A closeup of the Tokidoki "Louis Ghost" chair for Kartell.


TOKIDOKI’S VACANCY IN CHINA: Devotees of Tokidoki, the overly cute character lifestyle brand, will in future be able to book a room in a Tokidoki-adorned hotel.

Cofounders Pooneh Mohajer and Simone Legno plan to open 10 to 15 Tokidoki hotels in China in the next five years, with the first one expected to be welcoming guests by the end of next year. Chasing young professionals who favor ultra-clean design with touches of art, the company is laying the groundwork for its own affordable luxury hotels. The Tokidoki branded hotel will feature its own designed decor, including hospitality products that will be available for purchase at the hotel. Legno, creative director, said, “It is a 360-degree experience as a designer. I have a graphic design background so I will apply that to stationery for the Tokidoki hotel, as well as a new logo.” (His fine art will also be sprinkled throughout the hotel.)

Tokidoki’s interpretation of Kartell “Ghost” chairs will be in the hotel rooms. The company just unveiled the $480 Louis Ghost chair and the $185 Lou Lo one for children, reimagining the iconic seats that Philippe Starck designed for the company. Legno said, “We will promote it for sure. Why not? That’s the wonderful part of a design project.”

The name Tokidoki means “sometimes” in Japanese, but the Asian-inspired products are made by an Italian artist now living in Los Angeles. The mash-up of cultures has led to collaborations with Karl Lagerfeld, LeSportsac, Marvel and Hello Kitty, among others, and a global following. The new Kartell chairs, for example, will be sold via Tokidoki’s site, Kartell’s New York and Miami stores and its wholesale accounts. With 10 Tokidoki stores, including outposts in Shanghai and a two-month pop-up shop at Galeries Lafayette in Beijing that featured big-screen animation. The 12-year-old company, which has flagship in IAPM Mall in Shanghai, plans to open 20 more before the end of this year.

In January, the brand teamed with the conglomerate Chow Tai Fook for fine jewelry which is being distributed through more than 1,500 outposts in China, as well as stores in the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.

This week alone included stays in Singapore, Los Angeles and New York. Monday they will be off to Vancouver. Next month, trips to New York, London, Milan and Indonesia are slated. “A year feels like it goes by in a month,” Mohajer said. “It’s pretty insane.”

Reminded of his recent trips to India and Thailand, Legno said, “You have to push as much as possible when it’s a hot moment. We’re trying to focus on a global label and expand the brand as much as possible.”

Li & Fung, Toki’s master licensing partner for China, Taiwan and South Korea, coordinated the hotel deal, and is scouting new ones for jewelry and cosmetics. A jewelry collaboration is in place and more shoppers are in search of Tokidoki’s vinyl art collectible figurines. Mohajer said of Li & Fung, “They’re constantly generating good flow. It’s been amazing to work with them. They were part of negotiating and procuring a retail partner for us for China.”

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