Yukio Hashimoto’s simple design transforms The Peninsula in Tokyo.
For those familiar with The Peninsula Hotels chain—and the refined afternoon tea service that takes place in the lobby of its eight hotels worldwide—walking into its newest outpost in Tokyo may give visitors a slight pause. A continuous screen made from tall, vertical bars of bright, blond wood wrap the oval room, as if it were the hull of an expensive, elegant ship. Entering the lobby, guests pass under a crystal chandelier made of LED lights in the shape of an inverted dome and walk toward a dragon-inspired bamboo sculpture that looks like a long, prickly lizard’s tail, hunched over a rolled-up bale of hay.
Bringing this air of Japanese refinement to the stately and traditionally prim decor of The Peninsula is the work of Tokyo-based designer Yukio Hashimoto. “We used a lot of handmade techniques to create the interiors of the hotel,” he says.
The largest and most recently completed of Hashimoto’s projects, The Peninsula abounds in hand-worked details, from the senbon-goshi, a type of latticework, to the grid-like lines carved into the walls and the cherrywood screens behind the desk. In total, 60 artisans and craftsmen were enlisted in the project. “Often, the design concept never changes. But small details will come from the artists and that will change small elements,” says Hashimoto.
The designer started his studio nearly 11 years ago after leaving the offices of Japanese design firm Super Potato. Despite its name, which sounds like a funky and bizarre malapropism, Super Potato has operated like a large design conglomerate in Japan and abroad for the past decade, working on hotel projects such as the Park Hyatt Seoul and the new Jumeirah hotel in Shanghai, bringing a kind of refined, precise Japanese style and mixing of organic materials, such as big pieces of heavy stone and rough-hewn wood.
Super Potato’s style, in a way, continues on with Hashimoto’s work—stately and refined, but with a taste for the irreverent. Most important, there is an element of craft that brings a warm touch to spaces other Japanese designers might render a bit too sterile. “Super Potato had a strong influence on me, of course,” says Hashimoto. “And I feel like I am performing the same role in my studio as I did back at the firm—coordinating with craftsmen, connecting the different contractors and creating something unique using traditional things.”
In project after project, Hashimoto’s style ranges from reserved and refined—lots of blond woods and shoji screens—to a bit more theatrical or technologically inspired. For the restaurant Teiryo in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo, Hashimoto separated the dark basement-level dining area from a walkway with a thin screen of fiber-optic cable—almost like nylon fishing lines—that, when lit, has a luminous, sparkling effect and almost appears like an invisible wall.
Hashimoto’s work, which involves natural materials and myriad craftsmen, stands out in the current field of Japanese design, which seems to favor simplicity and industrial materials as witnessed in projects such as Yoshio Taniguchi’s Museum of Modern Art or Tadao Ando’s concrete and glass structures. However, despite the physical differences in his work, Hashimoto finds his thinking quite relatable to the current design field. “Mr. Ando and Mr. Taniguchi have a way of using space that is the same, and also using concrete that is very natural in style,” comments Hashimoto. “I also try to think of one material and use it in its most natural style. In that way, they approach their industrial materials in a similar way that I use my materials, like natural stone and stucco.”
After finishing a monumental project like The Peninsula—with more than 300 rooms, some of the largest in Tokyo—Hashimoto continues apace with another hospitality project, this one on a much smaller scale: He’s working on a ryokan, or a traditional Japanese-style inn, located in the Akita Prefecture of Japan. But regardless of the scale of the project, he says, “I want my ideas to give happiness to the general public—like designing a park, or public project—and work more toward connecting design with daily life.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye