharge. the condesa neighbourhood is popular with residents and visitors for a good reason, featuring an abundance of art deco architecture, fancy eateries, cool boutiques and must-see cultural venues. oh, and did we mention the buzzing nightlife haunts? well, amidst all this sits the newly opened casa decu, a boutique hotel that pretty much ticks all of our boxes. as the latest design-led concept of local hospitality group nice to see you, the property blends modern comfort and amenities with traditional mexican art deco-inspired touches, oozing a charm all its own. 

small-scale and intimate, there are only 27 suites spread across four floors. divided into five different categories, the majority of these pads are fully equipped with a kitchen and tv area, and each features a particular decor. and yes, there's obviously wifi across the premises. next to the homey lobby area on the ground floor, casa decu also boasts a relaxing roof garden where to relax or mingle with other guests. you'll not only find a snack bar here, stocked with plenty of drinks, light snacks, salads and sandwiches, but also a 24/7 gym area. needless to say, this spot comes with sweeping views of the neighbourhood. the property comes with a number of additional services, such as an airport pick-up service, breakfast + dinner service, and laundry service. and in case you wonder, the building is also designed to provide round the clock security. location: calle culiacán 10 [condesa].

© nice to see you