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Yohji Yamamoto's West Village Double Header

As if Fashion Week weren't enough activity, there is a barrage of store openings this week including two stores on West 13th Street that run the gamut of Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto's world. A signature Yohjiexterior boutique for his main collection now lives at the tip of the low flatiron-shaped structure where Gansevoort Street cleaves from West 13th. Yamamoto and arhitect Junya Ishigami separated the pointy part of the building from the rest creating a generously windowed pavilion divided by an open courtyard. This unusual set-up requires salespeople to leave the building to go to the stockroom. Of course, this creates all sorts of security and staffing issues, but hey, we don't have to work there. This might be more of an inconvenience if the store held more than a precious few items for men and women. In fact it was designed to showcase only a small portion of the collection at a time, as well as the "Stormy Weather" fine jewelry collection made in collaboration with Mikimoto. It's more of a "Yohji Gallery" than a real profit center. We were told that more merchandise was coming, but this location is obviously not meant to replace the original Grand street Yohji Yamamoto boutique. It's nice that he can invest in valuable West Village real estate Y313thstreet without worrying about huge sales figures...or any sales figures at all. WWD reports that their three year volume prediction is about $1.5 million, which is next to nothing.
A few steps up 13th Street is where we find the commercial end of Yohji. The new Y-3 boutique houses his collaboration with Adidas. This is the store that is clearly meant to do business. It features a front window that can be open fully to the street on warm days (like yesterday), and a sleek, black and white interior showing off the popular athletic-inspired collection. The line has evolved more into fashion sportswear, but still with roots in sports fabrics and styles. A zip-front hoodie is executed in bright blue leather, for example to be worn with a matching cotton polo shirt with the Y-3 logo imprinted on it in tone-on-tone latex. The famous sneakers are there as well along with some decidedly non-athletic styles like a sexy wedge heeled mule. In keeping with the designer's typically low-key, occasionally paradoxical attitude. the stores are located not quite in the center of the Meatpacking District, but just around its outskirts, simultaneously embracing the area's new popularity and remaining vaguely aloof.
Yohji Yamamoto 1 Gansevoort Street
Y-3 317 West 13th Street, West Village


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