LONDON – JNBY Group, one of China’s largest publicly-traded fashion companies has officially moved into its modern headquarters, designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano.
The Hangzhou complex, called OōEli started construction in 2012 and sits between Xixi National Wetland Park and the citys’ famed West Lake. It comprises 17 buildings for the group’s brands, including mainline JNBY; men’s wear line A Personal Note 73, Croquis; officewear line Less; children’s wear line jnby by JNBY; teen line Pomme de Terre; homeware line JNBY Home; men’s wear line Samo, and sustainable line Reverb.
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As Piano’s first project in China, the complex is not just an office space for the company but a community hub. “Renzo wants it to be like a small town with thousands of people working and living there, from business to art, design, fashion, culture, all sorts of things happening here,” JNBY Group said.
OōEli has an art museum of its own called By Art Matters, which is being spearheaded by Italian curator Francesco Bonami, and it offers abundant space for office rental, retail, exhibitions, artist residency, experimental theater, boutique hotel, and Tsutaya Books’ first store in China, which occupies an area of over 3,000 square meters, or 32,291 square feet.
Founded in 1983 in Japan, Tsutaya Books operates about 1,400 stores worldwide, including 1,300 in Japan, and its Tokyo Daikanyama store is a popular destination for arts-inclined tourists.
With the grand opening, JNBY Group also unveils its new retail concept B1ock. Located at building 11, the store spans across 1,6000 square meters, or 172,222 square feet, over nine floors.
JNBY said shoppers will be able to “experience the magic of shopping and exhibition at the same time.” Under the curation of American artist Theaster Gates, each floor offers a certain style of fashion, such as “fine femme,” “rude boy,” “thrift store junky,” and ”the archive.”
The concept store is stocked with top designer brands, including Balmain, Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, Uma Wang, Thom Browne, Dries Van Noten, Maison Margiela, Raf Simons, Simon Rocha, Kolor, Undercover, Paco Rabanne; contemporary brands such as Nanushka, Ganni, and Woodwood, and lifestyle brands like Tom Dixon, Cire Trudon, Frama and Mendittorosa.
Korean brand We11done will release a limited drop with B1ock, and Maison Margiela is bringing its Replica pop up there in the coming months.
From Oct.18 to Nov.18, an exhibition called “One Tree Fifty Ideas” will be held by the company within the complex to commemorate the opening of its headquarters. JNBY Group invited 50 Chinese artists to decorate 50 trees planted around the complex.
There are also six public art projects by artists Quayola, Changcun Wang, Richard Long, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Maryam Amiryani, Mathieu Nab, Theaster Gates, and Jingfang Hao & Lingjie Wang within OōEli.
JNBY, short for Just Naturally Be Yourself, was founded in 1994 by Lin Li. The parent company JNBY Group has more than 1,500 stores in China and more than 44 stores across 19 countries, such as the U.S., Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Israel.