tokyo: louis vuitton store relocation

© louis vuitton japan / photography: daici ano

the land of the rising sun is one of the planet's most significant luxury markets and at its very core is ginza, one of tokyo's upscale shopping zones and a prerequisite platform for any discerning brand in fashion and lifestyle's upper echelon. obviously, louis vuitton has a prominent presence here – mind you, the luxury behemoth first opened a standalone store on bustling namiki dori in 1981, and is currently being renovated. for the time being, it has relocated to new premises further down the street. the new boutque occupies a street level unit of a mid-rise building, measuring approx. 756 sqm. [8,138 sq.ft.] across two floors. the façade is adorned by mesh panels with geometric pattern inspired by designer marcel wanders' concoctions for louis vuitton's nomad collection which was launched late last year. inside, an open space unfolds, flooded by natural light that comes in through large windows. the ground floor presents the women's collection, featuring a palette of light hues and matching furnishings, whereas the men's domain upstairs is captured by slightly darker colour tones and a variety of matching furniture pieces and props. the temporary boutique stocks men's and women's ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories, shoes, watches, jewellery and sunglasses. in celebration of the store opening a special women's leather bag, called capsine and inspired by japanese omikuji, was released. location: 6-6-7 ginza [ginza].

© louis vuitton japan / photography: daici ano

milan: woolrich store opening

© woolrich

woolrich already operates a sizeable network of boutiques across europe, north america and japan, but recently opened its first flagship store on home turf. situated on corso venezia, a bustling thoroughfare in the heart of milan, the store measures a whopping 700 sqm. [7,535 sq.ft.] and features a variety of settings. the italian fashion brand's creative director andrea cané collabnorated with acclaimed tokyo-based practice wonderwall to design its interior, and this resulted in a series of spaces that combine practicality and a cool aesthetic. upon entering the store, shoppers cross a lounge-inspired space where to sit back and relax over coffee or gawk at the collection of iconic woolrich garments on display.

the chosen aesthetic of the woolrich shop is predominantly defined by light colours and simple materials, such as wood, glass and metal. furnishings comprise of wooden and steel shelves, while the building's concrete pillars are encased in transparent glass. the cool factor jumps up a few notches when it comes to the next few store sections and services. providing shoppers a unique experience, there's a personalization workshop where to have special customization or decorations added to your new apparel pieces. another features is the ice room which has temperatures of minus 20 degrees celsius, allowing shoppers to test live the comfort and performance of a trophy winter coat.

also on the premises of the store is a lush winter garden, managed japanese florist satoshi kawamoto. the new woolrich flagship store obviously carries the brand's full men's and women's collection, but also has a dedicated kids department. and that's not all. there's also a curated selection of items, sometimes co-branded, by a rotation of other brands. currently on the shelves are new balance, motor cycle helmets by smith, edie & watson computer glasses, reversible bags with the woolrich fabrics by chiharu hayashi, and sprung leather jackets. location: corso venezia 3 [duomo].

© woolrich

tokyo: louis vuitton installation

© louis vuitton japan / photography: yasuhiro takagi

although creative kim jones and louis vuitton have announced that they'll be parting ways, the designer's coveted men's creations can still be still be snapped up in louis vuitton stores across the planet. it's at the luxury brand's boutique in tokyo's plush shopping district of roppongi where the master's s/s 2018 men's collection is pre-released with an exuberant installation. as the collection takes cues from the hawaiian islands, the colour-infused settings blatantly feature motifs of the prerequisite palm tree on carpets, displays and props – mind you, even the store's expansive glass façade is adorned with the lanky tree species – and even a small customized car a has been included. the installation obviously includes a selection of items of the s/s 2018 men's collection, including apparel pieces, sneakers, sandals and bags. location: louis vuitton, 6-12-3 roppongi [roppongi].

© louis vuitton japan / photography: yasuhiro takagi

seoul: freitag by mmmg store opening

© freitag / photography: nils clauss

starting out as a modest design studio in 1999, mmmg – that's short for millimeter milligram – eventually evolved into a shop, selling its own designs and a slew of tightly curated homeware and lifestyle items from across the planet. the retailer has successfully carried freitag's bags and accessories for quiite some time, and recently upped the ante by launching freitag by mmmg, a dedicated retail space on the premises of its store in seoul's popular itaewon shopping area. measuring a sizeable 100 sqm. [1,076 sq.ft.], it's now official freitag territory with all the bells and whistles that come with it. similarly to freitag stores across the planet, the minimalist setting is defined by the swiss brand's signature modular storage system and industrial-inspired cabinets and seating. the space directly adjacent to the store will also function as a flexible pop-up location, while the store itself plans to host local talent and activate a courtyard linking the freitag brand with what is one of the korean capital's mosty buzzing alleyways, where the old, formerly residential brick buildings are now occupied with young, independent creative businesses and projects. the new freitag by mmmg store stocks over 2,000 individual recycled products, ranging from bags and backpacks, to smartphone and laptop sleeves. location: 240 itaewon-ro [itaewon].

