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July 30 2014

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First Look: Marc Jacobs Tokyo

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Marc Jacobs has never been one to hide his admiration for Japanese aesthetics (see the Kabuki Japonisme of his Marc Jacobs Spring ’10 collection, for example), but only now, with the opening of his namesake label’s new flagship in Tokyo, designed by Stephan Jaklitsch Architects, does he have a store that embodies them.

The 2,800-square-foot space, which sits on a side street in the ritzy but charming Tokyo neighborhood of Aoyama, is a retail spin on the Japanese obsession with packaging: Although the interior looks like some other Marc Jacobs spaces, with sleek fixtures displaying brocade skirts and bottles of Bang, outside it’s a visual feast. The building’s mix of the traditional and the unorthodox—including striated levels topped off with a ghost wall, known as a kosakubutsu in Japanese—is at home on a block that includes a giant Prada store and a gemlike Cartier shop (although neither can boast an Award of Excellence from the American Institute of Architects, which the Marc Jacobs store received this past summer).

Shoppers will have to wait until Saturday, when the store officially opens, to blow their savings, but friends of the brand got a sneak peek on Thursday. During the private all-day celebration, local celebrities like Rinka (the very first Japanese model to grace Jacobs’ “Protect the Skin You’re In” T-shirt series) sipped Champagne in the store, in the café Mosaique next door, in the Italian restaurant Riva Degli Etruschi around the corner, and then, for those who still had a bit of party left in them, on the dance floor of nightclub Le Baron. And in case all that bubbly fuzzed their memory a bit, the evening’s gift—a tee emblazoned with “AOYAMARCJACOBS”—served as a reminder.

Photos: Courtesy of Marc Jacobs

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