I started following Arts and Science on instagram a last year, it is an intriguing mix of Japanese craft. It is high on my list to visit when I go to Japan to stay with my friend Julie Pierce later in the year.
This story appeared in the New York Times this week – The story of Sonya Park the owner of Arts and Science is worth the read…
Tiina Laakkonen and Sonya Park first met briefly in the early 1990s. Laakkonen was working at a fashion house in Paris at the time; Park was a successful stylist in Tokyo. Years later, Laakkonen was traveling to London and discovered Arts and Science — a line of beautiful, refreshingly simple clothing — hanging on the racks of Dover Street Market. “What is this weird Japanese brand I’ve never heard of?” she remembers thinking. The pieces “looked like the most incredible new versions of the best vintage clothes made in the most beautiful fabrics. I was hooked, but had no idea that Sonya was the designer.” Laakkonen eventually realized that Park was behind the brand — and so, when she opened her multibrand boutique, Tiina the Store, in Amagansett, N.Y., in 2012, she got back in touch and asked Park if she could stock it.
Now, Arts and Science’s women’s and unisex offerings hang alongside roomy shirtdresses from the French brand Casey Casey, work pants by Daniela Gregis and pastel-colored knits from the Berlin-based line Wommelsdorf.
A few times a year, Laakkonen collaborates with the brands she stocks to create installations within her store; one year, for example, the British designer Faye Toogood took over a space in the shop with her furniture and clothing; the designer Christina Kim of the brand Dosa plastered one room with photographs in 2014. Park and Laakkonen teamed up for a more interactive kind of installation: Last month, Park arrived in Amagansett from Tokyo, bringing with her the wares of 19 Japanese craftspeople, which will be displayed in the shop through next week. In addition, the pair staged three sushi dinners in the store.
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