Alexander McQueen, Beijing

A Store Is Born: Alexander McQueen in Beijing

You haven't arrived until you open a store in China and stage a massive fashion show, as Alexander McQueen now has. This past Friday, in partnership with the Hong Kong megastore Joyce, Sarah Burton hosted a celebrity-studded cocktail at the new boutique in the swanky Sanlitun North Village shopping center, followed the next night by a recreation of the fall 2011 collection for 300 of Beijing's mostest. A cast of Chinese models—Liu Xu, Zhang Xu Chao, Chen Bi Ke, Xie Fei Yuan, Li Dan Ni—paraded the collection down the runway. So it's official, China is the only country left with any disposable income to speak of.

Oct 31, 2011 23:18:00
Maison Martin Margiela, Beijing

A Store Is Born

Is there no better time to be voyaging in Beijing? We think not. The fashion pioneers at Maison Martin Margiela took their cues from the original trailblazer Marco Polo, venturing East to plant their flag in the burgeoning Asian luxury market. Located in a plum spot in the upper-crust Chaoyang district, the second flagship boasts the same whitewashed, mirrored interior as other Margiela stores around the world, but at three stories and 540 square feet, it's the largest to date. And the brand's hospitality has proven wildly successful with its new clientele so far. The outlet not only stocks Margiela's complete range of womenswear, menswear, and home furnishings, but completes the retail experience with a metallic slide that links the top floor to the shop's entrance on Sanlitun Road.

Margiela wasn't the only one making waves in China this month. Vivienne Westwood, who staged her first Asia show in conjunction with Shanghai Fashion Week several weeks ago, also launched a store in Beijing's Chaoyang earlier this year. The famously candid designer, however, seemed less than enthusiastic about the country's fervid consumer habits. "I tell people not to buy clothes for six months...Young people nowadays are succumbing to fads and the latest things. They are being brainwashed completely," she was quoted as saying. "I actually don't know that much [about China]...I have never really taken that much interest." Hello, kitty.

Oct 28, 2011 11:25:00
Henrik Vibskov, photo Play Hunter

A Store Is Born: Henrik Vibskov

Have clothes, will travel. Lately that seems to be the motto of Henrik Vibskov. Hot on the heels of his TYPE fragrance series inspired by his favorite cities, the Danish designer has launched the second installment of 100 Days, his temporary retail concept (don't call it a pop-up!) where each season he sets up shop in a city space for exactly 100 days.

"Inspired by all the travelling, and by not committing to a long term lease," he says, "we are free to experiment with spaces and installations and present the full collection, including showpieces and one-offs that were edited out of the collection before the show."

Like the Carmen Sandiego of fashion, Vibskov already hit Amsterdam last season. This time around the lucky city is Berlin, where the boutique will open (on Sept. 30) at Rochstr 3 with his spooky, cocoon-inspired The Eat collection. Fingers crossed for a Stateside appearance.

Sep 28, 2011 12:13:00

A Store Is Born: Highlight

This is the bright, unassuming site in San Francisco where an interesting experiment in retail is taking place. Living up to its name, Highlight is a new store and gallery stocked with a motley assortment of items its founder, Amir Mortazavi, discovers on trips abroad. It's like a private cabinet of curiosities.

Mortazavi focuses on one country at a time and calls these visits "extracts." So which country is the lucky inaugural extract? Belgium, of course, where so much in fashion and design already begins. Mortazavi's spoils from the Low Country include previous-season Maison Martin Margiela, Raf Simons and Haider Ackermann, as well as a scary-looking antique dentistry set from the 1920s, a steel-frame bike by Eddy Merckx, and a vintage manual coffee grinder.

Wow, Belgium is almost as strange as the California suburbs.

Visit Highlight

Aug 16, 2011 16:54:00
Good Design Shop

A Store Is Born: Good Design Shop

Who needs editors, historians or anyone else to tell them their work is good? Rei Kawakubo didn't when she opened a new Comme des Garçons concept shop in Tokyo. Good Design Shop is exactly that, a medley of furniture, electronics, office equipment, and everyday household items that curator Kenmei Nagaoka has deemed good, mixed in with a healthy dose of Comme, of course.

Good Design Shop
150-0001 Gyre, 2nd Floor
5-10-1 Jingumar, Shibuya-Ku
Tokyo, Japan

Aug 07, 2011 19:40:00
Mykita Berlin

A Store Is Born: MYKITA

What do you get when you combine the cutting-edge chic of German eyewear label MYKITA with the optical precision of the more traditional spectacle brand Carl Zeiss? You get MYKITA's redesigned Berlin store, outfitted with state-of-the-art optical instruments and a wall of glasses that promises something for everyone. As for us, we're still pining for MYKITA's Bernhard Willhelm-collaborated, Japan-inspired red-tinted aviators

Jul 17, 2011 22:11:00
Patron of the New

A Store Is Born: Patron of the New

Many a tear was shed when the Japanese men's label Number (N)ine shut its doors two years ago, personalizing the loss with a letter. But at least one silver lining has emerged. The label's press director, Al Abayan, has just opened a store of his own, Patron of the New. Mysterious name, yes, and new men's and women's labels indeed. So new, in fact, you may not have heard of some: No Editions, Gustavo Lins, John de Risi, Blancha, Établissement. But others you surely have: Nicolas Andreas Taralis, Thimister, Siki Im. With that kind of roster, and with a curious name, in a conceptual space in the confusing part of Tribeca, it's almost like Number (N)ine never left. Patron of the New, 151 Franklin Street

May 11, 2011 00:00:00
Unknown Union

A Store Is Born: Unknown Union

It's been almost a year since Bblessing, the hideout of a men's shop in the LES, closed its doors. But as someone wise once said, when one door closes, another one opens. Apparently, sometimes on another continent. The store's owners, Sean Shuter and Daniel Jackson, have opened a new men's boutique, Unknown Union, all the way in Cape Town, South Africa (24 Kloof Street). The interior, too, is a radical departure for a men's retailer, all happy and bright with heaps of fluorescent lights and rainbow-colored shelving designed by Rafael de Cárdenas, of the New York firm Architecture At Large. Housed in an 18th-century historic building in the city center, the new store carries many of the same brands found at Bblessing, i.e. aNYthing, Pendleton, Surface to Air, THECAST, Penfield USA. Some of these are available nowhere else in Africa, while an eponymous line will actually be made in Africa, in support of local charities.

May 01, 2011 00:00:00
A.P.C. London, photo Tim Eve

A Store Is Born: A.P.C. London

Newly opened in the Shoreditch hood of London (5A Redchurch Street) comes another flagship from the hugely popular French label A.P.C. Founded in 1988 by Tunisian-born Jean Touitou, A.P.C is short for Atelier de Production et de Creation, and stands for clean-cut chic with military overtones and a made-to-measure approach to fit—quite the opposite of the billowing looseness adopted by Touitou’s contemporaries.

A.P.C.'s in-house architect Laurent Deroo, also responsible for Paris’s Hotel Ampere, has extended the brand's signature minimal aesthetic to the London branch. Following the success of the six previous global flagships, the new London location is one of A.P.C.’s biggest retail expansions, showcasing two floors of menswear, womenswear and accessories, as well as the Madras label designed jointly by Jessica Ogden and Jean Touitou.

Apr 12, 2011 00:00:00

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