It was born to be the bastion of new luxury: winding corridors with high-end brands frequented by a niche of affluent individuals and families. Earlier this year, the glossy Central Embassy witnessed a change. Of late, the mall has been fuller (buzzing even), and it’s original raison d’etre has apparently evolved as a result of either the completion of the final stage of development, realizing a vision of a new retail experience, or a change of strategy that considers luxury more inclusive: an urban lifestyle defined by a hashtag with a straightforward appeal, #thisbringsmehere.
Whatever it is, Barom Bichanchitr, man about town and Managing Director of Central Embassy, has delivered what he promised, and now Central Embassy is bringing everyone together. He's been on our watch list for years, including two years of Embassy that felt fast and freewheeling. Yet his often brazen approach appears to adhere to a motto that is equally “anything is possible" as "I can and will make it happen.” What he has created in Central Embassy, with the completion of Open House, Siwilai City of Club, and the Park Hyatt has certainly exceeded our expectations.
We have always respected the way that Barom collaborates with both his contemporaries in Bangkok (often pulling in the very best talents the city has to offer, from Slowmotion to The Archivist to Very Kind of Invention) and beyond our borders (with the biggest names in contemporary culture, such as KAWS, Kiko Mizuhara, ASAP Rocky, and let’s not forget the new Siwilai City Club--designed by none other than Yabu Pushelberg, who also designed the Park Hyatt).
There have been other collaborations and projects in the past, some perhaps not as successful as others (we blame this on bad advice), but that which Barom has brought to the fore this year quite simply works. We think that the Open House is one of the coolest concepts that has been launched for a while, bringing together our favorite restaurants in the city in an open space to eat, work, hang out, and let the children play. And then there is the the Hard Cover Open House: by far one of the best bookstores we’ve been to.
So perhaps it does pay to wait, and that, in a city such as ours, we should be well versed in witnessing regeneration of areas and second lives of buildings--not to mention understanding of how truly difficult it is to realize one’s vision. Barom’s vision is perhaps starting to be realised and we look forward to seeing what he has in store for us next.