Developed with the brand’s distributor in the country Bluebell Group, the 1,076-square-foot unit was conceived by Plan C founder and creative director Carolina Castiglioni in partnership with Italian artist and designer Duccio Maria Gambi, who has already collaborated with the label on several projects. These included the design of the brand’s first store, in Tokyo’s Aoyama neighborhood in 2019, as reported.
The Ginza Six store adds to Plan C shops-in-shop at Isetan Shinjuku and Umeda Hankyu Osaka, as well as distribution in 35 multibrand retailers locally. Without disclosing the overall business’ turnover, the company said Japan is its largest market, accounting for 28 percent of total sales.
The interior concept of the new unit plays with linear and sinuous shapes as well as contrasting materials and textures to evoke the brand’s mix of high-end design and functionality. Concrete and stainless steel surfaces dominate the space, which also features white wood flooring, electric blue walls and carpeting as well as red-paint detailing in the custom-made displays.
Irregularly shaped monoliths punctuate the store to showcase the accessories selection, while glass cases located next to the cashier display the jewelry collections by Plan C’s sister brand Aliita.
These are positioned at the entrance of the store’s dressing area, which was made cozier by opting for a warmer color palette of rust shades. An artwork by Gambi mixing green-painted steel and corrugated white-painted metal completes the space, which Castiglioni believes “perfectly expresses our creative journey.”
“Duccio is really able to interpret my vision and transform ideas into projects that perfectly mix functional design and conceptual art. It’s really great to be in Tokyo, in the Ginza district, with a flagship representing the brand’s spirit in such encompassing way,” she said.
“I think the main challenge here was preserving the most authentic spirit of Plan C while showcasing the evolution of its collections towards a style that in a way is more minimal and even more sophisticated,” Gambi echoed.
“We played with contrasting lines, materials, textures and colors to create a space that I think is rich and exciting while being essential and functional at the same time. Reflecting the evolution of the brand’s products offering, we gave more space to horizontal displays to showcase the accessories collections that engage in a continuous dialogue with the ready-to-wear pieces on the racks,” the artist added.
Plan C will further express its ties with the art world during the upcoming edition of Milan Fashion Week when it will stage an exhibition spotlighting Ukrainian-born, New York-based talent Yelena Yemchuk.
Dubbed “Noctambulations” and to be held at the Plan C headquarters in central Milan, the show will explore the art of collaging via 12 exclusive artworks, half of which reinterpret images photographed by Yemchuck for the brand’s spring 2024 look book.
“For me, collaging is an attempt at an unconscious act. I’m interested in removing intellect — images are compiled and created by liberated instinct. When I’m successful, making a collage is ethereal, volatile, like a dream,” Yemchuk said.
Born in Ukraine, Yemchuk moved with her family to the U.S. at 11, studying art at Parsons in New York and photography at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. A multifaceted artist experimenting with different media — including painting, photography and filmmaking — Yemchuk developed a signature style mixing surrealist atmospheres with nostalgic and humorous touches.
Flanking Yemchuck’s work, the “Noctambulations” exhibition will showcase some of the Plan C looks featured in the images and presented to press and buyers earlier this year. In particular, for spring 2024 Castiglioni held onto the codes of her brand with a softer hand: Without betraying her utility-inspired world of reference, signature rigor and purity of lines, she displayed a new flair for lightweight fabrications, see-through textures and a pale color palette that magnified the sense of ease and nonchalant elegance she’s skilled at conveying through everyday clothes.
The daughter of Marni’s founders, Castiglioni launched Plan C with the support of her father Gianni and her brother Giovanni in 2018, after a decade of developing special projects for her family’s business. Renzo Rosso’s OTB took full control of Marni in 2015 and the Castiglioni family exited the following year.
Since the seminal spring 2019 collection, Castiglioni hinged Plan C on utility- and sport-inflected styles with a touch of eccentricity and unpredictability, the duality of discreet and bold elements, charming juxtaposition of masculine and feminine shapes and a great color sensibility — a trait that has always run in the Castiglioni genes.
The founder’s sophisticated aesthetic is mirrored by the company headquarters, a design apartment filled with vintage pieces and where her great-grandmother created the fur company Ciwifurs in the early ‘60s, which became a well-known licensee for several designer brands.
Plan C will host a cocktail event there to celebrate Yemchuk’s exhibition on Sept. 20, before opening the show to the public upon appointment starting the following day and through Sept. 25.