Plan C lands first international flagship store in Tokyo
Barely six months old, Italian women’s label Plan C has opened its first store in Japan with a 100 sq m flagship in Tokyo’s well-heeled Aoyama neighbourhood.
Launched in September last year, Plan C is helmed by Carolina Castiglioni – daughter of Consuelo and the Marni dynasty. The debut marked the family’s return to the industry after they handed their 22-year-old family label over to Prada alumni Francesco Risso in 2016.
Despite the new direction, Plan C continues to be very much a family affair, with Gianni Castiglioni, Carolina’s father, serving as chief executive, and her brother, Giovanni, as operations director. Taking the baton from her mother, the label brings Carolina’s point of view on fashion to the fore through ready-to-wear, knitwear and accessories boasting vivid contrasting colours, bold forms and eclecticism.
With an HQ and showroom in Milan, Japan seemed like the natural next step for the label with sales in the country currently accounting for one-third of Plan C’s total business. In Tokyo, Castiglioni’s distinctive style has been translated into a retail space with the assistance of Florence-based artist Duccio Maria Gambi.
‘Duccio and myself immediately clicked and agreed on the store concept,’ says Carolina Castiglioni. ‘We actually share an aesthetic taste which puts contrasts and clashes in the spotlight. And this creative approach guided our choice of tactile materials and blocks of colours, which also reflect the language of Plan C’s collections.’
Indeed, contrasts and clashes abound across the store with walls painted in muted hues of mustard yellow, sage green and pale blue, while in the centre of the space, a set of stone elements – part of Duccio Maria Gambi’s ‘Zuperfici’ collection, exclusive at Nero Design Gallery – blend concrete with checkered laminated surfaces and coloured carpeting. These textured pieces are anchored by the store’s bold abstract flooring where curved sections of concrete intertwine with concrete-dipped laser-cut metal plates. Meanwhile a series of dressing rooms are made from floor-to-ceiling eco leather cylinders.
As well as the label’s collections, Gambi was also inspired by Plan C’s Milan showroom – a 1960s palazzo furnished with midcentury design pieces.
‘In this project, we tried to evoke the brand’s showroom, and especially the period when the building was realised, also in the use of plastic laminated materials and in the design of the hanging accessories, which are inspired by Dino Gavina’s creations from the Seventies,’ adds Duccio Maria Gambi.
Gambi’s interior design pieces are paired with vintage items selected by Carolina Castiglioni that are also available for purchase. These include a pair of orange armchairs, a wood and brass bookcase and smaller objects, such as vases and ornaments.
As well as the brand’s ready-to-wear and accessories collections, the store will carry a series of limited edition styles created exclusively for the store and custom jewellery pieces by Italian brand Aliita, which are displayed in cabinets installed on the store’s concrete pillars. §