Blue Building / 5-3-20 Minami-Aoyama / +81 3 5774 4668
/ noon-8pm, closed Sun
Thinking Outside the Box
Strolling through Tokyo’s lavish Aoyama, past the usual natty window displays from Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade and Prada, you certainly won’t miss this looming great box of austere blue-grey marble - with neither sign nor window, this unintelligible structure piques curiosity, to say the least. And no prizes for guessing the man behind this slick façade is Thom Browne, the New York-based designer who courts controversy and confusion with his theatrical, gothic and at times, downright bizarre catwalk shows. It’s also no surprise that he has chosen Tokyo for his first store outside the US, Japan being his most significant market internationally.
Conceptualised by Wonderwall’s Masamichi Katayama and spanning over three luxuriant floors of poured terrazzo, the store is divided into six spaces clad with grey marble and dotted with mid-century furniture from designers like Jacques Adnet and Giò Ponti. The muted minimalist décor makes perfect sense as a backdrop to Browne’s ready-to-wear collections, including his trademark ankle-skimming short suits in fun pastels and muted greys for the gents, together with feminine, wasp-waisted silhouettes woven in tweed and paired with hand-painted stockings for the leggy ladies. The store also boasts a room for made-to-measure couture and the kind of 1960s-inspired lounge bar you’d expect to find Don Draper brooding over a whiskey on the rocks. Suits you, sir!