Byline: Koji Hirano

TOKYO — As part of his Asian expansion drive, Marc Jacobs opened the first store to showcase all his lines in the Aoyama shopping district here Thursday.
The store originally opened in 2000 but closed for an extensive renovation that allows a presentation of Jacobs’ full product range, the first unit in the world to do so.
The opening also marked the debut of his men’s wear line Marc by Marc Jacobs in Japan. A spokesman said “about 30 to 40 customers were lined up in front of the shop before its 9:30 a.m. opening. The popularity of the brand in Japan is tremendous.”
It is Jacobs’ eighth freestanding store in the country, opened through a partnership with Renown Look and Mitsubishi, in addition to more than a dozen in-store shops.
The shop formerly carried only the Marc Jacobs Collection line. In the new 4,100-square-foot, three-story store, Marc by Marc Jacobs is sold on the first floor, while Collection is housed in the basement and on the second floor.
“We used a light-toned, rough-planed wood on the first floor to create a more casual shopping atmosphere, while other floors feature walnut interiors,” said the spokesman. The shop design was completed in cooperation with architect Stephan Jaklitsch, who designed the brand’s shops in New York and San Francisco, and designer Christian Liaigre.
“I love the location,” said Robert Duffy, president of Marc Jacobs. “The atmosphere is great. We renovated in the right place at the right time.”
Nearby, stores that have opened in recent months include Dries Van Noten, Neil Barrett and Michael Kors.
“Aoyama district has a magnetism,” said Toru Kanyama, a local fashion trend commentator. “Its popularity never fades, even in the nation’s recession.”
As reported, Jacobs has lots going on in Asia. He just signed a deal with Joyce Boutique Holdings to expand retail distribution in Taiwan, with a Marc by Marc Jacobs store in Taipei’s Breeze Center and a collection store to be determined, Duffy said. In Hong Kong, the company has partnered with Swank Shops to open a collection store in the Landmark Hotel and a Marc by Marc Jacobs unit in Pacific Place. Those locations are all slated to open this year, while the company is exploring additional sites in Shanghai.

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