HONG KONG—Japanese designer Chitose Abe’s label Sacai has just opened a store in Hong Kong, its first standalone boutique outside of Japan.
Located in Central district on On Lan Street, the 1,600-square-foot store opened Friday. Contemporary Japanese artist Ryota Morikawa designed the key furnishings, like a concrete and wood chair.
The brand will also be opening a store in Beijing later this year. The China stores are being opened with help from retail partner Joyce, part of the Lane Crawford Joyce Group.
Abe, who was in Hong Kong for two days to prepare for the opening, said Hong Kong and Beijing stores make sense because “the consumers here have a good understanding of the brand.”
“We always take it slowly, organically. It sounds like we are expanding fast but [for the projects in Hong Kong and China] we had a long discussion with our partner, Joyce, first and then came out with the stores now because it was the right time,” Abe said in Japanese through an interpreter. The designer praised buyers at Joyce, noting that they pick not only the easier to wear commercial pieces but also items that are important to each collection, showing a good understanding of the brand.
Beyond the Hong Kong and Beijing stores, Abe said she doesn’t have any other plans to open new stores. In October, Sacai opened an office in New York to handle the brand’s North American wholesale business.
“Other brands will start with clothes, then move on to bars and fragrance and open more shops. Others don’t’ know the life of the brand so they are in a rush. But Sacai is based on my life, so my lifetime is the life of the brand,” she said, explaining why she is not in a rush to expand and open more stores.
That said, Abe said she is open to designing handbags and accessories when the time is right. Meanwhile, she is rolling out some a special capsule collection that will only be available in her two standalone stores in Hong Kong and Tokyo. She is also working on a collaboration with a sportswear brand that will be unveiled in a couple months.
The goal is to “do something to satisfy ourselves and our consumers,” she said.