Manolo Blahnik store at Ginza 6 by Nick Leith-Smith, Tokyo – Japan

May 4th, 2017 by retail design blog

Following the award winning design* concept for Manolo Blahnik spaces in Matsuya Ginza and Osaka, the designer is opening a flagship on the highly anticipated Ginza Six in Tokyo. In partnership with the Bluebell Group and designed by Nick Leith-Smith, the impressive 60 square metre flagship is on the second floor of the Yoshio Tanigachi conceived development. Ginza 6 is heralded as new vision of luxury, reflecting the coming together of art, architecture in a contemporary shopping experience.

The designer embraces this, with a space which 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 breadth and quality of material, craftsmanship and architectural influences are unrivalled by any other culture.The focal element is a timber installation, inspired by the infamous Japanese timber contruction and joinery but realized here in crisscrossed folded wooden slats.

Interlacing they connect walls and traverse across the ceiling, imperceptibly supporting shelves and acting as hangers. It is at first sight both primitive yet considered; functionally dynamic and playful much like the brand itself. Cleverly fusing the industrial with the ornate, feature walls are hung tiles. In an undulating curve pattern inspired by the gingko leaf. Dramatic contrast comes in a back wall in painterly blue, inspired by traditional Japanese indigo plant dye.

This vibrancy is picked out through the careful curation of seating – mid century Finn Juhnl 137 collection – inspired by the iconic Miyajima Watergate – low armchairs and seating with hand sewn upholstery in brightly coloured hues.The shoes 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 the shoes.

Design: Nick Leith-Smith

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