Start Today is Japan’s 3rd largest fashion company and operator of the country’s largest e-commerce site Zozotown. And it’s made only more famous by Yusaku Maezawa, the founder and now one of Japan’s youngest billionaires who made headlines in May for a shopping spree at a Christie’s auction where he snapped up almost $100 million worth of art.
Less than 6 months earlier, Maezawa’s company continued its expansion by opening up a new office in the posh Aoyama district of Tokyo.
Start Today manages several different properties. In addition to their main line of business Zozotown, they also operate a vintage clothing site, a shopify-like service that allows people to build their own e-commerce sites and a web design studio. And of course then there’s Wear, an “Instagram for fashion” app that just launched in the U.S.
Start Today continues to maintain a large office and warehouse out in Chiba, where cheaper land makes more sense for a sprawling e-commerce operation that employees hundreds. But their latest office in Aoyama represents an effort to create a space where all the umbrella companies can come together, share ideas and hone the company’s vision. It was designed by Hiroshi Nakamura, the same architect who created the company’s spaces in Chiba, and who is working on Maezawa’s private residence.
The new office is a flexible, open space that’s largely characterized by plenty of greenery and iconic meeting rooms that look like they’ve been encapsulated by large bubbles. This clear material, which allows for unobstructed views throughout the entire office, is made by the same manufacture that produces the wind-resistant cockpits on shinkansen (bullet trains). And Maezawa’s taste for art and design can be seen throughout the space with its eclectic selection of seating – there are apparently over 60 different types of chairs and sofas from Herman Miller to Vitra. The entire office has an intentional “still under construction” feel, which mirrors the company’s ever-changing business model and philosophy.