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Beauty in Japan is, just as about anywhere else in Asia, a booming business, and although it ranks as one of the planet’s biggest markets, it’s also a highly saturated one. Founded in 1989 by Hiroe Imai in a small town northeast of Sapporo, Japanese beauty brand SHIRO offers a product range using Japanese ingredients only, mostly kombu and sake kasu, and is one of the very few companies to have successfully garnered a sizeable clientele on home turf and abroad. The company has rolled out online stores in the United States and the U.K., and in the latter market it additionally operates three standalone London boutiques. Nevertheless, the homeland remains its biggest market, and it’s here where the majority of SHIRO‘s physical retail spaces can be found. Steering clear from generic store design, each one has a different look and feel, and for the new shop-in-shop at Takashimaya department store in the Setagaya area of Tokyo, local architecture practice ODS was commissioned to create a fitting setting. Occupying an elongated and narrow space of approx. 25 sqm. (269 sq.ft.) which faces a corridor, the objective of the design was to create a space with a sense of openness and comfort inspired by a city with abundant nature and a relaxed atmosphere. A single white counter is positioned parallel to the corridor and features a recessed base to achieve a floating effect. At the same time, the volume incorporates a display area, tiered shelving, cash register functions, and storage. For the counter and the walls, two different plaster materials were applied to create different textures. The aggregates of the wall were scraped off in a half-dry state to create an uneven surface with delicate shades. Meanwhile, the counter was carefully polished by hand to create a smooth texture, accentuating the simple design of the products. The new SHIRO shop-in-shop exclusively carries the brand’s skincare and makeup products, as well as fragrances.

Designed by ODS
Images © Oniki Design Studio
Photography: Takumi Ota

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