The retail world today is all gaga over the idea of futuristic stores with technology donning its various forms. But does futuristic have to be technology driven? That’s a question the new Issey Miyake flagship on London’s Brook Street poses.
Issey Miyake as a brand comes forth as an upbeat radical one with reflections in its merchandise. A brand’s retail store is its face to the public and speaks the mother tongue of the brand. The London Issey Miyake flagship juxtaposes the traditions of the brand with its futuristic attitude. The store’s roof sheltered a bank before it was stripped down to upraise this store. The store’s location couldn’t be any more magnetic. A brand like Issey Miyake when located between the high streets Regent and Bond, grabs enough eyeballs to draw footfalls into the store. To accentuate the location, the store uses its exposed facade to manifest as all glass panels. The drama being unfolded in the store showcases a preview through the glass panels and positions the store as a remarkable statement on the street. The store interior is a dialogue between the old architecture of the building and the modern elements of brand symbolism. This concept of the co-existence of the old and the new is a result of various factors. London as a city is home to heritage architecture amidst being one of the most advanced cities of the world. Issey Miyake is a brand which has merchandise styling of a radical nature but still adheres to traditional hand work. The designer Tokujin Yoshioka himself has a keen interest in the unexplored past and shows a curiosity of bringing it forth in regards with his design. All these aspects fall into place to justify the interior language. The concrete columns now stand bare on a flooring which is a poured screed, with specialist bespoke 2mm layers of micro-top applied in a six coat process that is hand finished. A texture similar to the concrete columns is also applied on parts of the walls to emphasise a holistic run down effect. These elements are an indication of the old aspects of architecture which are contrasted with blue aluminium panels. These panels dyed like fabric are an expression of a futuristic approach.