The designer will open his first flagship outside the U.S., a 4,500-square-foot store in the Minami-Aoyama district of Tokyo, in mid-March.
The store, whose neighbors will include Prada, Comme des Garçons, Undercover and Acne, will sell the brand’s full men’s and women’s collections and will include a special area for made-to-measure. The split-level store will be designed based on Browne’s concepts and ideas by the interior design firm of Wonderwall, led by Masamichi Katayama, who worked on Colette in Paris as well as several other high-profile retail stores and galleries.
“We’re really excited about the store both as a way to boost an already strong business in Asia and as an image statement,” Browne said Wednesday from Milan, where he was working on the Moncler Gamme Bleu collection that will be shown in January.
He said the design will be similar to the 2,500-square-foot Thom Browne store in TriBeCa in New York. “This will be a very significant flagship store and we wanted it to stand out and be important in the Toyko retail community,” the designer said.
He said Minami-Aoyama is one of the city’s higher-end retail districts and home to many of the city’s “cooler” brands, which is why he opted to open the store in that area.
He said the store will be operated in the same manner as the rest of the business, as a joint venture with Cross Co., the Japanese firm that bought a majority stake in the business three years ago.
Cross, which operates retail stores across Asia, will run the store, but the merchandise selection and the look of the store will be chosen by Browne. He and Cross will work together on staffing the unit. “This is a way to move the business forward,” he said.
This may be just the beginning of Browne’s retail presence in Asia. “Long-term, we’re hoping for a lot of stores,” Browne said, “but we’re just focusing on this one for now.”
The Thom Browne collection is also carried at Isetan department stores, Dover Street Market on the Ginza, United Arrows and Hankyu in Japan. It is also sold in Seoul and Hong Kong at Joyce and I.T, along with some smaller boutiques.
Since Cross purchased its stake in the brand, giving Browne the financial breathing room he needed to expand his label, he has launched a capsule collection called Thom Grey that is exclusive to Barneys New York’s Co-op stores in the States. It is also carried at Harrods, the Galleria in Seoul and I.T in Hong Kong and Beijing. Since being introduced this fall, Browne said the line is “selling really well and we’re thinking how to move it forward.”
In addition to his signature collection, Thom Grey and Moncler Gamme Bleu, Browne designs the Black Fleece collection for Brooks Brothers. There are two freestanding Black Fleece stores in the U.S., in New York and San Francisco, and Brooks is looking for an additional location in Miami.
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Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
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@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)