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 

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