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Pure tea from around the world, hand-processed using different, traditional production methods, suitable for multiple hot or cold infusions, since its foundation in 2012 the remarkable Berlin-based Paper & Tea and its whole-leaf teas have gained an ever growing following among gourmets and a discerning lifestyle segment with a focus on creativity and healthy living. Up until now, P & T, along with its founder, Jens de Gruyter, have been pursuing their endeavor of promoting and making authentic tea culture accessible to a broader audience from the first Paper & Tea concept store in Berlin-Charlottenburg. The day after tomorrow P & T will open its second store in Berlin-Mitte, the heart of the city, innovatively building on its existing brand philosophy: allowing modern consumers to discover tea through a unique retail experience. The systematic way of presenting products, developed for the original concept store, has been adapted to match the fast-paced environment of the Alte Schönhauser Strasse, resulting in another inspirational store. read more…

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Chamber is an exciting new boutique of limited edition design, objects and art, which opens today in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The space’s unique concept and retail experience is the vision of Argentinian-born Founder Juan Garcia Mosqueda. Critically acclaimed architectural practice MOS has designed the interior of the space. Taking the Renaissance-era Cabinet of Curiosities as its inspiration, Chamber will be a twenty-first century reliquary for unusual objects and a platform for design experimentation. Every two years, Garcia Mosqueda will choose a different designer or creative to curate the shop’s entire program, bringing their unique viewpoint to Chamber through specially commissioned works, and rare and vintage items. For the inaugural curatorial period, he has selected designers Studio Job, who are working closely with a dynamic group of established and emerging designers and artists to create Chamber Collection #1. read more…

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Last Friday was a very special day. After a lot of hard work over the course of the last couple of months we were finally able to open a next chapter in the AS&Co universe: a tactile space that will be open for the public named Our Current Obsessions. The new space, which also houses the studio, can in many ways be seen as a direct result of what has been created online since the eruption of Another Something in 2009, but with more focus in its purpose. Our Current Obsessions will hybridize the traditional concept of an art gallery with a retail-space, always based around one particular theme in which we will take a deep-dive both off- and online. Located right at the mouth of one of Amsterdam’s main canals, it is a little dream come true that finally our love for the ‘beauty of cultures’ can be touched and shared in the analogue world. read more…

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Recently we came across the inspiring Athens-based Kickstarter funded webstore named Daphnis and Chloe, founded by Evangelia Koutsovoulou, which focusses on culinary herbs and spices for chefs and home cooks who are looking for Mediterranean ingredients of the finest quality. Local varieties of Mediterranean herbs are sourced from the areas of Greece where they naturally perform better, making their products of the highest quality. In the seasonings and infusions one finds at Daphnis and Chloe, city cooks can smell and taste the genuine bounty that can only be encountered in the natural state of things, without having to visit the remote islands and valleys where each herb has chosen to grow. Around these exquisite products a distinct aesthetic was created online and in the packaging, making Daphnis and Chloe by far the most elegant choice when looking for the finest herbs and spices. read more…

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Today the Amsterdam-based The Playing Circle will celebrate the official opening, or housewarming like they address it themselves, of its latest interesting project called The Loft. On the fifth floor of the beautiful Cristofori building located on the Prinsengracht a fully furnished apartment has elegantly been created in which everything one finds in it is for sale. From design furniture, the vintage accessories, the books on the shelves, to the plants one finds in The Loft: if you like it you’ll take it home. The Playing Circle’s ambition is to create a whole new home-retail experience in which one walks into an apartment which thoroughly will feel like someones home, but instead of just being able to marvel at it now for one whole month everything the eye meets is actually for sale. read more…

