Apple SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts made her first official public appearance as an Apple exec at the grand opening of the company's newest retail outlet in Japan on Friday, posing for pictures with Apple fans and customers who made it down for the event.
A throng of people lined up to get into the Omotesando Apple Store in Tokyo when its doors opened on Friday — a rare sight for the upscale shopping avenue — while passersby peeked through the all-glass front facade and side walls to catch a glimpse of the goings-on inside.
Aside from Ahrendts, Japanese Apple blog Mac Otakara noted other Apple executives in attendance included Retail Real Estate and Development Vice President Bob Bridger, Worldwide Apple Retail International sales VP Steve Cano and Online Stores VPs Jennifer Bailey and Bob Kupbens.
As usual, Apple Store employees handed out free commemorative T-shirts emblazoned with the green leafy Apple logo seen on the store's barricades during construction. Workers started removing the protective barriers on Monday, offering the first look at Apple retail's latest creation.
The box-like building shares an architectural design language with other recently built Apple Stores, boasting three all-glass walls and a metal roof with overhang. Apple first showed off the design in the new "Stanford 2" location that opened last September.
Unique to the Omotesando outlet is a so-called "green curtain" of foliage that drapes the concrete rear wall. The leaves are said to shield the structure from direct sunlight during peak hours, cutting down on energy costs associated with cooling down the store's interior.
With real estate on Omotesando at a premium, Apple installed a metal-and-glass spiral staircase leading down to an underground level with extra display floor space, the Genius Bar and accessory racks. The design was highlighted in a video released yesterday that also offered a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to prep an Apple Store for its grand opening.
Update: Japanese Apple blog Mac Otakara has posted additional details of the event and a photo slideshow showing off the massive crowd that came down for the grand opening. The article has been updated to reflect the information.