For Coach's first flagship in Japan, the challenge was to architecturally reinforce a classic American brand, but in a modern, style-savvy environment. The spirit of the store that resulted evoked the 1940s, post-war modernism of New York, and Coach's roots.
The two-story, 5400-square-foot store on a prominent corner in Tokyo's Ginza district is a limestone box with a white, glowing interior. A dramatic overhanging soffit sets off a 16-foot display window of ultra-clear museum glass (the largest glass panels ever installed in Tokyo). A monumental display wall and travertine staircase create the impression that customers occupy the front window. The shopper in the street, the mannequins in the front window and the customers inside the store interact within the same visual space.
Over the entry, back-lit glass in a mahogany-colored powdercoated frame evokes Coach gift boxes.
On the ground floor, the walnut stair wall becomes an elongated display area, with multiple glowing white display boxes offset by the dark wood. The rear feature wall shows the exterior limestone wrapping inside the store, punctuated by square display vitrines. Display tables are white-washed maple, white powdercoated tubular base and museum-glass tops.
Flooring is unfilled Persian white travertine in an ashlar pattern. The staircase is flanked on one side by a 19-foot-high wall of horizontally coursed limestone and a wall of walnut paneling. Handrails are solid walnut held by stainless-steel escutcheons embossed with a contrasting Coach signature "C" pattern.
Client Team: Coach Store Design & Visual Merchandising, New York - Reed Krakoff, president/executive creative director; Patrick Wade, senior vp, global visual merchandising and store design; Michael Fernbacher, divisional vp, store design worldwide; Karin Cole, divisional vp, visual merchandising creative worldwide; Peter White, senior manager, international store design; Joy Bruder, director of visual merchandising, international and wholesale; Julie McGinnis, director, design services; John Gunter, director, visual merchandising, Japan; Chris Amplo, director, store operations, Japan; Kyoko Hasagawa, manager, visual merchandising, international; Greg Caputo, senior manager, retail and visual design
Design Team: Michael Neumann Architecture, New York - Michael Neumann, principal; Jay Camelo, project manager; Jason DePierre, Tracy Look Hong, Alexander Olsen, Talin Rudy, project team
Outside Design Consultants: Sato Facilities Consultants Inc., Tokyo (project management) - Takayoshi Sato, president; Ryuso Kiri, senior consulting manager; Tsugio Kurosawa, consulting manager; Worktech, Tokyo (lighting design) - Atushi Kaneda, president; Mie Noto, Akira Saito, lighting designers
General Contractor: Shimizu Corp., Tokyo
Supplier: Soars Space Produce, Tokyo (fixtures, furniture)
Photo Courtesy of Nacasa & Partners, Tokyo