From .com to Melrose AVE.

Transporting Angelenos to Tokyo's Shimokitazawa district with Akashi-Kama's first in-person shopping experience.


Designing an unforgettable experience for Akashi-Kama’s first pop-up store.

In August of 2022, Akashi-Kama decided to hold its very first in-person shopping experience on Melrose Ave., Los Angeles's famous boutique shopping neighborhood. With only 3 months to transform this weekend rental space and advertise, our three-person design team had a lot of work to do!

As a thank-you gift to long-time fans of Akashi-Kama, we wanted to make sure the experience matched Akashi-Kama’s reputation for understated quality and Japanese-American authenticity.


Millenial retro, in the digital age.

For customers, the very first touchpoint with this experience would be advertisements for the event. Our main point of contact with customers includes Instagram, email, and word-of-mouth—I spearheaded an invitation design shared via Instagram post and story.

To showcase our brand’s retro Japanese-American products, such as the Ojii Knit Polo and the brand-new Wool Noragi, we decided the elegant narrow serif of the Editorial New typeface would provide the perfect combination of 90’s nostalgia and street-style class—perfect for our millenial audience.


A traditional, tactile introduction.

In Japan, restaurants and storefronts use cloth signage called noren (暖簾). I adapted these signs for our brand by combining a multi-layered patchwork boro (ぼろ) print fabric with our bold white screen-printed logo. These signs were created with traditional methods by our vendor in northern Japan.

To complement these display signs, I also designed head-height decal signage for passers-by who may not be familiar with our brand. Our team also created a sandwich board sign with our pop-up-exclusive logo.

Finally, I designed a large poster to deliver our brand narrative. This centerpiece, featuring our favorite fashion icons, was a popular spot for customers to take photos over the course of the event.

Retail collateral

Akashi-Kama, in the details.

No retail experience is complete without hangers, hang tags, and shopping bags! Our team designed these items to position Akashi-Kama as a premium brand.

Perhaps my favorite contribution for the pop-up were the two-panel hang tags. These consisted of a smaller cardstock front panel with the brand kana logo embossed, and a larger vellum back panel with brand messaging. The larger vellum panel extended down below the smaller cardstock panel, revealing the logo on the vellum panel.

Retail Design

Putting it all together.

Our team meticulously designed every part of the customer experience, from product displays and customer flow, to live music and complimentary drinks for our Friday night opening. As a Japanese-American, I am incredibly grateful for opportunities to reconnect with my heritage and help share my culture via authentic products and experiences.