Equipment, on a growth trajectory since being relaunched in 2010, opened its first international store on Thursday, a 485-square foot boutique in the new Ginza Six shopping center in Tokyo.
The shop, a partnership with Little League Company of Sazaby League Ltd., houses Equipment’s silk and cashmere collections, novelty knits and pajama sets.
“The Ginza Six concept is cutting edge and fashion-forward, poised to become one of the world’s preeminent shopping destinations for locals and travelers alike,” said Equipment chief executive officer Jack Schwefel.
“We became a partner with Equipment because we were captivated by the beauty of modern and authentic Equipment,” said Yoji Hirai, company officer of Little League Company of Sazaby League Ltd., a Tokyo-based distributor and retailer of brands including food, home products and clothing such as Starbucks, Flying Tiger of Copenhagen and Ron Herman. “Since then, we have been searching for a location for the flagship store and chose Ginza Six because the building has both traditional and cutting-edge sensibility in a desirable location and we were convinced that it is the best, suitable for the brand. We are targeting not only people living in Japan but also travelers from all over the world.”
The store has a modern, gallery-like, minimalist aesthetic reflecting the brand’s French heritage. Cement and glass frame the space, along with layers of natural wood and stone.
Equipment was first launched 40 years ago by Christian Restoin, with tailored and timeless men’s wear-inspired women’s blouses. The company grew to 14 stores but they were all closed by 1998.
Equipment was relaunched in spring 2010 by Serge Azria, with androgynous silhouettes, luxe fabrics and “feminine riffs on men’s shirting.” Since the relaunch, the brand has made other growth maneuvers including in fall 2012 introducing a cashmere collection, and opening stores in the SoHo section of New York City and West Hollywood, Calif. The Equipment web site indicates that another store on Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City, Calif., is in the works.
The company intends to open additional international stores, but none are currently planned, according to a spokeswoman.