The fashion giant Louis Vuitton has constructed a new four-story architectural store in Osaka, Japan which has a new restaurant and cafe at the top. Designed by Jun Aoki & Peter Marino it is Louis Vuitton’s first foray into the restaurant world. Now the Louis Vuitton Osaka Midosuji store offers the opportunity of both fashion and food in this exceptionally designed space.
Often labeled the most valuable luxury brand in the world, with 460 stores in over 50 countries, Louis Vuitton is a fashion house that doesn´t do anything quietly, this new store is no exception. With its soft and wavy facade, this new branch is the brainchild of Architectural firm Jun Aoki & Associates coupled with the creative minds at Peter Marino, and his New York based design studio who came together to complete the design.
The standout feature as you approach is the facade shell of the building. From the outside, the opaque design gives the impression of a lantern in the breeze with the intention of offering ‘a sense of calm and respite’ to the surrounding residents and shoppers of Osaka. However, the inspiration actually comes from the sails of old Japanese merchant ships. In its history, the city used to be a critical trade port with many such ships leaving the docks every day. Jun Aoki “imagined light and airy white structure inspired by the traditional Higaki-Kaisen cargo ship and its billowing sails” which inside creates a mellow lighting effect throughout the day.
Continuing with the boat theme all the interiors are built with the hull of a ship in mind. The inside of the store utilizes many wood texture in the floors and surfaces, as well as the supporting beams – which are meant to give the impression of being on the deck of a working ship. Being inside it feels like you are transported to the platform of a grand yacht sailing on open waters. Also harking back to the store Japanese heritage – a lot of the colors throughout are creamy and light with many origami features on the different levels.
Also on display inside is Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades collection– which is an archive of creative and functional furniture pieces created by different designers from around the world that takes special inspiration from the past.
The windows of the store are decorated with a series of vibrant ribbons installed by artist Kenta Cobayashi adds a fantastical element to the bottom floor alongside the women’s accessories. On the other floors, you can find travel items and collections for men.
It is on the top floor where Louis Vuitton has opened their first-ever cafe Le Cafe V where guests can enjoy a relaxing drink with views of the city, right inside the shop. Like the rest of the store, this tranquil lounge area uses light colors and paper textures to complete its look. Plus, there is also a small terrace where you can really appreciate the sail-like exterior of the building while having a tea.
Through the cafe is the concealed, speakeasy-style entrance to Sugalabo V – this new restaurant was created in collaboration with esteemed chef Yosuke Suga, who gained acclaim with his first popular Sugalabo restaurant in Tokyo.
Sugalabo V is also the first restaurant created by Louis Vuitton inside one of its stores – and its design and theme are in contrast to the rest of the store. It is clear to see how this room is different from the floors below; with its dark and cozy speakeasy inspiration. Inside the restaurant is decorated in deep browns and Art Deco style, with only a few tables fitted around the cozy space (you´ll definitely need to make a reservation to get a seat).
This new unusual Louis Vuitton store in located in the Midsuji area boulevard, on Shinsaibashi-suji street, in the heart of Osaka, and is surrounded by other luxury international fashion brands. It is worth noting that this store isn´t the first sail inspired Luis Vuitton location with Frank Gehry´s Foundation in Paris and his newest shop in Seoul sharing similar design creativity.
By Tyler Wood.