© freitag / photography: nils clauss

copenhagen: qwstion store opening

© qwstion / photography: urs bigler

if you ask us, one can never have enough bags. what was once a golden rule for women, has now become increasingly adopted by men. at leat, the fashion-forward ones, and that definitly includes the scandinavian males. it isn't much of a suprise that swiss bag brand qwstion has ventured north to accommodate them with its maching range of understated models by way of a new standalone store in copenhagen's vesterbro district. designed by the company's creative director christian kaegi and his team, the 60 sqm. [646 sq.ft.] ground floor space features a striking diagonal wall at its centre that bears the classic qwstion wall display and demarcates the room at the same time. the setting is framed by bare concrete flooring and a whitewashed ceiling and walls. rows of tube lighting, suspended diagonally across the store, add a playful twist. the new qwstion store carries the brand's the full range of products, including everyday backpacks, totes and weekender bags, in addition to a collection of local and international labels. there's furniture pieces from young design brand million, raawi ceramics, footwear and leather goods by velt, instrmnt watches, and writing tools from y studioslocation: istedgade 64 [vesterbro].

© qwstion / photography: urs bigler

online: ecco weatherproof collection

© ecco

we dwelled on ecco's experimental store w-21 in amsterdam and its special collections in a previous post. not surprisingly, with so much innovation going on, the brand has a new release to mark the retail space's first anniversary. since opening, the store concept has featured seasonal capsule assortments of tannery hacks celebrating ecco’s unique ability to combine innovative leathers, tanned at the ecco leather tannery in the netherlands with dynamic comfort platforms from the brand’s over half-century archive of shoe designs. for this winter season, the shoe manufacturer's innovation lab ecco, its standalone innovation hub, has created a compact range of styles uni ed under the weatherproof concept, and which is solely available at the w-21 boutique in the dutch capital. the ecco leather tannery has been pushing the limits of functional performance in premium leather, treating the leather with hydromax by ecco to boost water repellence, fully integrated into the leather throughout the tanning process. shown here are two models, one each from the women's and men's range, that we particularly like. the ecco weatherproof collection can be exclusively purchased at the w-21 store, but if you reside elsewhere, you can also make your purchase online. store location: w-21, wolvenstraat 21 [centrum].

© ecco

hong kong: hermès store opening

© hermès

the luxury shopping segment in hong kong may have seen better days, but hermès remains undeterred, and has raised its profile in the city with a new flagship store. the paris-based luxury brand opened a prominent corner unit at landmark prince's mall in central, a coveted area of town infested with high-end boutiques, and obviously proper representation was required. the boutique has been given a striking façade that's inspired by bamboo scaffolding con­struction techniques, comprising of no less than eight kilomtres of copper-coloured anodised aluminium tubes aligned to form a mantle with kinetic effects. at 9,170 sq.ft. [852 sqm.] spread across three floors its by far the largest hermès store in the city, and its special stature comes with exceptional interior design settings.

created by french architecture practice rdai, the interior is the result of a meticulous search for colours and materials. a palette of warm colours, ranging from the sandy hue of the women’s section to the burnt wood shade of the men’s department. ele­ments in champagne­-coloured woven metal subdivide the spaces. the offerings here are fittingly elaborate, and include silk items, leather goods, fragrances, jewellery, furniture and watches. mind you, the most discerning of client can make use of a private lounge for made-to-measure customers. to celebrate the store opening, french artist duo zim & zou were invited to transform the store windows with delicate humour into paper castles. location: landmark prince's mall, 10 chater road [central].

