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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.