Dolce & Gabbana flagship store in Tokyo by Curiosity Inc
Despite slow economic growth in Japan due to a decline in the number of workers in the country, Deloitte remains optimistic for retailers, stating in its study, “Japan should be seen as a cash cow in that it is flush with a steady supply of affluent customers who will continue to spend.”
The country’s earnings demographics have precipitated the arrival of luxury brands like Dolce & Gabbana (Milan), which set up shop in Tokyo last September.
“The brief for this project from Domenico Dolce was, ‘Surprise me!’ ” says Gwenael Nicolas, president of Tokyo-based design firm Curiosity Inc.
The roughly 5920-square-foot space his firm created supports a dramatic ambience with dark materials and atypical spotlighted floor displays. Luxe marble, brass accents and gold carpets contrast with the matte black paint that adorns the interior. Located in one of the most fashionable areas of Tokyo – the wealthy Aoyama neighborhood – the store’s unique façade features eye-catching windows that tower approximately 32 feet high.
To create such a bold statement, designers sourced lighting typically used for concerts and fashion shows for the interior. In all, 400 spotlights were used to create various effects. “Lighting was everything,” Nicolas says. “[The challenge was] how to create a space with lighting with the precision of a few millimeters, in constant motion, and [with] carefully choreographed timing.”
According to Nicolas, Tokyo is becoming a place for experimentation, where – much like in the U.S. – customers are demanding engaging physical destinations which provide a sensory experience that may not be easily replicated online.
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