Fred Segal is expanding its Japanese footprint with the opening of its third store there in Kobe, located on the first and second floors of the Daimaru affiliated shop in the Shosen Mitsui Building, a local landmark situated near the Daimaru Department Store in the tony Kyukyoryuchi area.
The 12,650-square-foot space has soaring ceilings and an all-white interior reminiscent of the other location and also evocative of the Los Angeles light.
In fact, the Japanese investors, who bought into the retailer in 2012, describe the retail concept as "laid-back, luxurious, cultural lifestyle," offering a full-scale Fred Segal experience with men's, women's and kids' apparel and accessories, as well as cosmetics and home goods.
Among the lines exclusive to the Tokyo store are S.M.N Bananatime jeans, J.aguar Design shirts, Delfina Balda skirt and tops, Thomas Wylde swimwear and scarves, and Sigerson Morrison shoes. There are also pop-up shops in the "Sunset" room for brands such as L.A.'s Atelier & Repairs and Japan's indigo-dyed line Buaiso as well as a "La Cienega" VIP salon.
On the second floor, shoppers will find a new dining concept, known as The Cellar at Fred Segal, a wine bar and restaurant featuring more than 200 varieties of California wine and cuisine. Its menu is under the supervision of Ginza, Tokyo's, Mardi Gras restaurant chef, Toru Wachi, who has spent much time in California and specializes in healthy dishes using meats and fresh fruits and vegetables. The Cellar mirrors the experiential retail trend with a focus on dining, and California flavors specifically, which, like its fashion, is considered an enviable novelty in Asia.
Kobe is the Kansai region's first Fred Segal flagship and is considered to be the best location due to its unique, L.A.-like geography of being surrounded by mountains and sea, thought best to express Fred Segal's long-running concept of "the best of Southern California laid-back luxury."
While that concept may be old hat Stateside, New York-based Sandow, which bought Fred Segal four years ago, has set upon exporting the brand while also planning another comeback of sorts for the L.A. market, a move which included launching Fred by Fred Segal, a line of L.A.-designed branded apparel. Currently the brand has broken ties with its original Melrose Avenue location.