Think of shopping in Japan, and the mind conjures images of Harujuku girls and the endless electronic billboards of Shibuyu. But despite its kawaii-cutesy name, the cult-worshiped Tokyo design store Playmountain (above) is something else entirely: a shrine to clean, artisanal product design. Bowls? Brooms? They’re not exactly the sexiest items on the shop floor, but as selected by Playmountain’s meticulous owner, Shinichiro Nakahara, they make a very good case for need-to-have status, and have lured design snobs worldwide.
Tomorrow, the store’s first shop-in-shop, curated personally by Nakahara, opens at the Nolita outpost of Creatures of Comfort. “Everything is really simple and functional and beautiful,” says proprietor Jade Lai. “The products really embody the current incarnation of Japanese craft.” Many of the offerings stem from Nakahara’s own projects with artists and craftsmen, like wood pieces from his Landscape Products line and ceramics from his Chin Jukan collaboration. From 3 to 7 p.m. tomorrow, Creatures of Comfort will be hosting a launch party for the new shop, which is open to the public. And to quell any fears that this might be a polite little house wares party, the event will feature a performance by Soft Circle, the smash-it-up art rock band led by sometime Nike and Rogan collaborator Hisham Bharoocha. Just keep clear of the ceramics, please.
Playmountain shop-in-shop comes to Creatures of Comfort, 205 Mulberry St., NYC, (212) 925-1005, www.creaturesofcomfort.us, tomorrow through February 26.