Affiliated to United Arrows, one of Japan’s largest retail conglomerates, the newly launched Blamink label initially targets a savvy female demographic with high-end apparel pieces by Japanese designer Misako Yoshitake. Interestingly, the brand steers clear from fashion’s seasonal cycles, and also provides a made-to-order service to customers.
Blamink has made its debut with a full-fledged collection for the current fall/winter season, but to complete the launch, a matching flagship store in Aoyama, one of Tokyo’s most coveted shopping districts, has simultaneously opened its doors. The store measures approx. 260 sqm. set over two floors, and lauded designer Masamichi Katayama of design practice Wonderwall has collaborated closely with Yoshitake to create a matching retail setting.
The aesthetic is reminiscent of the Bauhaus School building in Dessau, and downstairs it’s largely defined by a black tiled floor which provides a grid backdrop for a wooden table, display and cabinet with metal framework. Clothing items are showcased on mannequins and clothing racks, but also in a backlit recessed wall section, along with bags and accessories. Opposite, a black metal staircase is flanked by wooden cabinet filled with books. Upstairs the premises gain a lofty dimension and the aesthetic acquires a homey edge, featuring parquet flooring with fishbone motif, similar whitewashed walls and a number of strategically placed large mirrors which reflect incoming daylight and optically increase the space at the same time. However, the staircase’s black metal railing is prominently visible, connecting both floors in more ways than one.
The Blamink store carries the brand’s full range of clothing, but the merchandise is also complemented with footwear by Pierre Hardy and J.M. Weston, Marie-Hélène de Taillac’s jewellery pieces, and a carefully selected range of accessories. Plans are underway to launch men’s items in the near future.
Design: Masamichi Katayama – Wonderwall
Photography: united arrows