Thom Browne opens shop in Tokyo
Thom Browne is settling into Tokyo. A few days ago, he inaugurated his first flagship following the one in New York, where his studio is based. The menswear and womenswear designer relied on the support of his Japanese owner Cross Company to create this unconventional space of 400 square meters on three levels. Located in the trendy Aoyama neighborhood, the flagship is the fruit of a collaboration between the designer and the retail “starchitect” Masachimi Katayama from interior design firm Wonderwall (Colette, Uniqlo, etc.).
The store has six separate rooms, including a lounge bar and offers all of the designer’s lines. The brand has been owned since 2009 by the Japanese group Cross Company, which has a 67% share in the company.
Like his New York store, Thom Browne has concocted a strange, offbeat atmosphere here by creating a retro office decor. The furniture comes from design gurus (Maison Jansen, Jacques Adnet, etc.) and the lighting invokes a day at work — an impression enhanced by glass doors and brushed steel and by the dominant color grey. This key color in Thom Browne’s work is the namesake of his contemporary menswear line named Thom Grey, launched last summer in a number of select American, British and Asian department stores.
Normally the designer’s menswear receives greater distribution (runway show in Paris) than his womenswear (presented in New York). But for Thom Browne, this trend might achieve an equilibrium next season, thanks to Michelle Obama. The first lady of the United States donned one of the designer’s outfits for the inauguration festivities of President Obama’s second term. The previous year, the first lady herself awarded Thom Browne the “National Design Award” of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum for the work over his entire career.
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