Paul Smith’s latest shop has opened in Tokyo, and it plays tricks on the eyes.
The new store, in Ginza, is located near Hermès and Louis Vuitton and carries men’s wear, accessories and the PS diffusion line over three floors, and 3,304 square feet.
Smith is up to his usual tricks with the design, creating optical illusions everywhere. After all, this is the designer who is known in Japan for painting trompe l’oeil dollar bills onto the floor of his stores and watching to see who tries to pick them up.
The facade is a 3D zigzag of folded aluminum cladding and stretches over the first and second floors. The cladding creates a lenticular effect between the green and blue frontage colors.
Viewed from straight ahead, it appears as a series of vertical stripes with the green fading into the blue, and vice-versa. Smith said his “clever team” developed the design in-house at the brand’s London headquarters.
On the first floor, the ceilings are open, exposing all the beams and services. Large light boxes have been suspended between the beams, and walls have been set out at “unusual” angles in order to change the perspective of the space.
To add to all of the distortion, the front and rear walls are mirrored and mixed with walls that have a high gloss white finish and rails in polished stainless steel.
When he’s not teasing the eyes with illusions, Smith is treating his customers to top-notch design, and artwork.
According to the company, the visual aesthetic on the first floor is inspired by Pierre Chareau’s Glass house, with gray flooring, exposed steel work and a glass wall in front of the staircase. Some of the walls feature glazed accessory units inspired by Carlo Scarpa.
The second floor features bursts of bright color, with an orange fitting room lobby and a light blue cash desk area, as well as leather wrapped tables in olive green. The basement is a modern, timber paneled room that houses the Made to Measure service, a VIP fitting area with midcentury modern furnishings and details.
Artwork in the store includes a large round table by Vico Magistretti for Rosenthal; a James Mont armchair; a Model 743 Sofa by Parker Knoll in teal, and two Volak Bentwood stools upholstered in Maharam fabric with Smith’s signature overlapping stripe motif.