all photos by Masanori Kaneshita
Vase is a small boutique–a select shop, as they say in Japan–located along an equally tiny side street next to the Meguro River. The shop has been in business for 15 years but last year they decided to expand. But they didn’t have to move far. A 70-year old vacant wooden house right next door turned out to be the perfect new home.
Vase has a commitment to the avant-garde and, inside, you’re guaranteed to find one-of-a-kind items unique as the 70-year old shop itself. Vase works directly with independent designers and studios such as Kaori Milinery, who spent 20 years in London designing hats for the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent.
Satoshi Arai and Kei Nakatomi, the architects who helped renovate the inside of Vase, decided to lean into the diverse nature of the shop’s products and chose different shapes, materials and finishes that would represent the owner’s commitment to the products that are chosen for the shop.
Inorganic finishes such as white, gray, and mortar were used to compliment the salvagable parts of the wooden home. The display cases and shelving too were made from a combination of everyday building materials such as plywood, corrugated metal, galvanized and chromate-plated cardboard, and glass.
If you visit, make sure to pay close attention to the fixtures such as door handles, fitting room hooks, and leather clothing rack hangers. Each were custom-made by designers who have worked with Vase over the many years.