Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-3 Opens in Beijing, and Alexander Wang to Open First Flagship in Old Yohji Yamamoto Space
Yohji Yamamoto’s financial problems are not new, as he filed for bankruptcy and abruptly closed his flagship store on Grand Street in New York a little over a year ago. This past season, Yamamoto returned to Asia, showing his menswear collection at Tokyo Fashion Week after taking a two-year hiatus from Paris Fashion Week, but as his own line goes through an extended transition, Yamamoto’s Y-3 sportswear line — developed for parent company Adidas — continues to expand globally, with efforts broadly concentrated in Asia.
This May marked the opening of the first Y-3 store in Hong Kong, and last week the company opened its fifth freestanding location in Beijing with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and runway show of the label’s 2010/11 autumn/winter collection. With inspiration drawn from “bespoke English tailoring,” the shapes and materials of this collection are distinctly modern, though classic twists are clearly visible. The Beijing runway show and opening was attended by Chinese celebrities like singer and host Aidai, actor Li Chen and actress Xiong Nai Jin. Photos and more observations from the opening can be found at Stylites in Beijing. The Beijing store, designed with Adidas’ classic monochromatic, minimal scheme, is located in the luxury shopping center Shin-Kong Place and features both men’s and women’s sportswear.
Yohji Yamamoto is part of the first generation of Asian designers to reach international success, ranked among designers such as Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo. Having enjoyed industry fame for much longer as well, having begun his career designing at Paris Fashion Week, much of Yohji Yamamoto’s success lies in Tokyo or Paris, whereas American designer Alexander Wang has firmly risen in the New York fashion scene. Indicating the gradual shift in the fashion industry from a Japan-centric focus to one centered more on (and more influenced by) the Greater China region, Wang, part of the next generation of designers of Asian descent, has snapped up the former Yohji Yamamoto space in New York’s Soho for his first-ever flagship boutique.
Yamamoto’s former Soho location is a prime choice, as Alexander Wang is New York-based and the space remains an iconic landmark in the area. The opening date for Wang’s New York flagship is as yet to-be-determined, though we know it’ll open its doors by the end of the year. A date New York — and likely its growing number of Chinese tourist-shoppers — will be eagerly awaiting.