© hermès

paris: under the sky

© le bon marché

at a department store as illustrious as le bon marché, there's simply never a dull moment. it's not just the sheer wealth of luxury brands and items that keeps shoppers coming back for more, but also the alluring settings in which they're presented. under the supervision of frédéric bodenes, the longtime artistic + image director of groupe bon marché, the premises have hosted large-scale installations by leading contemporary artists since 2016. following ai weiwei and chiharu shiota, it's now the turn of leandro erlich [1973]. the argentine conceptual artist, based in both buenos aires and montevideo, has created site-specific installations under the moniker sous le ciel, or in english, under the sky, and similarly to the previous editions, it's a sight to behold.

erlich spent several years in paris, and he has become very fond of the city. he invites shoppers to rise above the ground, maybe even to the seventh heaven with his artistic ode. the artist composed an ode to the unique sky of île-de-france, to its very specific luminosity, its soft colours that change constantly over the course of each day and each season. erlich has written this infatuation in his own way, in several chapters, using le bon marché's store windows, and at its inner core, by transforming the central glass roof, and right below, also the store's famous escalator [on through feb 18]. location: le bon marché, 24 rue de sèvres [st.-germain].

© le bon marché + gabriel de la chapelle

seoul: untitledot store opening

© wallga & brothers / photography: yong-joon choi

the retail scene in seoul has been abuzz for quite some time, and there are no signs it's going to slow down anytime soon. continuously expanding and diversifying in every segment, the city's shopping infrastructure has also acquired a distinct and alluring flavour thanks to an increasing number of noteworthy independent boutiques. in the latter category falls the newly opened untitledot boutique in the korean capital's leafy neighbourhood of cheongdam. founded by seoul-based fashion company moc international, the store occupies the former premises of space moo, a well-known lifestyle concept store with a bar that served as a meeting place for fashion-savvy neighbourhood denizens, on the ground floor of a modern four-storey building.

the boutique owner tapped local architecture practice wallga & brothers to design a fitting setting for the 165 sqm. [1,776 sq.ft.] ground floor unit, and the result is one of bold understatement. the retail space was entirely gutted, except for the polished concrete flooring, creating a singular open space that's flooded by daylight coming through the floor-to-ceiling windows. a linear light system has been installed on ornamental cross-beams that run across the breadth of the store, and intersect with the structure's original concrete beams to create a grid of sorts. attached to the cross-beams is a display system of galvanized steel rods that not only allows a versatile display of the merchandise, but also helps to retain store's cleverly attained sense of spaciousness..

the untitledot boutique carries over 30 curated, fashion-forward labels from across the planet, all geared towards a young male demographic, and the list currently includes brands such as damir doma, nehera, drink beer save waternorse projects, still by hand and f / ce. in the coming months, the offerings will expand to plans to womenswear, accessories, kids items, beauty products, and other coveted lifestyle goods. and that's not all folks! the previous occupant's door-side café has been retained, albeit in a matching upgraded version and now paired with sleek stools, and aims to host the area's affluent denizens once more, serving small healthy bites, desserts and drinks, in addition to craft beer, wines, and cocktails. location: 27 seolleung-ro 132-gil [cheongdam].

© wallga & brothers / photography: yong-joon choi

florence: gucci garden opening

© gucci

founded in florence in 1921, the house of gucci has always taken pride in its tuscan roots, and alessandro michele, its revered current creative director, is pitching in with statements of his own. sure, he's proven his worth on the catwalk – mind you, sales have soared since he took the creative reigns in 2015 – but there's also the drive of any self-discerning man at the helm of an illustrious fashion house to invest in the myth, and thus expand the legacy. well, that's exactly what michele is doing, and he's doing it quite well. michele has taken on gucci museo, a showcase at the historic palazzo della mercanzia and dedicated to the legacy of the fashion house, shook it upside down, and turned it into a venue that's just as exuberant, multi-layered and glamourous as his highly coveted sartorial output.tweaking its formula and redesigning all three floors, the 14th century structure now goes by the somewhat evocative name of gucci garden.

it has boldy abandoned its staid stature and dramatically increased interactivity, resulting in an enormous buzz, that unsurprisingly, resonates across the planet. timely opened at the launch of trade show pitti immagine uomo's latest edition and for all the world to see, the new gucci garden still features stellar exhibition galleries with a wealth of historic gucci trophies curated by authoritative italian fashion critic and curator maria luis frisa and set across several themed rooms, but has also become home to a gucci boutique, a souvenir and gift shop, a red-velvet tented cinema auditorium that features a preview of zeus machine/phoenix, a short film by the zapruder filmmakers group, and last but not least, to an achingly chic, 50-seat dining spot. the latter is aptly called gucci osteria, and is helmed by triple michelin-starred chef massimo bottura. location: palazzo della mercanzia, piazza della signoria [centro].

© gucci