How the Visionary Studio Behind BAPE’s Stores Defines Tokyo Retail
Wonderwall is the brainchild of Masamichi Katayama, a Tokyo-based architect and interior designer whose obsession with cuboid forms, glistening transparent surfaces and candy-colored grids has made him the go-to man for brands including Pierre Hermé, APC and Godiva for their retail concepts in Japan. Katayama founded the company in 2000, shortly after creating his first, career-defining store for cult streetwear label BAPE in 1998. This early project, Nowhere (Busy Work Shop ® Harajuku) was groundbreaking in that it mixed chic minimalism with surreal amusement park references—fluorescent lighting and white walls gave way to an accessories counter that looked like a space-age popcorn stand—and marked the beginning of a long working relationship between Katayama and the brand. Since then, Wonderwall has masterminded over 60 BAPE stores worldwide, as well as interiors for Fred Perry, Uniqlo, Original Fake, the SOHO Tokyo Bay hotel, and Dean & Deluca. Not just a one-trick pony, Katayama has also designed his own sleek but super-functional furniture since 1996. Oh, and he’s got one of the most spectacular websites we’ve ever seen. Celebrating a decade in the business, Katayama is releasing a new book about his work, entitled Wonderwall Archives 01. It’s available now exclusively at Colette in Paris (which, naturally, he also designed), and will be released internationally in the coming months. Read our interview with Masamichi Katayama here.