tokyo: denham store opening

© denham

the ginza district in tokyo arguably has the highest density of designer boutiques on the planet, and given this global shopping stature, it's a relevant location for luxury and premium brands to gain a presence there. amsterdam-based denim brand denham initially dipped its toe in the japanese capital's luxury retail scene when setting up shop four years ago at omotesando hills, and has now stepped up its efforts by adding a new outpost in ginza six, the city's newest hub of luxury. situated on the fifth floor of the highly prestigious shopping mall, the store occupies a 210 sqm. [2,260 sq.ft.] unit that features denham's signature interior design that pairs modern design elements with carefully spurced vintage furnishings and props.

shop fittings include vintage lamps, recycled wood floors and a japanese totan corrugated roof. also to be found on the premises is a denim lab, equipped with a vintage union special 43200g sewing machines, and offering a full service menu, including a handwash laundry and drying room, and a custom sewing service where your denham trophy can be hemmed and artfully patched up, in addition to denham's very first specialty coffee bar in the land of the rising sun. the new denham boutique carries the brand's full range of men's and women's denim collections, collab pieces, and last but not least, the complete collection for kids. extrapolating the momentum, the dutch brand will be launching a new ginza wash in its made in japan collection coming november. location: ginza six, 6-10-1 ginza, fifth floor [ginza].

© denham

online: hand in hand

© shelter

shelter is a publishing and curatorial platform that works as a nomadic artist-run organization that aims to create dialogues between contemporary art, poetry and experimental music through publications, pedagogical experiences, and exhibitions. its latest venture is the release of french experimental musician and artist félicia atkinson's new full length album hand in hand, and is an expanded development of thr artist's musical compositions which started with the highly-acclaimed a readymade ceremony released in 2015, and follows her collab effort with musician jefre cantu-ledesma's comme un seul narcisse one year later. the album comes in both a double lp edition of 500 copies pressed at pallas on 140grm vinyl, printed artwork on uncoated sleeve and innersleeve – mind you, the first 125 copies are pressed on white and green wax – and a cd edition of 1,000 copies in digipack. the album is meant to be a moment of common thinking and listening in its diversity and abstraction, and blends 1980s sci-fi aethetics with today’s digital sounds along the way. the hand in hand album is exclusively available online [international delvery available].

© shelter

los angeles: 3.1 phillip lim store opening

© 3.1 phillip lim

the 3.1 phillip lim store in west hollywood closed last year, but the american designer makes a grand comeback with a new flagship that adds to the revival and ongoing transformation of downtown los angeles. lim has picked a lofty 5,000 sq.ft. [465 sqm.] space in a low-rise 1930s building which was previously occupied by a restaurant. the store's interior design is a collab between new york city-based retail designer kate mccullough and mr architecture + decor, and oozes a quirky vibe, thanks to a set-up and design that reflects retail space, gallery and private home. as such, it features collaborations with brands and entities that fit the hybrid retail concept. largely defined by free-standing partition walls and transparent strip-curtains, the space is furnished with carefully selected contemporary furniture pieces. a beautifully exposed vaulted wooden roof ties in all sections of the store. the new 3.1 phillip lim store carries the brand's full range of men's and women's apparel, bags, shoes and eyewear. already iin the works is yet another store opening stateside, and this time it'll be further west in honolulu. location: 734 east 3rd street [downtown].

© 3.1 phillip lim

global: agnès b. x david lynch

© agnès b.

as an avid fan, and having dressed cult film director david lynch for many years – mind you, he's been wearing white agnès b. tees – it was a logic next step that the eponymous french designer asked lynch to create designs for her next artist t-shirt collection, joining other artists, including robert filliou, gilbert and george, claude lévêque, harmony korine and gus van sant. so, in honour of the 70th edition of the illustrious cannes film festival, the agnès b. brand pays tribute to david lynch, one of the most iconic contemporary filmmakers. for the artists t-shirts collection, lynch chose two designs to adorn the short sleeve cotton tees. coinciding with the upcoming release of twin peaks, a continuation of the series that lynch began in 1990, the garments will be available from mon – may 15 in agnès b. stores and online. the designs come in grey for men, and gray, white and black for women, and feature original artwork created by the director himself: oh donna, a reference to the 1958 song by ritchie valens, and wild at heart, an iconic lynch film from 1990.

