Mikimoto Opens New Flagship as It Pushes ‘Pearls for All’ Strategy

Mikimoto cuts the ribbon today on its New York City flagship, which boasts twice the space of its old location. Housed within the same building, 730 Fifth Avenue, the new, two-story Mikimoto store takes visual inspiration from the ocean — playing to the environment from which its world-famous pearls are plucked.

“With these design elements we wanted to make an opportunity for our clients to experience the atmosphere of a global flagship — we’ve taken a lot of elements from the flagship in Japan. It’s all part of our evolution to appeal to a younger audience and having the ability to tell a story as an introduction to pearls,” said Georgina Coleman, vice president for Mikimoto’s retail division.

The store, which measures 3,600 square feet (a considerable upgrade from its former 1,800-square-foot digs), was originally planned to open at the end of last year but was delayed due to COVID-19.

“We have a positive outlook surrounding the future of physical retail in New York City, especially relating to the luxury jewelry sector. As a luxury brand from Japan, it is my hope that New Yorkers and visitors from around the world will come and enjoy the premium experience only a Japanese luxury jewelry brand can present. There is no replacing the art of trying on in-person exquisite Mikimoto jewelry,” said Yasuhiko Hashimoto, chief executive officer for Mikimoto America.

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Its opening represents what Mikimoto hopes will be a new phase of business in the U.S., as the brand pushes a new gender-neutral outlook on pearls to a younger audience. Celebrities including A$AP Rocky and Harry Styles have been seen in Mikimoto pearls — part of the ongoing trend to recontextualize yuppie codes for a more inclusive audience.

Last month, Mikimoto introduced its second collaboration with Comme de Garçons: a range of necklaces designed by Rei Kawakubo that saw pearls strung alongside sterling silver fangs and spikes.

“The Comme line is more gender-fluid and that’s really where the brand is at in our evolution. It’s important to introduce merchandise that’s very iconic to new clientele so it transcends generations. Ultimately pearls are for all and we have been seeing more men wear our merchandise over the past 12 to 18 months,” said Coleman.

She added that tourism along Fifth Avenue is steadily returning to pre-pandemic levels. While the area lacks throngs of international tourists due to global border closures, there is a considerable stream of domestic travelers shopping along the avenue, mostly coming from California, Texas and Florida, as well as the tri-state area.

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