TOKYO — To launch the collaborative men’s collection designed by Kim Jones and Chitose Abe, creative directors of Dior and Sacai, respectively, the two brands are opening a series of pop-ups around the world, beginning in the latter’s home city. The pop-up in Tokyo’s Omotesando district opened Thursday, giving Japanese customers a chance to purchase pieces from the capsule collection before shoppers in other cities.
Like the collection itself, the pop-up stores fuse elements that are signature to the two brands’ identities. The juxtaposition of gray concrete, light toned wood and green grasses echoes the look of Sacai’s own stores, while herringbone parquet flooring recalls the classic elegance of Dior’s home at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris. The Tokyo pop-up features a dedicated facade with large windows framed with lush greenery and complemented by the dual logo designed for the capsule, which sees Sacai’s logo inserted into the “i” of Dior.
The collaboration has been touted as a “conversation” between Abe and Jones, with the pieces combining of the two brands’ aesthetics. At a press preview for the Tokyo pop-up, Abe said the design process, while unconventional due to the pandemic and the inability to travel internationally, was natural and organic.
“We sent the samples back and forth many times, with each of us making changes each time,” she said. “We worked on the collection for over a year.”
Jones said he had wanted to collaborate with Abe for years, and Abe said it was he who proposed the idea to her. Jones called Sacai one of his “favorite brands in the world.”
“To me, Sacai means cool, youthful, elegant, energetic, beautiful clothes,” Jones said via email. “I like the way that Chitose mixes fabrics, proportions and techniques, and the technical element of her work.”
Originally a women’s designer, Abe now creates collections for men and women. And while the Sacai and Dior capsule is technically a men’s offering, she said there has already been a lot of interest from female shoppers as well, and many of the pieces have a unisex sensibility. At the opening of the Tokyo pop-up, the designer herself wore the MA-1 bomber jacket from the collection, which she said was one of her favorite pieces from the collaboration, together with the jewelry that combines chunky, mixed chains with feminine pearls.
Abe has designed collections together with a slew of other brands, ranging from Nike to Birkenstock, but this latest collaboration is arguably her most high-profile yet. Still, she said it won’t affect how she selects potential future partners.
“I make the things I want to wear,” she said. “I never collaborate with a brand just for the sake of collaborating. So if there’s something I want to make or wear, it won’t matter if it’s from a big or small brand. I just make what I like.”
Following the opening of the Omotesando pop-up, the collection hit Dior boutiques in Japan on Saturday. A Beijing pop-up will open on Wednesday, with a worldwide launch scheduled for Thursday, the same day a pop-up will open in Taichung in Taiwan.