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July 23 2014

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Sacai Gets a New Nook

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Chitose Abe in Sacai's new Dover Street Market space

Chitose Abe launched Sacai fifteen years ago. So it’s undoubtedly come as something of a surprise, after all this time, to find herself touted a buzzy up-and-comer. But there’s no doubt Sacai is having a moment: No less an eminence than Karl Lagerfeld recently called Sacai “the most interesting current brand,” and Abe’s show in Paris for Fall ’13 won a rapturous reception. Pieces from that collection were hanging at Dover Street Market in London, where Abe could be found putting the finishing touches on the new shop-in-shop she launched on Saturday. “I’ve been doing this long enough. I have my own way of working,” Abe said, when asked how she was handling the fashion spotlight. “I don’t think the attention is going to affect me, really. Certainly not the way I design.” That said, the shop-in-shop launch would seem to be another advance for Project Sacai: Total World Domination. Though small, the space is the brand’s first dedicated retail outlet outside of Asia. And as Abe pointed out, it gives her the opportunity to more fully express the ethos of Sacai to customers. The unusual shelving units, for instance, were created by the Japanese artistic collective Gelchop, whose whimsical ready-mades echo the Sacai principles of hybridization and collage. To wit, the piece that Abe pointed out as her favorite from the new collection is a double-breasted overcoat with a leather biker-jacket bib sewn onto the front. Edie Campbell wore it in the show. “I love authentic clothing, garments with a tradition,” explained Abe. “But I have to make these pieces authentic for me. So I combine things. I create a new volume, a new idea.”

Photo: Andrew Woffinden

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