1 Chome-20-2 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Chinese streetwear brand Hipanda has launched its first store in Japan; in Tokyo’s premier luxury shopping destination, Omotesando.
This cutting edge concept is built around the brand’s angry panda character, which represents the Chinese youth’s rebellious and childlike spirit. The 388m² space is a digital-meets-analogue experience, combining sleek architectural features and moving art installations, with augmented reality (AR) technology in a ‘ghost house’.
The store was created world-renowned Tokyo design firm, Curiosity, who worked in collaboration with visual design studio WOW. In a clever move by the designers, in this social media sharing age, the virtual experience starts before visitors even enter the store. Scanning the QR code by the door to download the ‘Hipanda Now’ app, visitors view the storefront via smartphones and watch on as the giant panda logo comes to life and bursts from the fascia in a shower of confetti.
As visitors venture inside, the app allows them to take their own personal journey through a series of spaces where they encounter the ‘host’ of the house, who is revealed through different interactive experiences throughout the store.
Hipanda redefines our expectation of retail experience.
The monochromatic dot-inspired interior is reminiscent of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama and reflects Curiosity’s desire to create a retail experience that brings together the worlds of art, fashion, technology and architecture. The main room features a dynamic play of light in constant motion, while elsewhere the lighting design provides a shadow-free interior akin to a digital environment, which combined with AR, fuses two parallel worlds to create an immersive experience.
Hipanda is as much techno-assisted modern art gallery as it is a store. The concept constantly challenges visitor’s perceptions of what is real and what is virtual, demonstrating the limitless potential of AR as a tool for interactive brand storytelling and personalised experiences.