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August 22 2014

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Turning Japanese

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For its new store, Rag & Bone is headed east—and this time, they’re going farther than the Bowery. Marcus Wainwright and David Neville (left) may have opened their Nolita boutique just a few months back, but they’re already plowing ahead with their fifth retail store even farther afield—in Tokyo, Japan. The label has been in Japan since 2005, Neville explained, one of its longest-serving international markets. A little inside influence may have been at play, too. “We have a lot of Japanese colleagues in New York,” he admitted.

Although it doesn’t officially open until Friday, the space (dubbed “the Omotesando store”) was fêted all weekend long. First up, after a brief preview of the store, was dinner Saturday night at Gonpachi Shibuya, a sushi and yakitori restaurant that overlooks bustling downtown Tokyo from its 14th-floor perch. (If it looked familiar to the attendees, including Neville and Wainwright and a host of New York pals in town for the occasion, it may be because one of its biggest fans, Quentin Tarantino, had a replica of the restaurant’s Roppongi location made for Kill Bill.) The crowd knocked back sake in traditional wooden cups embossed with the Rag & Bone name while watching shishimai, the Japanese ceremonial lion dance. Much like the store—an old three-story house situated on a side street in Harajuku—the designers wanted to celebrate in a way that was true to Japan. “For our brand, we like that authenticity—we’re visitors in another country, just like we’re English guys in New York,” Neville said. And with that, the visitors adjourned to an after-party you could’ve mistaken for one in New York or in Paris: with Alexander Dexter-Jones at the decks, at the local outpost of Le Baron.

Photo: Jimi Celeste / Patrick McMullan

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