In the spring of 2003, Sonya Park, the founder of ARTS & SCIENCE, a Japanese aesthetic product brand, launched their first ARTS & SCIENCE store on a narrow alleyway in Daikanyama in Tokyo. The store features a large collection of her favorite products in the hopes of recommending wonderful items to her customers. The interior decoration resembles that of antique shops in Europe, and on display are a series of clothing items of Sonya, each of which is so eye-catching that one cannot help but halt their steps to admire them.
In 2018, ARTS & SCIENCE launched their new store again in Daikanyama.. By then, they have already set up many concept stores in Tokyo and Kyoto. Despite their being in the same area, this time around, the store is no longer in a small scale. The store has been renovated from a residential house built in 1978. This concept is in line with the brand’s ideas to promote the idea of a wonderful life.
It was in the early evening when we visited. Its exterior, already considerably low-key in itself, is combined with an absence of any display windows, with only a lamp lighting up the entrance, where the brand logo of ARTS & SCIENCE is printed. It resembles the door plate of any ordinary households in Japan. The overall feeling is that of a “home.”
The entrance leads first to a space resembling a living room. The original beams in the house are still intact. Despite being renovated as a store, it still radiates a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere reminiscent of a warm home. The theme of this new store in Daikanyama is “Home & Basic”, with display cabinets featuring mainly personal care products or those for daily or household usage. Apart from wallets, leather products, towels, as well as their own daily commodities such as skin care products co-developed with local manufacturers, available also are recommended products at home and abroad, such as Japanese artisan wooden storage boxes, brushes by Iris Hantverk, a Sweden artisan brand, as well as Aesop’s body care products, among others. Our visit coincided with the display of selected items for Father’s Day, including a black Swatch watch which never goes out of style. Being modest and low-key, it stands in stark contrast to the regular colorful Swatch watches.
Around the corner of the “living room” stands a fireplace, beside which some fluffy cushions are placed. Many of those accompanying others to shop here can sit comfortably to wait while savoring the indoor atmosphere. Beside the fireplace is the fitting room, where well-known pajamas and undergarments by ARTS & SCIENCE can be found on hangers, alongside a few randomly placed handbags and towels. At first glance, it looks just like a tiny corner for changing clothes at home. Upstairs on the second floor, one can find ARTS & SCIENCE’s selection of books from POST, a bookstore in Ebisu. From its lineup to in-store shopping experience, it is apparent that ARTS & SCIENCE is detail-minded, and cares about customers’ all-rounded needs. It is because Sonya believes that carefully chosen daily commodities can serve to let people have a new understanding of the beauty of life.