Issey Miyake

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.

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