Founded in 1998 by designer Hirofumi Kiyonaga, the hybrid style of his Soph. brand – it’s a subtle blend of street style, sportswear and classic elements – has contributed a great deal to today’s global popularity of Japanese labels. Kiyonaga understood early on that when setting up shop,”the store itself should be part of the brand indentity, and thus Soph.”s first boutique in Tokyo, designed by architect Nobuo Araki, became quite a statement.
Fast forward to 2016, and the brand operates no less than 16 stores across Japan and Hong Kong, all featuring a distinctly modern interior design. The latest outpost to open its doors, tucked away in the vast and labyrinthine Roppongi Hills mall in the Japanese capital, is yet another collaboration with Araki. It occupies a spacious 116 sqm. unit on the fourth floor, and features a minimalist setting, featuring flooring and walls clad in lacquered timber, and matching shelving and cabinets. Apparel pieces are showcased on suspended steel clothing racks that optically lend the space an additional airy feel.
Providing a whimsical contrast to the almost zen-like aesthetic is a graffiti-inspired art work by renowned artist Takashi Murakami that has been given a prominent spot. The new Soph. store carries the brand’s full range of apparel, shoes, and accessories, in addition to selected items of affiliated labels Uniform Experiment and F.C.Real Bristol.
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