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The Store by C'
The Store By C’ is a unique shopping experience devised to look like a glimpse into “a beautiful life” inside of a home. Studio Early Birds, in collaboration with Ms. Kambayashi’s predecessor studio, Jamo & Associates, led the building’s space design to resemble a scenic house in order to give visitors perspective on an idyllic lifestyle. We transformed a renovated mid-century building into an eco-friendly modern living area, conveyed by breaking down barriers between nature and the domestic interior and by reconstructing the building as sustainably as possible. To achieve this, certain sections of the building have been preserved and restored instead of removed. We also used landscaping and natural materials, such as a terra cotta brick wall adorning the exterior that turns into a corridor as the visitors enter the building, which serves as a gentle transition to the displays.
By presenting the store as an example of ideal living, Studio Early Birds invites visitors to consider what objects in the store would match their own beautiful life. These items, both for retail and display, reflect refined longevity, which are goals to strive for when considering one’s lifestyle. Therefore, Studio Early Birds curated all items and displays in the shop from the client's product line to match the store's values. Studio Early Birds then led creative direction of the video and photo shoots, which involved guiding specialized teams of photographers and models from California, while also designing each photoshoot set.
Slow Flower Life
When the Slow Flower Life campaign was created, indoor plant decor was emerging as a new trend in Japan. However, most products at the forefront were trimmed, dyed, and grown to be unnaturally perfect. This campaign highlights the beauty of local, natural flowers in protest. This concept is drawn from ikebana, the Japanese art form of flower arrangement, which relies on the seemingly chaotic quirks of nature to form each composition.
Along with the graphics campaign, Studio Early Birds also designed the “Hug&Kiss,” a reusable flower tote bag, as a part of the branding. The name reflects the organic materials of both the bag and flowers, in that one feels as though they could hug and kiss the gift and be safe from artificial chemicals. While it still feels strong and hardy, the canvas texture adds a tactile complement to the delicate but also natural feel of the flowers. Meant as a gift bag, the tote is made from canvas to reduce waste as a long-lasting product, thus promoting a "slow" life: one that takes into account the impact of products on the environment through generations.
The Artisan Table DEAN & DELUCA
With a rotating selection of guest chefs and weekly menu changes, The Artisan Table by DEAN & DELUCA is an upscale experimental restaurant with a farm-to-table policy. The architecture of the restaurant site reflects the transparency of The Artisan Table's food sourcing with literal transparency: a building exterior comprised mainly of glass in order to admire the natural surroundings. From this policy, Ms. Kambayashi of Studio Early Birds set out to design the interior as an extension of this idea. Materials follow suit, such as serpentine stone, Japanese mud tiles, wood trim, and earth-toned paints. Finally, to tie it all together, the restaurant hosts a carefully selected curation of indoor plants that stand out from the typical restaurant selection.
I Found It!
After the end of the magazine’s run, fan wrote in letters requesting the content in book form, so Studio Early Birds curated a final collection from previous objects as well as some Japanese products. Meant for any type of audience, the book is sectioned off into themes such as Hello Babies, Workout, and Sweet Tooth, with charming global anecdotes and the occasional trivia quiz.
Eclectic, experimental, and global, this multi-purpose community destination is the home of the first Early Birds gift shop, and a project by Jamo, the Studio Early Birds predecessor.
Located in the historically beautiful town of Kamakura, Japan, Garden House was designed with the theme “local crafts” in mind. It embraces a sense of universality by combining eclectic and contemporary global styles, such as Scandinavian craft design, geometric wood patterns, and the traditional Japanese “u-zukuri” technique, which brings out the natural texture in the wood.
In fact, the celebration of nature is another trademark of Garden House, given its beautiful woodsy location and its minimal boundaries between its interior and exterior spaces. Its celebration of global and local design with nature is what gives Garden House the welcome atmosphere it hosts.
Early Birds Gift Boutique
Studio Early Birds began as a gift boutique shop whose mission was to provide gifts that rose above the materialistic products meant for short-term enjoyment. Besides a selection of other functional products by Studio Early Birds, this shop’s gifts were meant to inspire certain activities or lifestyles that promoted a happy, healthy life.
One gift, named after the store, was a collection of objects dubbed “Be An Early Bird.” It included a cookbook, a ceramic bowl full of fruits, scissors, and a few other tools to inspire one to wake up early for a nice home-cooked meal. Another featured gift was “Take a Walk,” a care package consisting of an herb bouquet, utensils, and a tote bag to use for a picnic.
Studio Early Birds began receiving requests to sell their products elsewhere, and thus the caravan was conceived. The intended experience with this well-crafted pop-up exhibit was that of an early traveling salesman, with a welcoming home full of cargo.
A fashion design store for the modern day woman by the Sazaby League, this shop describes itself as “effortlessly traditional,” with a style best described as a cross between classic East Coast American and British fashion. Jamo, the Early Birds predecessor, designed ELFORBR’s first store in Shinjuku, Japan. As a nod to its fashion aesthetic, the eye-catching point of the store is a bold red kiosk that invokes the image of a British double-decker bus. The shop is further broken up into six different fashion lines, with lifestyle displays curated by Ms. Kambayashi.
Opening Ceremony is a fashion brand company with stores in Los Angeles, New York, and Tokyo. Jamo collaborated with the L.A. design firm Commune to create this unique Los Angeles store location. It's quirky exhibit style can best be described as a cross between Ikea's lifestyle displays and the playfulness of a fine arts museum.
3.1 Phillip Lim
The New York fashion designer, Phillip Lim, has a style that is best trademarked by its subtly classy appeal, once described as "street elegance." Studio Early Birds designed his first international store with the theme "into the water." The "hana gata" concrete blocks line the inside of the glass building, creating a bubble-like effect with the outdoor light. The floors are covered in a natural wood that resembles driftwood or the deck of a ship, that lightens as one descends to the lowest floor. With a classically retro style, the multi-level retail space uses minimal materials and even less color so that the apparel collection pops out at the viewer.
The Royal Doulton is a famous ceramics company that hired Ms. Kambayashi to construct its first Japanese exhibit. It was showcased during the Design Week as a celebratory event.
For the event, she constructed the Cinderella Forest Cafe, a magical cafe exhibit that showcased the dish ware products. It combined the traditional beauty of European design with the mystique of the foliage clinging to the walls and ceiling. On the second floor, she redesigned the antiques room to host more products, including a door designed by the company that lead into the inner store, as though it were a little secret only found by exploring the exhibit.