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On the 12th of June, our friend designer Ellen Truijen officially opened her first brand store in Maastricht; the city where she resides and works in the far south of The Netherlands. The store sells, naturally, Ellen’s leather bags and accessories, but also clothing, lingerie and other must haves by other designers. Grown out of the store named mos, which housed in the same location and already sold Ellen’s products, the shop now truly sails under the flag of the ellen:truijen brand. Focus in the offered products lays on designers who still cherish locality, creating honest quality products like Ellen herself, such as POPcph, Brosbi, Lena Berens, the lingerie of Gent-based La Fille d’O, lipbalm by Kiyoko, the immaculate Mast Brothers chocolate and accessoires by Gabriel+Guevara and Lisanne Janssen next to Ellen’s own beautiful collection. read more…

When you’re in San Francisco check out the lovely General Store, as shared on Trendland.

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We are truly amazed by what in our eyes is one of the most inspiring retail concepts of late, which opened its doors in Los Angeles in April of this year. The store named Please Do Not Enter is a one-of-a-kind progressive men’s luxury retail and exhibition space in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, offering an eclectic array of exclusive, carefully selected and timeless contemporary goods. From design to art and fashion, each piece has an unheard-of story that the founders, Nicolas Libert and Emmanuel Renoird, are longing to share with its visitors. From a vision, we totally agree with, moving away from hype brands and temporal trends, Please Do Not Enter offers a genuinely subjective collection, an as they call it themselves: ode to modern life. Pleasing the eye goes hand in hand with timeless quality and functionality, hybridizing the traditional gallery concept of tight curation with a retail space urging everyone to enter despite its name telling the opposite. read more…

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Concrete Matter, the Man’s Gift Co. began as a collaborative effort between graphic designer Tim, former FOAM curator Jacob and entrepreneur Tomas; three young, creative guys from Amsterdam. Bound together by a passion for useful, durable and beautiful products, they set up a small but comprehensive online store called Concrete Matter in early 2012. Inspired by the admiration and applause the online store received, their confidence grew that they weren’t the only ones with a passion for beautiful and durable goods. This confidence led to a new idea: an actual store, tangible and visible, located somewhere in Amsterdam’s vibrant city centre. A place to showcase their products and ideas in optima forma. A location was found in a former video rental at the Haarlemmerdijk, a street which over the last few years is given a totally new face with a lot of interesting stores and initiatives opening among which is Tenue de Nîmes, making it a perfect location for Concrete Matter. read more…

The Bihlmaier’s Beach House, shot by Mister Mort, on Tenue de Nîmes

Felix & Frame by Frame Magazine, on Yatzer.

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We really appreciated the last parcel of luxury subscription service Svbscription. What was already the eighth parcel stood for timelessness, quality and a respect for function: all things that iconic pieces have in common. A parcel of classics, focussed on enhancing the style and home of each recipient. The entranceway, coffee table, bar and closet were all considered within the curation. Creating classics meant challenging the Svbscription collaborators to push their own practice in new directions. The brief was to revere the old, but create something new. This resulted in the fact that Australian industrial design duo Daniel Emma designed a set of marble coasters cut from the finest Italian and Spanish marble. Jeremy Maxwell Wintrebert, the French glass artist best known for one-off large-scale sculptures, crafted individually hand blown whiskey glasses. Bespoke tailor Paul Marlow made an elegant tie, bow tie and scarf, and The Paris Review provided some dignified reading material. In our eyes a great set of modern classics was created living up to the high standard Svbscription has already set for itself. read more…

White shelves hang from concrete walls at shoe shop by Elia Nedkov. As shared on Dezeen.

The Quality Chop Shop. A beautiful butcher and delicatessen shop by Fraher Architects. As seen on Dezeen.

