Casetify, a Hong Kong brand best known for smartphone cases and accessories, aims to open more stores with its flagship standalone in Osaka, Japan being the latest. It also happens to be the brand's first global flagship standalone store.
Opened on June 23, Casetify Osaka promises a shopping experience that's unique to its location in Shinsaibashi, the bustling shopping district. It is designed by Hong Kong-based architect André Fu, whose portfolio includes Waldorf Astoria Bangkok. There was no denying Castify's popularity, especially with Japanese fans and tourists filling the two-storey shop on opening day.
The Japanese inspiration can be clearly seen from the entrance arch, which recalls to mind a red torii gate, to the geometric pattern covering walls and columns, which is an obvious reference to sliding door or shoji.
At the entrance, you'll get to ogle at the many collab collections of phone cases and accessories that Casetify has on offer and you know how prolific the brand is with its collaborations with other brands and artists. A customisation station is where you can design your own cases on an iPad for something unique. Don't forget to check out the array of watch bands and its latest model Flexi band, which is water-and-sweat resistant.
There's also a "Re/Casetify" box where you can drop used cases from any brand to get a 15% off on your next purchase. As you may have guessed, these pre-used cases will be upcycled into new cases or in-store furniture.
The pieces de resistance are on display on the first floor, towards the back. They are two cases with Osaka exclusive design featuring iconic and colourful symbols of the city such as Tsutenkaku Tower and Osaka Castle.
Upstairs carries more tech accessories such as cases for iPads and Macbooks, or something you don't usually associate with Casetify such as water bottles and iridescent bags. There's a wall of Snap & Go cases and more straps before you end the shop tour at Casetify Art, where you can find collab collections between the brand and various artists on display, much like a mini gallery.
According to Fu, Casetify Osaka intends to transport customers from the everyday reality of the Dotonbori area into its imaginary version inspired by the Casetify brand. Casetify CEO Wes Ng agrees, saying, "We want to pay homage to the culture of many geographies around the world with a shopping experience that blends our global genes with the remarkable stories that major cities have to tell.”
Hong Kong-based architect André Fu.
The Casetify Osaka flagship store is the latest addition to the six Casetify Studio stores in Japan, one of them in the Lucua mall adjacent to the Osaka JR Station. Other Casetify Studio locations are in Nagoya, Tokyo and Fukuoka, with new openings expected soon.
Keep them in mind, in case you want a case that's exclusively designed and specific to its location as a not-so-cliché souvenir during your next (inevitable) trip to Japan.