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02-06-2004
  1
etre soi-meme
 
Lena's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Kawakubo’s Dover Street: An Eclectic Mix

By Miles Socha

PARIS — Trust Rei Kawakubo to build a one-stop emporium for those whose shopping lists might range from, say, a Lanvin frock and a cool CD to a chair by Hedi Slimane.

Disclosing fresh details about her forthcoming Dover Street Market complex in London, the maverick designer said she’s in final negotiations to have the likes of Alber Elbaz, Azzedine Alaïa, Raf Simons, Undercover and Olivier Theyskens of Rochas operate concessions — with the merchandise in each space still under discussion.

The six-story, 13,000-square-foot unit, slated to open in early September, promises to be the most unorthodox Comme des Garçons retail project yet, with booksellers and perhaps even a barber mingling with young designer shops and other unexpected stands. Comme des Garçons, whose sundry brands include Junya Watanabe and Comme des Garçons Shirt, is expected to occupy roughly 40 to 45 percent of the space.

Meanwhile, Kawakubo is pursuing negotiations with a wide range of creative types: jewelry maker Judy Blame; shoe designer Terry de Havilland; antique dealer Emma Hawkins; California vintage guru Cameron Silver of Decades; the hip London music purveyor Rough Trade, and photographer Nick Knight’s Showstudio.com Internet enterprise.

And in lieu of hiring architects or interior designers, Kawakubo plans to work with set designers from film and theater to add backdrops, props and drama to the mix. Already on board is Elise Capdenat, who creates scenes for avant-garde theater and dance groups in Paris.



“We didn’t want to make a normal flagship. We wanted to do something new and different,” explained Adrian Joffe, managing director of Comme des Garçons in Paris. “Rei likes the synergy that comes from creative people coming together. It’s definitely a market, but a modern version.”

In the throes of finalizing a variety of concession agreements, Joffe said some tenants may stay only a few months, others for years. “Everything is in a constant state of unfinishedness,” he said. “Even when we open, it will be an evolving project, in a constant state of flux.”

Still, Comme des Garçons hopes the concept will generate a steady stream of customers and sales. First-year sales projections are pegged at about $9.2 million, or 5 million pounds, converted from the British pound at current exchange.

To be sure, the Slimane furniture is bound to attract significant interest, and Dover Street Market has the worldwide exclusive. Under the deal, Comme des Garçons will produce and sell the furniture, with Slimane granted complete creative control over the designs and the gallery space in which they will be showcased.

Slimane recently met with Kawakubo in Tokyo to show her some illustrations and a small-scale model of one of the pieces, but other details remain under wraps. “The project with Comme des Garçons struck me immediately as interesting and natural,” he said.

As reported, Kawakubo based her London store concept loosely after the Kensington Market of the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties. She’d initially planned to rent office space to creative tenants such as graphic designers, but dispensed with that idea given the demand for retail space.

Indeed, Comme des Garçons also plans to invite stylists to mount stands selling their favorite brands and styles. Along these lines, creative director Ronnie Cooke Newhouse, of the London-based agency Studio, the ad agency for Comme des Garçons Shirt, plans to express her love for innovative footwear with a stand showcasing her favorite shoe designers.

Joffe allowed that operating such an unorthodox operation will involve “a lot of trial and error,” but he and Kawakubo feel strongly about innovation and risk.

A champion of collaboration and unusual retail formats, Kawakubo has co-designed clothes with Peggy Moffitt, muse of the late Rudi Gernreich; Vivienne Westwood, and Alaïa, to name a few. She also just opened in Singapore another “guerrilla store,” after debuting similar units in Berlin and Barcelona. As reported, guerrilla units exist for one year only in frontier retail neighborhoods with local partners and sell an eclectic mix of Comme des Garçons lines. A network of as many as 20 such stores is planned.

Kawakubo is also teaming up with trendy Paris boutique Colette to open “Colette Meets Comme des Garçons” in Tokyo, a temporary unit that will showcase product hookups between the two firms and third parties, such as Sofia Coppola/Smythson stationery.

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02-06-2004
  2
Mannikin
 
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I SO love Rei. Amazing idea with great, GREAT concessioners, too.

Thanks, thanks Len.

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02-06-2004
  3
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thank you Lena

I will certainly visit "Colette Meets Comme des Garcons".

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02-06-2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by runner@Jun 2nd, 2004 - 8:01 am
thank you Lena

I will certainly visit "Colette Meets Comme des Garcons".
you are most welcome guys

i'm so looking forward to Rei's new retail concept,
still remember KenMarket from my student days in London,
the whole concept seems really exciting

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02-06-2004
  5
arndom
 
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Thanks for the art., Lena:-) Stylists selling their fav. brands and style. Such a lovely, (rep.) lovely idea.

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02-06-2004
  6
backstage pass
 
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wish it was in ny

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02-06-2004
  7
El Viaje Definitivo
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lena+Jun 2nd, 2004 - 3:05 am--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Lena @ Jun 2nd, 2004 - 3:05 am)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'><!--QuoteBegin-runner@Jun 2nd, 2004 - 8:01 am
thank you Lena

I will certainly visit "Colette Meets Comme des Garcons".
you are most welcome guys

i'm so looking forward to Rei's new retail concept,
still remember KenMarket from my student days in London,
the whole concept seems really exciting

when will you be in Paris runner?
[/b][/quote]
maybe "Colette Meets Comme des Garcons" is to open in Tokyo next month.
sorry I wrote what was confusing.
but I want so much to be there if possible.

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02-06-2004
  8
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Lena's Avatar
 
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my fault, i thought the shop was to open in.. Paris

too easy to get all confused when totally multitasking

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02-06-2004
  9
V.I.P.
 
ahhGucci's Avatar
 
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Thankyou very much people. I might have a look.
Anyone have the address of the Guerilla store that was meant to be opened in London?

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02-06-2004
  10
trendsetter
 
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Def no guerilla store in London yet. Only Berlin, Barca and Singapore. Actually I'd be suprised if they did open one in the UK in view of the Dover Street place.

By the way, thanks for the info Lena, v interesting. Just a reminder too, I still can't find any pictures of the HP line for winter 2004/5 on the web - keep a look out!

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02-06-2004
  11
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Quote:
Originally posted by rayncloudx@Jun 2nd, 2004 - 5:09 am
wish it was in ny
2nd!

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02-06-2004
  12
yes
 
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ok i know that building they're talking about......it must have cost a BOMB

helmut lang has also apparently found a location for his london store in dover street

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02-06-2004
  13
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Amazing! Amazing! stuff so exiting, i lvoe the whole community, creativy comming together. Its evry exiting!

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02-06-2004
  14
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lalala...opening just in time for my next trip to london!!!

wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!.................

anyway...probably won't be able to afford a button...

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02-06-2004
  15
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Lena's Avatar
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by softgrey@Jun 2nd, 2004 - 9:59 pm
anyway...probably won't be able to afford a button...
same here

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