Discovering the latest fashion trend at Hiroshi’s parking-lot
What happens when one of Japan’s well-respected designers collaborates with a parking lot? THE PARK–ING GINZA is Hiroshi Fujiwara’s latest concept space located on the basement floor of the Sony building in Ginza. Following the success of his previous location, THE POOL AOYAMA, Hiroshi renovates a parking lot this time to create yet another limited-time experience for Tokyo’s trend-hungry youth and foreign visitors.
Individual shops like retaW, NIKE and Descendant, along with a rotating pop-up installation are ‘parked’ inside the space, where visitors are allowed to wander freely to discover. Hiroshi makes sure to keep every item exclusive to this location, and the steep pricing reflects this sense of exclusivity. His most recent pop-up installation, Once In a Lifetime, provides selected vintage clothing, with the support of one of Harajuku’s oldest vintage shop “BERBERJIN”. To make each item a true one-of-a-kind, Hiroshi prints over the clothing with his original logo.
Stores blending product categories to create a holistic brand experience is currently a major retail trend. Creating and sustaining a sense of ‘discovery’ is the key. Discovery can be achieved through completely new encounters, or it could be an extension of something already familiar. At the latest stores, not only is the first store visit a new encounter, but discovery also continues on subsequent visits. This is thanks to concept ‘extensions’, in which new products and brands that complement the main concept are continuously introduced.
In the case of Hiroshi’s THE PARK-ING, Hiroshi makes every visit a new encounter by rotating pop-up stores and art installments (currently Mika Ninagawa). With its ever-changing limited-edition presence, the space is continuously the new ‘hot spot’ in town. Online fashion news sites report every time the pop-up store changes, providing a reason to visit again.
Will this new form of ever-changing curation space catch on as a trend beyond Japan? Or, will this concept continue to be unique to Hiroshi, who’s known as the godfather of street brands with an exceptionally well-attuned ability to curate? Select boutiques can dilute their brand concept by incorporating too wide a range of categories into one space, but Hiroshi seems able to tie everything together, no matter what he decides to ‘park’ next.
- Article by Hideki Soejima