Christian Lahoude and Creative Director Alexander Wang collaborated to develop a custom design for the first freestanding, three-level store in Japan. Housed in an existing landmarked structure, the store is a unique expression of the Alexander Wang brand. Japanese architectural elements were folded in with the retail aesthetic Lahoude established in Alexander Wang’s International APM location in Shanghai. The design features the use of raw Japanese concrete, contrasting white Italian Carrera marble and black Nero Marquina marble, as well as polished bronze accents and floating glass shelving.
Complementing the district’s trendy, high-end retail environment, the store features a sleek, black, book-matched marble façade. The façade acts as a beacon for the store, which is located at the end of the street. Recessed LED lighting brightens the window frame, establishing visibility and attracting shoppers.
Visually and architecturally, the long and narrow three-level interior called for a unique approach to circulation that would facilitate the shopper’s experience from one level to the next. Two staircases connect the multiple levels – one leading to the mezzanine and one to the lower level. Each staircase is framed by raw concrete panels, accented with polished bronze trims and inset with light reveals.
Contrasting black and white marble is used to create illuminated niches that frame the product. The balance of light and heavy, transparency and opacity, are manifested in hanging glass units and floating shelves hovering over weighty, white marble pedestals.Custom furniture and lighting, synonymous with the Alexander Wang aesthetic, showcase the products and create a luxurious shopping experience. The concept of contrast extends to the mix of materials and texture. Noble materials create dynamism when deployed in the edgy, more industrial setting. Exposed vents share space with sleek lighting fixtures. Rough concrete on the walls and floors is juxtaposed with silky carpet. A leather bench of granular stingray chagrin leather sits opposite smooth leather chairs.