Lemaire has long had affinity with Japan and Japanese culture. Opening a space in Tokyo— the brand’s second, after the flagship store in Paris—is a natural step forward. Located in the Aoyama neighborhood, the store was designed in collaboration with the SKWAT collective as a haven for people to discover the collections, which are presented in dialogue with the bookshop Twelvebooks and an art gallery. Lemaire encourages visitors to take time for themselves as they wander through the evolving space, and to come back and see what’s new throughout the year.
The SKWAT collective emerged from a dialogue between the architecture firm Daikei Mills and Twelvebooks. SKWAT creates temporary locations in vacant urban spaces which bring together people from different disciplines to breathe new life into abandoned areas. The layout of the spaces is nimble, with lightweight structures and secondhand furniture. Daikei Mills took this approach when designing the Lemaire store. The wood used for the displays comes from century-old traditional Japanese houses in Osaka. The pillars and beams that form the structural elements were assembled using the traditional kigumi technique, which does not require glue, screws or nails. The technique has been used for centuries in Japan—a country with an abundance of wood and excellent carpenters—to build temples, notably in Buddhist architecture.The space will launch with the Men’s and Women’s Fall-Winter 2020 collections. The boutique expands on the idea of perfectly proportioned clothing as a home in which one can take refuge and move about—clothing that is a host, a space, a continuum.
Discover the project through an interview of architect Keisuke Nakamura from Daikei Mills.