Serapian inaugurates first Tokyo flagship, Villa Serapian Ginza

04 JUL 2024

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Villa Serapian Ginza opens in Tokyo, as the Italian Maison unveils its first Milanese-inspired flagship store in Japan dedicated to the finest Italian metiers d’art.

The opening of Villa Serapian Ginza marks an important moment for the Maison, for which Japan is a key location. It is here that Serapian finds some of its most valued clients and collectors, as the brand has historically found a strong affinity with the Japanese people's typical attention to detail and passion for craftsmanship that are key to its leather goods.

To mark the occasion, Serapian not only offers Japanese clients a special series in colours unique to Tokyo, but the brand also partnered with iconic silk company Chiso, creating a limited edition capsule collection that for the first time mixes Italian savoir faire and Japanese tradition.


A quintessential Milanese experience in the heart of Ginza

Through Villa Serapian Ginza, Serapian invites guests to discover the best high craftsmanship and design, unveiling the brand’s universe through a curated interior that reflects its home city’s unique approach. The store will offer customers leather creations and accessories for men and women, with a special attention to the bespoke offering typical of Serapian.

The two-floor, 200 square metres boutique is a reference to Serapian’s Milanese HQ of Villa Mozart, conceived by Piero Portaluppi, an architect whose modern style helped shape the city’s distinctive aesthetic, also cementing it as one of the world’s most architecturally charming locations of the 20th century.

The windows feature artworks by Venetian artist Lorenzo Vitturi, who worked closely with Murano artisans to create totem-like sculptures to elevate the products on display. This cements Serapian’s role as a supporter of the arts, in keeping with Serapian’s tradition, as the family’s inner circle in the 1950s included some of the time’s most celebrated artists, among which was Giorgio de Chirico.

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Stepping inside Villa Serapian Ginza is like being transported into a Milanese residence, a 360 immersive experience with vintage design mixed with art and contemporary elements. A guest’s first encounter with the space involves a refined interior on the ground floor, with bespoke marble mosaic flooring (made in Italy and applied by Italian artisans), walls covered in precious Dedar textiles and a Carlo Scarpa Sailing chandelier dominating the room. The room is anchored by a panel showcasing an impressive leather mosaic, giving an overview of the richness of Serapian’s colour and leather possibilities while exploring an artistic interpretation of the full spectrum of hues and materials on offer.

A discreet staircase featuring a metal mosaic sculpture by De Castelli leads to the first floor. Walking upstairs, guests are accompanied by a collection of black and white photographs that visually narrate the history of the Serapian family, from founder Stefano Serapian, who started the company in 1928.

Upstairs, a bespoke atelier led by a skilled craftsperson will offer guests the opportunity to create a made-to-measure Serapian piece. Clients will have the option of crafting a bespoke bag from more than 50 colours of nappa, which can be combined through the brand’s iconic Mosaico leather concept.

Everything across Villa Serapian Ginza is imagined to offer an experience like no other that will make guests feel like they stepped into a private residence. From the Bonacina-designed service trays to the floral arrangements by Japanese, Milan-based artist Satoshi Kawamoto, from the scent in the space merging notes of leather and flora to the hospitality offering, everything was specially conceived to bring to life this Milanese experience.

About Serapian

Founded by Stefano Serapian in 1928, Serapian is one of the oldest leather Maisons in Milan and still one of the city’s best-kept secrets.

Located in the centre of the Lombardy capital, the brand’s Bespoke Atelier is overseen by Giovanni Nodari Serapian, the third generation of the founding family. This unique destination is situated in Milan’s historic Art Deco gem, Villa Mozart. Bespoke sits at the heart of the Maison, and is the source of many of the designs that are introduced into the collections to this day.

Serapian is known to the Milanese as a leather Maison with impeccable design and craft credentials. Throughout its history, Serapian has had close ties to artists and artisans, such as proto-surrealist Giorgio de Chirico and many from the world of architecture and furniture design. The bags are made for both men and women, taking the style of Serapian to heart, clutching or wearing their luxurious pieces to an opening night at La Scala, or for a stroll along Via Montenapoleone.

Serapian embodies the discreet and precise taste of the Milanese, where so much is left unsaid until you acquire the keys to the city. Behind the doors of seemingly austere façades you will find exquisite marble entrances, mosaics and gardens. Milan is truly a city of secrets, which is perhaps why Serapian’s most famous design is the Secret Bag, a style made bespoke for a customer who wanted a hidden pocket incorporated so she could keep something precious away from view. Rumour has it that this was for a photograph of her lover. Or his letters. We will never know.

The signature appearance of Serapian bags is largely due to the Mosaico technique, first developed in 1947, a method of weaving strips of nappa leather less than a centimetre in width to create textured and coloured panels that have a fluid and lightweight look and feel. Indeed, it is a characteristic trait of Serapian that its pieces are extremely soft and unstructured.

The strips used for Mosaico come in multiple colours and can be configured in all manner of patterns, from classic black and white to more vibrant geometrics. One execution in particular has become a speciality of the house: the creation of a dégradé effect, called chiaroscuro, which requires great skill in weaving leather to achieve a smooth and gradual change of tone from light to dark. Founder Stefano Serapian was fascinated by geometry and patternmaking, as is evidenced by his sketchbooks that are still housed at Villa Mozart.