Tokyo is the planet’s undisputed leading shopping destination in more ways than one, and as such brands go the extra yard to make a retail statement. Tommy Hilfiger has operated in Japan for as long as we can remember and has staggering 160 stores nationwide, but lacked a true flagship store. Until now that is. Last week the U.S. brand opened a flagship store at Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, a new complex on Omotesando Dori, one of the city’s most prestigious shopping strips. Measuring a spacious 1,015 sqm. spread over three floors, it’s Tommy Hilfiger’s first asian flagship and its biggest store in the region.
The store has a downright lavish design that takes cues from Frank Lloyd Wright, and the result totally befits this retail status. Mind you, the american architect first traveled to Japan in 1905 and frequently referenced japanese art as a major creative influence. The store façade, as well as the interior design follow Lloyd Wright’s design principles, such as vertical stacked stone walls with horizontal stucco. Needless to say that the vibe at the flagship is full-on americana yet in refined way, featuring a wide range of antique props, such as canoes, an authentic New York fire escape in green wrought iron, subway turnstiles and leather wrestling benches.
The ground floor features the men’s runway, accessories and sportswear collections amidst a setting of oak floors, walnut paneling and brass detailing. A fireplace and repurposed leather wrestling benches further add to the masculine and clubby feel. One floor up, by way of an eco-friendly, led-lit staircase, the women’s runway, sportswear and accessories, as well as the childrenswear collections are showcased. Logically, the interior design here takes a lighter and more frivolous turn, featuring glossy white oak cabinetry and colourful, over-dyed rugs.
The kids section showcases vintage store signage and even reclaimed children’s playground horses. This is the only store in the country where the men’s and women’s runway collections are available. Another first is the bespoke men’s tailoring service. The basement area is reserved for Hilfiger denim which, as the name implies, is entirely reserved for the brand’s extensive jeans line. The flagship’s opening party pulled a huge crowd of local celebs and fashionistas, and Tommy Hilfiger himself flew in, along with Jessica Alba to rub shoulders with party guests.