All images © Nacasa & Partners courtesy Klein Dytham Architecture
“We want people to come in here, and we want them to fall in love with the idea of playing music,” said Edward Cole, Fender President Asia-Pacific.
Fender, the iconic guitar brand, has opened its first-ever flagship store in Harajuku, Tokyo, riding on the wave of soaring demand of Guitars during the COVID-19 pandemic. The store’s mission is to attract both seasoned enthusiasts and curious newcomers and nurture the love for playing guitar.
In stark contrast to the overwhelming and intimidating design of typical instrument stores, Klein Dytham Architecture has designed the space to exude inclusivity, embracing visitors, especially women and beginners. The majority of the sales clerks are women, ensuring an approachable shopping experience for all.
As visitors venture through the store’s various floors, the experience evolves into a journey of luxury and immersion. The first floor is a browsing area for guitars, along with a streetwear collection under the name ‘F is for Fender,’ all Made in Japan. Custom-designed plectrum-shaped tables provide a temporary setting for the guitars, removed from their display and ready to be shown to customers.
Ascending to the second floor, guests are greeted by the Artists Gallery, showcasing celebrity musicians alongside their cherished Fenders through massive posters and videos. The floor follows a soft-grey color palette and has dedicated areas for Made in Japan and Made in the USA guitars. To ensure customers find their perfect match, there’s even a soundproof Amp room, allowing them to test-play their potential pick before making a decision.
Venturing higher, the third floor combines the essence of a guitar museum with a boutique shop. Here, the portraits of master builders alongside their crafted guitars grace the walls, showcasing the extraordinary artistry that goes into each instrument. In this exclusive VIP setting, customers have the privilege of consulting with Fender’s master builders to customize their dream guitar while savoring the Harajuku city view. A collage of 400 finishes covering an entire wall aids customers in selecting their desired guitar finish, while also acting as a perfect background for an Instagram click.
Stepping down to the basement, visitors find a welcoming casual space for hosting events, accompanied by a delightful cafe and the care bar, a sanctuary for music lovers to connect, discover and celebrate the timeless art of playing the guitar.
“Conceived as a hub and clubhouse for all things Fender, this project takes the notion of a flagship store and experiential retail to beyond the next level,” said Mark Dytham.
The store comes full circle as a Hall of Fame photo gallery of Fender Artists adorns the walls of a spiral staircase, while a 3-storey LED display showcases Fender-related content, creating a journey through the brand’s past and present. This place is guaranteed to strike a chord in visitors’ hearts and leave them with a cherished “billboard moment” alongside their beloved Fender guitar.
Fender Flagship Store, Harajuku
〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 1 Chome−8−10 (Google Maps)