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John Smedley launches new store in Futako Tamagawa, Tokyo


John Smedley has launched a new retail concept store in Futako Tamagawa, Tokyo as part of its expansion plans to open five new stores across the next two years, alongside business partner the BIGI group, owned by Mitsui & Co Ltd.

Futako Tamagawa marks the first of the new store concept roll out in Japan as seen in John Smedley’s new London stores in St James’s and Marylebone.

The location offers a single-storey shopping environment of 1,100 square feet and showcases both the menswear and womenswear mainline collections, alongside exclusive products for the Japanese market.

Ian Maclean, Managing Director at John Smedley, commented: “With our history of selling in Japan going back over 100 years, John Smedley is held in the highest regard by discerning Japanese consumers for the quality of our fine knitwear. Our goal is to build on this premier position and better present our very best products in the market through considered expansion, and the new store showcases the first step in achieving this goal.”

The project led by Mr. Hitoshi Takeuchi, Design Director and CEO of the BIGI group and Global Marketing & Design Director Jess Mcguire-Dudley of John Smedley, has been co-designed by Mr. Masakatsu Tsumura and continues the focus on high quality materials that stay true to the brand’s roots and minimalist design to allow the tactile nature of the product to shine.

Details such as the wall of colour showcasing John Smedley’s 25 new shades each season, a focus on high quality woods of Teak and Maple and the steel rails which act as a nod to the brand’s industrial roots, create synergy with the London store environments.

Imagery of the Lea Mills factory, the brand’s archive and iconic fans of John Smedley from the past and present all work in harmony to illustrate the prolific 235-year history of the world’s finest knitwear brand.

The themes of luxury craftsmanship and design continue with beautiful antique works purveyed from Christies, such as ‘The Chair’ by Hans Wegner, a historic 1960’s piece of thoughtful, high quality design that echoes that of the garments themselves, and which, alongside the small library of British books, creates a dedicated seating area designed to encourage dwell time in the store.

Alongside this sits a further feature piece, a beautiful chair designed by Pierre Jeanneret whose architectural prowess alongside his cousin and mentor Charles Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier) mirrors the strive to craft the perfect construction of John Smedley’s design team themselves.

Further decorative pottery works by Andre-Aleth Masson add colour and texture to the store environment.