Tod’s is one of the Italian groups that contributes to the positive image of the made in Italy abroad, thanks to its consolidated craftsmanship competence in the manufacture of shoes and bags. Recently the company has opened up a “flagship building” in Tokyo, a building of over 2.500 sq m developed on seven floors, among which three for sales; three others for offices and the last – a big open space – dedicated to the presentation of collections and events.
The choice of the location was Omotesando, a Tokyo neighbourhood that in the past years has noticeably changed, being enriched by the presence of innovative and prestigious sales areas. This is the place where in the past years new businesses have been opened by many fashion designer names, often Italian. Although it is a trendy and rich area “to see”, Tod’s flagship has already become a very frequented stop not only for shopping, rather than for the richness of the project developed by Toyo Ito. The Japanese architect, known worldwide, synergically working both on the architecture and interns, was able to create an enjoyable symbiosis between the Italian essence of the brand and the typical languages of the Japanese culture.
The particular structure of the building recalls that of elm trees that line the long street in which it is situated in: a “tree-building” which expresses already from the outside the values of Tod’s brand, which is naturalness (the material of the products), craftsmanship (the finishings) and innovation (the research).
The craftsmen character of the product is reinforced in the store by the display of traditional tools used for the working of shoes and by the typical services of personalization of the laboratory work. The client in fact may order a bag choosing among three kinds of leather (crocodile, ostrich, python), six colours, three models and three sizes – with the possibility of making also matching shoes. The books with the leather samples make the choice more personal and interactive and, although the waiting time is rather long (from three to four months), the client is rewarded with the guarantee of a total Italian manufacture of high quality. In some ways the craftsmen characterization, that values as virtue some of the small “irregularities” of the product, reflects in the architectonic structure: the “ramifications” create “window spaces” that are irregular and different from one another.
The originality of the construction reflects the originality of the product for sale.
In the furnishing the geometric displayers of Toyo Ito integrate with red, sinuous and refined sofas designed by Zaha Adid (versatile Anglo-Iraqi architect); there is extreme care for details, from the display of the products and the accessories to the materials.
Finally the interesting integration between sales space, offices and events area which on the one hand draws one closer to the reality of the store including business professionals less involved in the sales; on the other hand it involves the client in the life and business activities, favouring the fidelity and the making of lasting relationships.
· Format: Flagship building
· Total Surface: 2.550 sq m(sales, space for events, offices)
· Sales Surface: 600 sq m on 3 floors
· Turnover of Group: 420,8 million € (2004)
· Worldwide stores: 137
Innovation keys · Visionary impact of the “tree-building”
· Flagship building: integration sales-events-offices in just one building
· Coherent and creative translation of the brand values in the space identity
· Fruitful integration between cultures and languages of the brand (Italian) and of the market (Japanese)
· Possibility of manufacturing personalized products
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