Project: Manolo Blahnik Ginza 6

Design: Nick Leith-Smith
Opening date: April 2017
Store size: 60 sq m

Following the award-winning design concept for Manolo Blahnik's spaces in Matsuya Ginza and Osaka, the fashion designer has opened a flagship store at the highly anticipated Ginza 6 in Tokyo. In partnership with the Bluebell Group and designed by architect Nick Leith-Smith, the 60 sq m flagship is on the second floor of the Yoshio Tanigachi conceived development, which has been designed to offer a new shopping and dining destination for the area.

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Ginza 6 is heralded as a new vision of luxury, reflecting the coming together of art and architecture in a contemporary shopping experience. The designer embraces this, with a space that not only evokes the brand's unique character but which reflects a strong sense of local identity. The flagship is contextualised in deference to Japanese mastery for interpreting traditional cultural forms in exciting new ways. 

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The focal point of the store is a timber installation, inspired by the infamous Japanese timber construction and joinery but realised here in criss-crossed, folded, wooden slats. They interlace to connect walls and traverse across the ceiling, imperceptibly supporting shelves and acting as hangers. At first sight the design is both primitive yet considered; functionally dynamic and playful, much like the fashion brand itself.

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Cleverly fusing the industrial with the ornate, feature walls are made from hung tiles in an undulating curved pattern inspired by the gingko leaf. A painterly blue back wall has been inspired by traditional Japanese indigo plant dye.

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The store features seating from the mid century Finn Juhnl 137 collection, inspired by the iconic Miyajima Watergate, in the form of low armchairs and seating with hand-sewn upholstery in bright colours.

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The shoes appear to cascade out across marble in-laid shelves supported by the wooden sculpture. Marble flooring and pared back brass and glass display cabinets give a contemplative feel – a space to reflect, shop and appreciate the artistry of shoes.

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