Nendo gives department-store shopping a carnival twist in Japan

TOKYO – When tasked with updating the women’s fashion area of Japanese department store Seibu Shibuya, Nendo opted for an amusement-park theme that would appeal to the younger woman. Eschewing the prevailing department-store formula – in which each fashion label has an individually designed retail space in sync with its brand identity – the Key to Style area has no distinct lines separating labels from one another. To unify the floor, Nendo treated each brand as an equal in the scheme.

The 1047-sq-m space is envisioned as an en plein air fairground that invites shoppers to peruse fashions in settings reminiscent of market stalls and wagons. Lambrequin motifs dress the ceiling, adding a festive, circus-like vibe. Retail zones are marked by parquet flooring with pattern-free paths that help guide shoppers and maintain flow.

Nendo was also responsible for renovating the hats section on the floor below. Unlike the open-air ambience of the women’s area, this retail space is tucked away in a corner. To usher shoppers into the secluded spot, Nendo went for a touch of pink, which distinguishes the department from its rather conservatively coloured surroundings. True to playful form, the designer conjured a cloud of 120 odd hats that mimic umbrellas when perched on their display arms.

The curvature of the walls corresponds to a ceiling that features large hovering discs, which provide illumination and represent clouds in the sky, reinforcing Nendo’s concept of outdoor fun. 

Photos Takumi Ota 

This article first debuted in Frame 110. Find a copy of the May/Jun issue in the Frame store.

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