©SLP ISSUE 002
A piece of Japan in Barcelona:
A chat with Omotesandō
It all began in 2018 with a trip to Japan, where Joan Català, the founder of Omotesandō, was captivated by the blend of tradition and modernity that permeated Tokyo. Specifically in Nakameguro, the neighborhood where he discovered Kokedamas.
Away from the city's hustle and bustle, Omotesandō is located in a space reminiscent of a large converted greenhouse turned into a shop and a creative space. It has a pronounced Japanese presence throughout, from the typography on the facade and the roof's shape to the care instructions accompanying the plants.
"Many people think bonsai is a type of tree, but it's actually a technique, just like kokedama."
WITH HANDS IN THE EARTH
Plants arrive at Omotesandō in pots (often plastic) that are replaced by sustainable containers. In the case of kokedamas, as the name suggests - "moss ball" in Japanese - they are transplanted into a container made of 100% natural material: a large mass made of cultivated soil and moss that becomes their new pot.
Joan explains that there is a growing trend of collecting plants to create "urban jungles" inside homes. However, at Omotesandō, each plant is valued individually rather than as a collective, as each creation is unique and crafted with great care. "People enjoy direct contact with nature, being able to create their plants from scratch and seeing how they evolve."
Omotesandō's catalog is extensive (Hankos, Ginzas, preserved roses...), but its two main products are Kokedamas and Garden bowls. The first one connects you with the earth as you shape the moss, getting your hands dirty. The latter are almost like pieces of art that you create according to your preferences, allowing you to see how the plant transforms and grows in its own ecosystem.
We spoke with Joan about what led him to collaborate with us, and he mentioned that a few years ago, when asked about his influences, he mentioned Thinking MU: "What I like the most is that you don't pigeonhole yourselves solely as a fashion brand, as you are also art, music, design... just like us." Omotesandō always seeks to go beyond, and for that reason, collaborations are a crucial part of their strategy. When choosing who to collaborate with, they pay attention to both the values and the aesthetics of the brand, as visual elements play a key role.
This project emerged with the goal of bringing Japanese culture and plant worship to the Western world: an oasis of nature within the home. However, the essence of Barcelona has always been very present in the brand, as both the team and the creative space are based there. "Made in Barcelona is a label that accompanies us every step of the way; we feel very connected to Japan, but we don't forget where we come from."