Written by: Poe
Coordinated by: Debre, Rina (New York MIX)
Produced by: Dan Hwang (DAN H.)
Resides on the quiet hillside, SOPH. is not necessary the easiest store front to locate, even by Tokyo standard. Recess from street view, the store is located on the fringe of the Harajuku neighborhood. So secluded in fact that even most Tokyonites would have a difficult time point it out to visitors. However, whether it was by design or just a coincidence, the location plays perfectly into SOPH’s brand concept since being on the fringe allowed its creative director, Hirofumi Kiyonaga, and his labels (SOPHNET., F.C.R.B., uniform experiment) to easily blur the definitions between each genres of clothing.
3-34-10 1st Floor Jingue-Mae | Map
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo Japan
Hours: 12:00 to 20:00
Feature continue after the jump…
From his blending of athleticism and urban lifestyle in F.C.R.B. (Football Club Real Bristol) to the most recent premiere of “neo-formal wear” in uniform experiment, Kiyonaga and SOPHNET. have succeed where as larger fashion label, like Prada, could not. It is also another reason why SOPHNET. is so highly regarded both in and outside of Japan.
Designed by retail space architect Nobuo Araki, who has gone on designing countless store fronts, including both Burton flagships in Tokyo and Osaka. SOPH.’s flagship store opened a year after the establishment of the label itself. Again, a study of bridging categories, the store layout bears resemblance of an elaborate showroom rather than a retail location. Upon entering, 4 large enclosures in stainless steel, glass, and backed by raw concrete wall, accentuate the products within each. Essentially a capsule, each enclosure presents the special items from the range of SOPH.’s labels.
Originally set to have a symmetrical layout of another series of enclosures. The plan was changed, perhaps to counterbalance the rawness of glass, steel, and concrete. Instead, carpenters labored to install floor to ceiling of mahogany with a continuous hanger bar. Not only this reset the space with certain “warmth” and altered the layout into more retail friendly. The alteration also created additional storage spaces. Certain panels could actually be open,revealing not only the storage area, but the chalk marks on the concrete wall with the original store schematics.
Because of its importance in SOPH. establishment, There are currently plans to have special merchandises exclusively for this store during its 10th anniversary this year. Meanwhile, the label is celebrating its 10th year in operation this Fall with a series collaborations. Be on the look out for more limited edition products to come in the near future.
Brands @ SOPH. : SOPHNET., F.C.R.B., uniform experiment, visvim, DR. ROMANELLI, NIKE SPORTSWEAR, GOODENOUGH, RESONATE, TUMI, etc…