© agnès b.

chengdu: greybox coffee café opening

© drawing architecture studio / photography: wang hongyue + lu wenhui

as an increasingly important hub of hi-tech in both china and the far east, chengdu's residents reap the fruits of the economic boom in multiple forms, and life in the city has reached a sophistication level that's becoming on a par with the offerings of top establishments in shanghai and beijing. these days, many new retail and hospitality concepts that have initially launched in the latter two cities, often dip toe in the buzzing capital sichuan capital right after. following this expansion strategy is greybox coffee, a format that caters to the growing coffee craving of savvy young consumers. the company launched in beijing with a design-led branch – we actually talked about the venue in a previous post – and it has now opened a coffee parlour double the size in chengdu's southern hi-tech zone.

occupying a 195 sqm. [2,099 sq.ft.] unit on street level at in99, a shopping mall that's an integral part of the bigger chengdu yintai center, a prestigious mixed-use complex marked by five soaring towers of glass and steel. the café blends in well with a sleek and understated interior created by beijing-based practice drawing design studio. as said, greybox coffee's new outpost is situated on the ground floor, and the curvilinear dimensions of the space, encased on one side by large floor-to-ceiling windows, add a dynamic twist that quite fitting for this part of town. upon entering the venue, either from the shopping mall or from outdoors, avid coffee fans traverse a lofty outer ring before reaching an expansive and curved service counter where to place their order.

the counter is situated is aligned with a lowered ceiling that extends to the far end of the premises. directly opposite, alongside the windows, a varierty of seating arrangements can be found that accommodate both individual visitors and groups. the palette is defined by variations of grey, largely captured by panels of galvanized steel, tiled flooring, and walls dipped in anthracite, all offset by the warm tones of timber-clad sections and wooden furnishings. at the far end, beyond an elongated metal display table, a multifunctional seating area is situated, replete with a separate serving and teaching bar counter. here, special attention has been given to the ceiling, comprising of an expansive grid of wooden boxes, each encasing a spotlight. 

greybox coffee is a versatile concept that's set up as a place where to meet up and share good times or get some work done over a cup or two of coffee. and not just any coffee, but carefully sourced varietiess from guatemalahondurasel salvadorpanama, costa ricaethiopia and kenya. similarly to the branch in the chinese capital, top machinery has been brought in from europe, and even the dairy that's used in all the latte and capuccino concoctions is top-notch, and flown in straight from south korea and australia. also listed on the menu is a wide range of pastries, cakes, cookies, and freshly made fruit salads. location: chengdu yintai center, 1199 tianfu dadao, bei duan, ground floor [southern hi-tech zone].

© drawing architecture studio / photography: wang hongyue + lu wenhui

hong kong + china: lane crawford x the webster

© lane crawford

chunks of sunny miami have dropped at lane crawford's stores in both hong kong and across china. well, sort of. the luxury department store has collaborated with retailer laure hériard-dubreuil of the webster, an upscale multi-brand boutique from south beach which gained cult status in discerning fashion circles stateside thanks to its sharply edited offerings, and so much so, it has now become a small chain with outposts across the states. so, the two retailers have joined forces, presenting a specially curated edit of worldwide exclusive men's and women's fashion pieces, must-have lifestyle and the hottest beauty looks in special pop-up stores and online, with more than 70 styles from over 20 brands that embody cool miami style.

lane crawford and the webster have invited a lineup of coveted brands, such as courrèges, proenza schoulerolympia le tan, thom browne and saint james, as well as popular influencers across the realms of fashion, lifestyle and beauty to join in. the pop-up stores at lane crawford's stores in hong kong, shanghai, beijing and chengdu, all feature visual merchandising displays, as well as artistic installations that immerse shoppers in a south beach experience. there's a tropical art deco-inspired beach club installation, replete with neon signs, straw beach huts, oversized and brightly coloured palm trees, and last but not least, inflatable flamingos.

hong kong locations: [1]: ifc mall, 8 finance street [central]. [2]: 3 canton road [tsim sha tsui]. [3]: times square, 1 matheson street [causeway bay]. shanghai location: 99 huaihai zhong lu [huaihai lu]. beijing locations [1]: seasons place, 2 jinchengfang jie [jinrongjie]. [2]: beijing yintai center, jianguomenwai dajie [cbd]. chengdu location: chengdu ifs, 1 hongxin lu, san duan [jinjiang]. residing elsewhere? no worries. the range of specially selected goods at the aforementioned pop-up store locations will also be available online.

© lane crawford

miami: otl restaurant opening

© otl

thinking of miami, connotations of a leafy lifestyle instantly pop up in your mind. sure, it has been the playground of big spenders for quite a few decades, but only since art basel, a leading art fair based in the eponymous swiss town, first set up a satellite outpost in the sunshine state in 2001, the city has quickly evolved into a global shopping destination. in turn, the high-profile annual event has drawn the attention of l catterton, the real estate division of lvmh and groupe arnault, the family holding of the luxury behemoth's c.e.o. bernard arnault. indeed, we're talking extremely deep pockets here, but also an unrivalled retail expertise involved that has seen miami's design district transform into coveted shopping grounds for luxury brands at the blink of an eye.

