RDAI focuses on Hermès’ Legacy for their New Showroom
Hermès continues its odyssey in Japan with the opening of a store on Omotesando Avenue in Tokyo, a new neighbourhood for the house that follows the designs created by French architecture practice RDAI.
The interior design, by French architecture practice and long-time collaborator RDAI, not only features all of the luxury brand’s signature design elements, but also subtle artsy essentials and references to the local culture. The windows in the façade are embossed with a wavy motif, and inside, along the entire length, handmade braided strings are suspended, as a nod to their origin in the Edo period. Similar to other Hermès stores, the entrance floor is embellished with an Ex-libris motif and mosaic tiles.
Hermès announced its opening of a new address in Tokyo’s Omotesando district in February 2021. This new 488 square-meter home will be the house’s first free-standing store in Tokyo since the opening of Maison Hermès Ginza in 2001. A beautiful boulevard leading to MeijiShrine, Omotesando Avenue is lined on both sides with high-end boutiques and zelkova trees. Its intricate back streets are home to Tokyo’s vibrant street culture, attracting designers and artists from all around the world. It is here, on one of the city’s unique streets, adjacent to Shibuya and Harajuku, that the new Hermès store comes to life.
On the left side of the entrance, home collections including tableware and men’s silk are introduced. A leather section at the back of the store welcomes bags, small leather goods, and equestrian collections. Walls are covered in wood panelling and bamboo marquetry, accented by fluid curves, and a selection of women’s shoes is displayed on wooden shelves extending from one of the large pillars. The floor is covered with two shades of greenstone, sourced in Asia and laid in a pattern resembling Japanese tatami mats.
Custom rugs with a hue reminiscent of forest moss lend a softness to the space. Behind the staircase is a refined area for watches and jewellery. Finally, customers can pause at a wide table, and enjoy books and a Leporello of unique drawings by French artist François Houtin, displayed in a specially made curved frame.
As customers ascend the stairs, they will discover another piece of art, created by Japanese contemporary bamboo artist Shoryu Honda. Inspired by the shape of clouds and infinite Moebius strips, the bamboo sculpture is an example of the sophistication of Japan’s world-class modern bamboo artistry.
The sweeping staircase is one of the most striking architectural elements of the store. The organic shapes of its vertical columns resemble tree branches, while the stairs call to mind pale green stepping stones. Light filters down from the upper level to the ground floor, just as sunlight glistens between the branches of a forest and invites customers upstairs to dive into the women’s and men’s universes.
On the second floor, mobile partitions create an intimate space for each métier while giving the illusion of transparency. There are large fitting rooms for both men and women, with the former designed in order to incorporate made-to-measure orders in the future.
Among the selection of special objects created for this opening are a skateboard and a surfboard, both revisited in a special edition with Jan Bajtlik’s design Cheval de Fête, and uniquely numbered Mega Chariot carrés and ties by Daiske Nomura. A newly unveiled Hermès bike made of ash wood is also presented for the occasion.
Paying tribute to local artists, materials, and know-how, this new store is a testimony to Hermès’ strong relationship with Japan and invites local customers and new visitors into a discovery of the house’s creativity and fine craftsmanship in a harmonious and warm environment.