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Yet another amazing project by Yusuke Yeki. This time situated in Japan’s second largest city Osaka, the inspirational designer created a immaculate store for nail salon Kolmio+LIM. Completed in September 2013 as an expansion of the popular Less Is More (LIM) hair salon, Yeki incorporates elements inspired by the services and name: ‘kolmio’ means triangle in Finnish. The first element in this approach is the color palette: based directly on the tones of human skin and nails. Other design features are inspired by the layering process of painting nails: an opening in the impressive wooden zigzag wall; a pattern used regularly on nails, lets natural light into the main space, while groups of three stools, three mirrors and three beauty chairs are all direct references to the salon’s name. The beautiful space evokes a sentiment of relaxation through its overall serene, minimal aesthetic which fits a salon perfectly. read more…

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The Berlin-based Contemporary Fine Arts gallery recently opened a great pop-up shop named Front Row on the ground floor of its David Chipperfield-designed space on Museum Island. Open until the 26th of April, the store sells: artists’ books, catalogues, DVDs, vinyl, paintings, woodcuts, sculptures, and paraphernalia associated with the gallery for a large range of prices. The basic idea behind Front Row was to create a traditional analog exhibition. Nowadays speed has become a major factor in the work of the gallery, but in the early days of the 20-year-history of the gallery everything was thought out to the last detail; from exhibitions to books, to editions. Over the years these objects moved further and further away, partially because of the dominance of the internet, with them eventually ending up in storage. The idea of CFA-founder Bruno Brunnet was to put these beautiful elements produced by his gallery on display again next to work of his liking of a broad spectrum of artists. read more…

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Today is the launch of the latest Amsterdam-based project of Dutch entrepreneur Casper Reinders named Libertine Gallery. The store and gallery is promising to be a large cabinet of curiosities, filled with neon art, Art Deco, stuffed birds and a robot. Libertine Gallery, which will open its doors at the Prinsengracht 715 for the public officially tomorrow, is the result of a collaboration between the passionate art dealer Fredien Morel from Antwerp (sometimes referred to as master of curiousa), interior fanatic Danielle Pakes, Mark Chalmers and Casper Reinders. The new interior design shop and art gallery stood on the wish list of Reinders for quite a while and with this set of collaborators it finally materialised. read more…

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Yusuke Yeki designed this beautiful retail space named Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten-gai for a 300-year old traditional Japanese fabric producer’s store in the Tokyo’s midtown shopping complex. ‘Shoten-gai’ refers to a traditional shopping street, located within the centre of a (small) town, which one finds throughout Japan. However, the faces of these shopping areas have changed significantly over the years, with large drugstore chains and convenience stores replacing the local artisans. Inspired by the original shoten-gai and with the intention to recreate its charm Yeki designed a new type of market place; which is more suitable and competitive within modern life, but with a traditional character. read more…

Let’s get some flowers at this beautiful flower stall by Buchanan Partnership in London. As featured on Retail Design Blog.

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Tokyo-based studio Torafu Architects recently completed the Kyoto store for our favorite cosmetics label Aēsop. Once again it is of the highly inspirational quality we’ve become used to when it comes to Aēsop stores. Located in the central shopping district of Kawaramachi, the beautiful space consists of two levels; a retail and small lounge area on the ground level, and a gallery space on the upper floor intended for social interaction. The original building structure was key in the design by Torafu as they wanted to keep it as intact as possible. Creating a beautiful raw and industrial aesthetic, exposed concrete and irregular wall surfaces have been preserved and integrated into the overall design.

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On our San Francisco list for the next trip: MARCH

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When we visited New York this October I did my homework beforehand. I tried to source new and unknown places, new retail concepts, the best restaurants, the galleries we could not miss – the usual. But I did not find that much. Just more of the same. Don’t get me wrong, that was still super good because we’re in New York, but I wasn’t blown away.
Until, between two appointments, after a quick espresso at La Colombe and a spare five minutes, I was making my way down Bond Street and stopped as soon as I saw a shop window. It wasn’t even particularly fancy but it did catch my eye for some reason: it was a nice little shop front with some old ceramic bowls on display and a huge old ‘Black Cat’ ad behind the window, yet it didn’t feel like any other vintage or antique store.

— As published in Journal de Nîmes No 9 —
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