the neighbourhood continues to expand with glitzy flagships of luxury brands as we speak, but at the same time, it sees the arrival of plenty of other businesses that cater to life in the fast lane from different angles. pitching in with tasty homestyle fare is otl, a funky. informal diner and collab effort local nightlife entrepreneur david grutman, real estate developer craig robins and the crew behind the new york city-based establishment the smile. short for out to lunch, the restaurant sits smack in the middle of the fast-emerging design district, occupying a spacious and airy 7,000 sq.ft. [650 sqm.] unit, spread over two floors. the interior design, created by local agency deft union, is simple and friendly, taking cues from the pastel-coloured façades that dot the streets of south beach.

opposite an elongated service counter various seating arrangements with a mix of furniture pieces are situated. otl aims to be a community hangout suitable for to drop by any time of the day. as such, the second floor offers ample space to host a variety of programming, from yoga classes to interactive panel discussions, designer pop-ups and more. otl's concise menu is filled with popular classics that add up to the establishment's laid-back vibe, featuring breakfast, and a range of sandwiches, salads and pastries, all obviously made from fresh ingredients. location: 160 n.e. 40th street [design district].

© otl

stockholm: axel arigato gallery opening

© axel arigato

a retail space so sleek, it's officially called a gallery. we're talking axel arigato gallery, the swedish sneaker brand's stellar new pop-up store in stockholm's downtown shopping district of norrmalm. following last year's launch of the very first boutique in london, designed by christian halleröd, the outpost on home turf bears witness of a renewed collab between the swedish architect and axel arigato's creative director max svärdh. tucked away in a secluded street right behind nordiska kompaniet, the capital's leading luxury emporium, the boutique occupies a sizeable ground floor unit of a contemporary multi-storey structure. the interior design at the new store oozes a similar spartan-chic vibe, and has retained some of the building's original rough edges.

furnishings may be sparse, but take on an intentionally exaggerated shape and subtly heighten the sense of visual adventure to shoppers. actually, the effect is almost solely induced by rows of display tables and clothing racks in plexiglass. a splash of colour, captured by windows with yellow-tinted glass and fluffy ottomans in a similar hue, lends a warm note to the understatement. the newly opened axel arigato gallery stocks the brand's the full range of men’s and women’s sneakers, accessories and apparel pieces, as well as a selection of rare japanese books, magazines and objects. not surprisingly, the store also aims to serve as a gallery for carefully selected brands, items and events for its loyal following. the temporary retail space will initially remain open until the end of the coming summer season, but this could be extended to december. location: smålandsgatan 28 [norrmalm].

© axel arigato

tokyo: mm6 store opening

© maison margiela

as we've recently talked about in a previous post, maison margiela is one of the many fashion brands that has nestled at ginza six, tokyo's new hub of all things luxe in the ginza shopping district. but the paris-based fashion house has also found a home here for its women's diffusion line mm6. although on the same floor within the complex, the mm6 boutique is situated across the atrium vault in a smaller unit, and is marked by a glass façade with a backdrop of silver brush strokes. the latter effect can also be found on the floor, but as one progresses into the shop, it morphs into wooden planking and carpeting. walls are partially covered in wooden panels and damask wallpaper, adding another eclectic element to the setting. furnishings comprise of two sets of what looks like randomly stacked open boxes, glass displays that mimic the façade, suspended clothing racks, and a seating arrangement. the new mm6 boutique stocks the line's full range of apparel, shoes, accessories and bags. location: ginza six, 6-10-1 ginza, third floor [ginza].

© maison margiela

new york: rei kawakubo / comme des garçons

© metropolitan museum of art

ever since she burst onto the global fashion scene in 1981 with a show during paris fashion week, designer rei kawakubo has been a ccreative force to be reckoned with, changing our view of fashion design, and last but not least, adding an exciting experiential dimension to retail. the costume insitute, a renowned curatorial department of new york city's metropolitan museum, dedicates its spring exhibition of the prolific japanese creative who now has become the top honcho of a global fashion empire. entitled rei kawakubo / comme des garçons – art of the in-between, the elaborate and thematic showcase is curated by andrew bolton and presents exhibition settings designed by the elusive japanese creative powerhouse herself, and opens thu – may 4.

on display are approximately 150 designs of kawakubo's womenswear line for comme des garçons, dating from the early 1980s to her most recent collection. as the title already hints, the exhibition focuses on the designer's highly revolutionary experiments in in-betweenness – the space between boundaries in fashion that she so tirelessly challenges. objects will are organized into eight aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in kawakubo's work: fashion/anti-fashion, design/not design, model/multiple, then/now, high/low, self/other, object/subject, and clothes/not clothes. and for all you comme fans: the museum will also host its very own comme des garçons pop-up gift shop, stocked with an exclusive range of products. location: metropolitan museum, 1000 fifth avenue [upper east].

© metropolitan museum of art