JACOBS HEADS EAST WITH ASIAN VENTURES
Byline: Eric Wilson
NEW YORK — Marc Jacobs will expand his reach in Japan next week with the opening of a flagship in Tokyo’s Aoyama district, the first in the world that will carry all of the designer’s collections under one roof, while Jacobs is also developing his business in other parts of Asia with two new deals.
Jacobs and Robert Duffy, president of Marc Jacobs, are traveling to Tokyo for the opening of the store on April 4 and a launch party to benefit Cancer Care, to which the designer and model Christy Turlington are dedicating considerable resources this year.
The 4,150-square-foot Aoyama shop will carry the Marc Jacobs men’s and women’s signature collections and accessories, Marc by Marc Jacobs sportswear for men and women, the designer’s fragrance and a broad range of secondary- line accessories that are only available in Japan. These include an expanded range of Marc by Marc Jacobs charm bracelets, belts, totes, cosmetic bags, DVD cases, hats and scarves. It will be 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.
Meanwhile, Jacobs has 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. All of those locations are slated to open this year, while the company is additionally exploring sites in Shanghai.
“We’ve been working on the Japanese expansion for the last four years,” Duffy said. “But we are really starting to fully expand in Asia. This is our first full-line store, with every product that we do. I’ve always wanted to do a store like this, and I really want to do one in New York. Up until now, our partners there had basically patterned the stores on what we do here, following our formula with the separate women’s, men’s and accessories stores.”
The full-line store will become a model for future Marc Jacobs units around the world, Duffy said, with the exception of the Japan-only products.
Visually, it continues the look conceptualized by Jacobs, Duffy, designer Christian Liaigre and architect Stephan Jaklitsch.
Its main floor, around 2,000-square-feet, will house the Marc by Marc Jacobs collection with a navy painted wood floor, as opposed to the pink floor in the corresponding Bleecker Street location in New York. Liaigre, who also designed the neighboring and newly opened Strenesse store in Tokyo, created a denim “conversation pit” for the store to introduce a new element into its visual vocabulary.
Aoyama has seen a few designer additions: Michael Kors, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and Emporio Armani. Helmut Lang and Dries Van Noten are also said to be developing sites.