Raf Simons Stores in Tokyo and Osaka

The first flagship for the menswear designer opened in September followed by a second Japan base.

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Raf Simons has conquered Japan with not one but two stores with the flagship located in Aoyama, Tokyo and a second store in Osaka. The 110 square meter Tokyo space on Kotto Dori, Aoyama has been covered with distorted wallpaper created by the L.A. based artist Sterling Ruby with the intention of creating a negative vs. positive configuration. Ruby, who is known for bleaching fabric and sewing them onto sculptures, applied the same treatment to 650 metres of canvas which he then photographed multiple times and the negatives of the film were then turned into wallpaper prints. The treated fabric was not wasted as it was re-used to make the fixtures and boxes for the display of garments. In the large store, the prints shrink the perspective of the room but it is exactly this disorientation which amplifies the contrast between positive and negative space. The negative paint splattered prints also reference Simons' own experimentation with similar patterns within his recent collections.

Simons invited another artist Roger Hiorns to come up with the concept for the Osaka store which is located in a mall setting in Herbis Plaza. To act out against the shopping mall conventions, a 9 metre long 'crying tears' mirror bisects the space with a special one way reflective film applied everywhere. The clothes and accessories are deliberately obscured as it is the intention for passers-by to ogle at the customers and staff wearing Raf Simons as opposed to hanging static garments. The addition of three identical equilateral prisms and a polished copper flooring of rhomboids and triangles finish off this reflective store environment that like the Tokyo store, also distorts proportions.

Raf Simons Tokyo Aoyama, 6-2-7 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Raf Simons Osaka, Herbis Plaza B1F, 2-5-25 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka
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