No grit, no pearl—this may be the thinking behind Mikimoto’s grand opening of its deluxe new flagship boutique in New York City, where desolate streets and store closures (including Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards and Century 21) have defined the Big Apple’s retail status quo over the last year.
The move to proceed with plans to open a new flagship definitely has the luster of economic prosperity, and an optimistic view of what it will take to compel international luxury shoppers—and locals who currently prefer to shop from the comfort of their homes—to return to Manhattan. And even though the new boutique is just two storefronts down from its original location (the address remains the same—730 Fifth Ave., at 57th Street), this is not a face-lift, but a true fresh start that’s intended to enchant multiple generations of pearl lovers.
“As a Japanese luxury jewelry brand, we are proud to be opening a flagship boutique in this new premium location on New York City’s iconic Fifth Avenue,” said Yasuhiko Hashimoto, director and executive vice president, K. Mikimoto and Co., and CEO, Mikimoto America, in a prepared statement. “We have a positive outlook surrounding the future of physical retail in New York City, especially relating to the luxury jewelry sector. There is no replacing the art of trying on in-person exquisite Mikimoto jewelry. We look forward to welcoming clients to our gorgeous boutique.”
And those who visit will be treated to an interior design scheme that tells the story of Mikimoto’s famous pearls, with an emphasis on the mysteries of the ocean, the iridescent splendor of the gem itself, and the shimmering oyster shells that nurture them.
Spanning two stories and 3,500 square feet, the new boutique borrows its concept from Mikimoto’s global flagship boutique in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district (spearheaded by the Canadian design firm Fresco), with architecture led by Gensler.
The first floor’s design features marine blue accents, including walls clad in swathes of Nishijin-ori, a Japanese textile often used in the fabrication of kimonos. The elevator shaft shimmers with panels formed by delicate seashells, while the inside of the elevator is intricately etched with a wave pattern.
And if you’re not just there for the sumptuous scenery, but have serious shopping on the agenda instead, look for a high jewelry showcase wall displaying one-of-a-kind pieces for the first time in the United States, VIP client rooms for private viewings, and boutique-exclusive products, such as the Mikimoto Loves NY collection, non-jewelry merchandise (including pearl picture frames, pens, scarves, and jewelry boxes), the brand-new Commes des Garçons x Mikimoto capsule, and more.
Top: A glass chandelier by Japanese company Studio Sawada Design decorates the atrium of the new Mikimoto boutique in New York City and is meant to evoke waves and bubbles rising from the ocean floor. When viewed from the unique angle presented from the railing of the second-floor mezzanine, it suggests the undulating light-drenched surface of the sea.
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