Ginza Bonanza

2 minute read
Liam Fitzpatrick

Tokyo’s Ginza district is rarely associated with bargain real estate, but the tender yen is making the area tempting for big brands looking to flaunt themselves. Last month, Bulgari and Armani opened lavish new premises, with Armani’s — standing 12 stories high — clinching the battle of shock and awe. While admitting that the market “isn’t brilliant,” John Hooks, Armani’s deputy managing director, says that the brand senses potential. “The yen is weak, costs [are] less, so this is the time to invest in Japan.”

Like Armani’s other “concept stores” in Milan, Munich and Hong Kong, the Armani Ginza Tower features fashion, furnishings and an interior-design studio under one roof, as well as a restaurant. Unlike its predecessors, it offers a spa — perhaps to revive shoppers swooning over the amount one can spend in this spire of good taste.

“I naturally wanted the Armani Ginza Tower to be a visible statement of my aesthetic, my collections and my view of lifestyle for the Japanese market,” Giorgio Armani told TIME. “But at the same time I wanted it to become a beacon for Armani around the world.” With opening jollities that lured the likes of Cate Blanchett and Fergie, it’s off to a flaming start.

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