Raf Simons’ two new flagship stores in Japan – his first ever – are bold statements in art as much as fashion. The Belgian menswear designer, known for his young, tailored aesthetic, turned to acclaimed international artists Sterling Ruby and Roger Hiorns to create two thoroughly unique retail experiences.
For the two-level, 110 square metre Tokyo shop on Kotto Dori, which opened in September, Ruby created a modern urban den using a positive-negative visual dichotomy, photographing bleached canvas in segments and covering the walls and ceiling with the high-res negative prints. The original fabric was then used to make the fixtures and boxes around the store, mimicking the artist’s technique of sewing dyed material around rigid sculptural work.
In Osaka British artist Roger Hiorns created a sleek, glassy counterpoint, a super reflective space that leaves you feeling both wowed and slightly disoriented. Diagonally bisected by a 9m oversized mirror, the idea is for passers-by and customers to catch cheeky glimpses of actual people wearing the store's clothing, rather than stiff mannequins behind glass. Three reflective prisms and a patterned polished copper and aluminium floor complete Hiorns' vision.
For a look at some of our other favourite retail destinations from around the globe, check out our updated 2008 Retail Directory.