On 23rd November 2021, Hermès reopened its long-standing store within the Isetan Department Store in the vibrant Shinjuku district of Tokyo after extensive renovations.
An Hermès store has existed at this address since 1995, and the space was renovated in 2014. This latest transformation sees the store both expand in size and undergo a full remodelling, offering a uniquely enhanced experience. The renovated store occupies a strategic corner of the Isetan Department Store, with two windows facing the bustling Meiji-dori Avenue, just a stone’s throw from the peaceful surroundings of Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden. Conceived by the Parisian architecture agency RDAI to capture the duality inherent in Japanese culture, itself epitomised by the electric energy of the urban Shinjuku district set against the contemplative serenity of the park, the space is defined by contrasts. There are two points of entrance, either through the main door entrance or the open entrance.
Upon entering the department store, customers will catch sight of an external façade made up of burgundy ceramic tiles arranged in a pixelated design which allows light to pass through and nods to the ancient Japanese traditions associated with the colour red. Stepping into the L-shaped space through the open entrance, the customer is greeted by the ex-libris and a neon pink Hermès signage while light pink stucco walls and a curved ceiling surround the perfume and beauty displays on the far left, with fashion jewellery and women’s silk in front, displayed in pale oak vitrines. The soft curves of the ceiling, also traced in the pale pink terrazzo floor, lead the customer towards men’s silk and collections for the home at the heart of the store, and then on to the more classically designed area which houses the women’s and men’s universes as well as the leather goods, jewellery and watches, and equestrian collections. This space features a burgundy and gold palette, and its natural beige stone floor is laid with fine wool carpets featuring designs inspired by lightning fields, while the fitting rooms feature traditional fabric walls crafted in Kyoto. Next to the women’s shoes area, the window is decorated with the ancient Japanese braiding technique of Kumihimo, deploying thin silk ropes to stunning effect.
A selection of artwork is present within the store, mixing classic and contemporary themes. Some were chosen from the Émile Hermès Collection, such as a lithograph taken from an original 19th century work by Alfred de Dreux. Several carré designs are also on display, including the ‘Sweet Dreams’ scarf, designed in 2019 by Polish artist Jan Bajtlik and inspired by medieval beasts, and the ‘Très Grand Apparat’ scarf, designed in 2016 by Italian artist Gianpaolo Pagni. Meanwhile, the perfume collection is set against a backdrop of evocative images of the natural world by Tokyo-born photographer Takeshi Shikama.
The window display that faces Meiji-dori Avenue has been designed by French artist duo Zim & Zou and handcrafted in exquisite detail, in paper. Echoing the house’s annual theme for 2021, ‘Hermès, An Odyssey’, the display is titled ‘Journey of a Lifetime’ and depicts an astronaut who has enjoyed a series of surreal encounters during his journey in his colourful spaceship.
With its harmonious balance of two distinct interior themes, one inspired by urban energy and the other by peaceful green spaces, this reimagined Hermès store is a paean to creative freedom and an invitation to loyal customers and new visitors to discover the abundant collections of the Parisian house.
Since 1837, Hermès has remained faithful to its artisan model and its humanist values. The freedom to create, the constant search for beautiful materials, the transmission of savoir-faire of excellence, and the aesthetic of functionality all forge the singularity of Hermès, a house of objects created to last. An independent, family owned company, Hermès is dedicated to keeping the majority of its production in France through its 51 workshops and production sites and to developing its network more than 300 stores in 45 countries. The group employs almost 17,000 people worldwide, including nearly 10,600 in France, among whom more than 5,600 are craftsmen*. Axel Dumas, a sixth-generation family member, has been Hermès CEO since 2013.
Founded in 2008, the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès supports projects in the areas of artistic creation, training and the transmission of savoir-faire, biodiversity, and the preservation of the environment.
* As of 30th June 2021