Tokujin Yoshioka Combines Historical and Futuristic Aesthetics for New Issey Miyake Store

Ahead of the opening of the new Paris boutique, the designer speaks to Hypebeast about his latest Issey Miyake space, and reflects on three decades of collaborations with the brand.

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In the heart of Paris’ Triangle d’or, a bright orange glow shines from the center of a new Issey Miyake store.

According to the designer Tokujin Yoshioka, this shade represents the feelings evoked by Paris, but also instills the emotions he hopes the space brings its visitors. It’s created through the use of bright orange aluminum sheets, which are applied across the walls of the two-floor boutique.

“In Issey Miyake’s flagship stores around the world, I’ve tried to incorporate symbolic colors into the space that evoke the city in which they are located,” Yoshioka tells Hypebeast. “This orange is also the color of the sun, which gives a sense of energy for the future.”

In addition, the use of a bright colour juxtaposes the rest of the 19th century space. This blending of the old and the new was a foundational concept to the overall interior design, and manifests in other details dotted around the building – from clear glass furniture, to traditional terrazzo flooring. From the outside, however, it was important that the building appeared much as it would’ve done when it was designed some 200 years ago.

“I like to think about history and the future, and times not experienced by people today,” Yoshioka says. “I wanted to create a space that symbolizes energy for the future to represent the brand by retaining historical elements such as the façade and structural elements while contrasting and merging them with the contemporary interior.”

“I try to create spaces that have never been seen before”

As you’d expect with a Yoshioka project, the store is minimalistic in style. Long rails are crafted from brushed metal, mirrors sit flush to the wall, and display surfaces are made out of glass panels. In the centre of the store, beige-toned stools allow for a perching spot, and are inconspicuous enough as to not interfere with the rest of the design. “The space is designed to be minimalistic and the details are designed to give the impression of lightness,” the designer says.”For example, the clear glass furniture and long hanger rails are designed to give the appearance of clothes floating lightly in the air.”

The Paris flagship is the latest in a long string of collaborations between the Japanese designer and fashion label. Yoshioka met Issey Miyake over three decades ago, when he studied under himself and Shiro Kuramata – the creator of the iconic Miss Blanche chair.

“I actually met Issey Miyake through Shiro Kuramata,” Yoshioka – who was born in 1967 – recalls. “At Mr. Miyake’s studio, I was designing accessories such as hats and bags for the Paris Collection, and I was in charge of the installations for the exhibitions, including the “Making Things” exhibition held at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain.” In the years since, the designer has kept a close relationship with the brand, and has gone on to create flagship stores in Tokyo, Milan, and London, among others.

But when designing spaces for a brand that makes minimalism its mission, where do you look for fresh inspiration? “In Issey Miyake’s work, I have always noticed the challenge of new expressions,” he says. “In response to this characteristic, I try to create spaces that have never been seen before.”

The new Issey Miyake store is located on 28 rue François 1er, and opens to the public on February 26.

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